- Orienting your Wi-Fi antennas can improve your signal coverage by directing the signal strategically.
- If tilting the antennas doesn’t solve coverage issues, you may need a proper Wi-Fi range extender or mesh Wi-Fi system for significantly better coverage and signal strength.
Nobody likes a spotty Wi-Fi signal around their home. Interrupted video streams are annoying in themselves, and things only get worse if you live with multiple people. However, before you blame the quality of your router and throw it away, try aiming your antennas first.
How does the angle of your antennas improve the signal?
The Wi-Fi signal emitted by the antennas is omnidirectional, which means that it propagates equally in all sides. The signal radiates in the shape of a large donut on all sides of the antenna. However, a donut is generally flat, which means you don’t get a lot of coverage in vertical space. This is why you get a very strong Wi-Fi signal when you’re sitting in another room, but your connection drops as soon as you go downstairs, even if you’re directly below the router.
Adjusting your antenna by tilting it or laying it horizontally will move the entire “doughnut”, so the signal will now propagate more vertically. There’s a good reason why most Wi-Fi routers now come with multiple adjustable antennas: you get more flexibility in how and where you focus the signal.
Technically speaking, tilting your antennas won’t make your Wi-Fi signal faster and stronger. Instead, it allows you to choose where to send the signal and optimize your Wi-Fi coverage. However, you can use the angles to your advantage to concentrate the signal in a specific area of the house and get a Wi-Fi signal. -Fi more stable and potentially faster.
How to Find the Best Antenna Orientation for You
If you want to eliminate dead zones (areas where the Wi-Fi signal is weak or non-existent), you’ll have to use trial and error. The good news is that you can get a pretty good idea of where the signal is going before you need to test it.
The tip of the antenna does not indicate where the signal is going. The signal is emitted from the sides, so it is exactly the opposite. As you can see in this photo, I oriented my router’s antennas to get more vertical coverage. The signal is perfect in the room where the router is located, and thanks to the angled antennas I also get a very strong signal downstairs.
If your router is in the kitchen downstairs and you need a strong signal for your gaming console, orient the sides of each antenna so that they face the console. This way you will benefit from greater coverage in your room and your kitchen should always receive a strong signal, thanks to the proximity of the router.
If you’re still unhappy with the coverage or have stubborn dead zones, try performing additional tests using a Wi-Fi signal app. Simply navigate to the dead zone, test the signal strength, make slight adjustments to your router’s antennas, test the signal again and repeat if necessary.
Maybe it’s time to get a Wi-Fi range extender
While aiming your antennas is certainly something you should do to get better coverage immediately, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re unable to get a strong Wi-Fi signal in certain rooms, regardless of where you place the router, a Wi-Fi range extender is a convenient way to boost your signal. It does exactly what it says on the tin: it takes your current Wi-Fi signal and extends its range.
Even though having one or two Wi-Fi range extenders generally doesn’t cause congestion or weak signal issues, you should still seriously consider getting a mesh Wi-Fi system, especially if you have a big house and you need the best coverage possible. If this sounds like you, check out our list of the best mesh routers.