December 30, 2011
| by Grant Clauser
How many Wi-Fi connected devices are in your house? I did a mental survey of my house and came up with 12, including iPods, tablets, media streamers, etc. I’ve probably forgotten a few. All of those devices are fed by a single wireless router, and some days that’s a real challenge. How can you get better reception for all of your connected devices?
- Place your wireless router in the center of the house so all of your devices have relatively equal access to it.
- Use a wired connection for your most mediaheavy devices. My router is in my living room with the majority of my A/V gear, so I use an Ethernet connection for the smart TV and cloud-based media server.
- Keep the router off the floor and away from metal surfaces.
- If you have to place your router against an outside wall, try replacing the omnidirectional antenna with a high-gain directional antenna so you’re not sending half your signal outside.
- Add a wireless repeater halfway between your router and your furthest device.
- Upgrade to a high-bandwidth router designed for media.
- Use powerline adapters instead of wireless for some devices. A powerline adapter uses your home’s existing electrical wiring for the network. You simply connect an Ethernet cable from your router to a powerline adapter that’s plugged into an outlet, then use another adapter near the device you want to network and run an Ethernet cable from that to the device.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.