General Question

anthony81212's avatar

Positioning of wireless router antennas?

Asked by anthony81212 (389 points ) August 29th, 2008

Hi everyone,
I currently have the D-Link DIR-655 Router; it’s a wireless N router and comes with three antennas. However, it is too big to fit horizontally on my desk, so I stood it up vertically with the included stand. Does anyone know how to position the three antennas so I can receive maximum coverage at my house? (Mostly on the same floor, would be good if basement has some wireless coverage too)
Thanks!

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10 Answers

damien's avatar

I don’t think there’s any “best position” for these kind of things. I’m not sure whether the direction they’re pointing makes too much of a difference, to be honest. Not that I’ve noticed with routers I’ve had at least.

Just start with it in one position, see how the reception is and fiddle with it if needed.

yannick's avatar

If all three antennas are pointing more or less up, that’s probably the best you’ll get it. You can also try positioning the router higher up in the room (e.g. on a bookcase or upper shelf of your desk) because the [majority] of the signal travels out and at a slight downwards angle. One other thing is avoid having it near any mirrors if possible. The signal should be fine through most normal-thickness walls, but mirrors can sometimes upset it.

iwamoto's avatar

can mirrors do that ? i’d say that soundwaves would be totally unaffected by optical reflection. i mean, concrete and steel blocks it pretty badly but that’s because of the density of the material, well, anyway, just try to keep it a bit upright

winblowzxp's avatar

Keep it low. RF antennas broadcast upwards, and your router may have (omni)directional antennas. Your best bet would probably be to have the router vertical on the floor with an antenna pointing up, left, and right. The antenna pointed up should be tilted about 30° away from the back of the router for maximum coverage.

yannick's avatar

@iwamoto: I probably should have said that any sheet/plating of metal will deflect the signal. Of course this isnt always a bad thing (e.g. if you have a concave mirror behind the router) as it will bounce the signal back in the right direction. Obviously concrete, plaster etc is a pretty major factor in terms of reducing signal, but from what I understand, mirrors do deflect or bounce wifi signal because wifi is carried by radio waves (EM waves), similarly to light (which mirrors obviously reflect). The 2.4 Ghz freq. of wifi is included in this range.

winblowzxp's avatar

Mirrors deflect the about the same amount of RF waves as concrete, et al. If you want to deflect the signal, your best bet would be lead.

PC_Enclosure_Man's avatar

The best bet would be to get a friend with a laptop get it connected and do a walk through, to the various rooms, ensuring the signal is still connected, if the signal drops, re connect and move the antenna until you have a good signal.

iwamoto's avatar

yeah, on the mac there is this usefull little app called istumbler which refreshes every second to get a nice readout for the signal strength, not sure if there

GroovyBanana's avatar

The positioning of the antennas can make a huge difference. Think of your WiFi Signal as a donut perched on each antenna. This donut is about 400+ feet in diameter and about 40 feet thick, the hole is pretty small, and the donut gets thicker farther out until it expands into nothingness (signal loss). So if you live in a one story house, putting the antennas straight up will probably yield the best results. But if you want to get some signal down to your basement try angling one of the antennas about 45 degrees or so that the imaginary donut is pointing at the computer in the basement. Hope that helps.

JohnDoe's avatar

Metal will deflect a signal. the wide part of a v shape antanna both receives and transmits more power in the direction of the widest span. multiple anntennas act as a beam and the pattern of it would be in a v shape off of the two end antennas. if you place the router up then place your antennas to receive up or what they call vertically polerized. if you place it sideways then you have what they call horizontally polorized signals. if you place a concave shape of metal (thickness does not mater) next to your anntenna it will act as a dish and reflect all of your signal away from the dish concentrating it on the receiving end. for transmitting the dish blocks the waves from going thru it and and reflects them. hence forth, a concentrated send or receive. the important thing is to set all the same this applies to both the router and the work station antennas.
You can study antenna designs if you pick up a coppy of the ARRL antenna hand book used by amiture HAM radio operators every where.
Hint I used sucsessfully with great 12 times stronger send and receive using a standard cooking walk. Tin foil works also since an antenna broadcasts and receives only using surface area (Not thickness). I hope these simple basic antenna design ideas and comments are usfull for you. From stdelago@gmail.com

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