Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 11am


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Where to place your modem for best WI-Fi coverage

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi internet connectivity is what everyone wants in their homes for use with their portable devices.

Please forgive me for stating the obvious.  When the Wi-Fi signal is weak or works only intermittently, the first thing most people do is blame their modem. (No, this will not be another lecture on how to use traceroute to diagnose the problem, though that test would be a huge help.) A common issue with internet connectivity is the modem’s placement and the items located near it.  Sources of electromagnetic interference and/or physical barriers that block the radio frequencies used by Wi-Fi can degrade the performance of even the best-quality modem.

To be clear, I use the word “modem” understanding that this box provided by the phone company, cable provider, etc. is the only Wi-Fi hardware many people have. I do understand that the “modem” provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a box that often includes a modem, wireless access point, Ethernet switch, router, and sometimes a voice terminal; all together inside one unit.  Not everyone wants to pay for installing a better home network to provide Wi-Fi coverage throughout their home. If they are satisfied with having good Wi-Fi in one room and using only the hardware provided by their ISP then that is fine. This column is for them.

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