When it comes to internet connectivity, apartment living can present its own set of difficulties. Poor signal strength is one of the most frequent problems people encounter when using their internet in an apartment building. A number of things, including the thickness of walls, the distance from the router, and interference from other electronic devices, can contribute to this. A slow internet connection is another frequent problem that can be brought on by a lot of people sharing the same network in the building. Other frequent problems include dropped connections, low bandwidth, and problems with network security.
Aspects to Consider When Shopping for Your Next Router
When looking for the best wireless routers for apartment living, there are a few key features to consider:
- Coverage: Look for routers that have a wide coverage range to ensure that your entire apartment is covered. Dual-band routers with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands are a good choice as they can provide better coverage and handle more devices.
- Speed: If you plan on streaming high-definition video or gaming, you’ll want a router that can handle high-speed internet connections. Look for routers that support the latest wireless standards such as 802.11ac or WiFi 6.
- Security: Security should be a top concern when selecting a router for apartment living, as apartments are often located in high-density areas and are more susceptible to hacking attempts. Look for routers that have built-in security features such as WPA2 encryption and a firewall.
- Size and Design: Since apartments are typically smaller in size, it’s important to select a router that won’t take up too much space. A compact router with a sleek design that can be placed on a shelf or wall mounted would be ideal.
Based on these criteria, some of the best wireless routers for apartment living are:
- Netgear Nighthawk AX4 4-Stream WiFi 6 Router (RAX40)
- ASUS RT-AC66U B1 Dual-Band WiFi Router
- TP-Link Archer C4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
- Google Nest WiFi Router and Point
- Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit WiFi Router
It’s crucial to remember that the ideal router for you will depend on your unique requirements and internet provider. Before making a purchase, you should make sure the router is compatible with your internet service provider.
How to Optimize Your WiFi Channels
To find the channel your router is currently using for WiFi, you can log into the router’s web interface. The instructions for doing this vary depending on the make and model of your router, but typically involve opening a web browser and entering the router’s IP address (usually something like 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.1) into the address bar. Once you’re logged in, look for a section on the router’s settings page labeled “Wireless” or “WiFi.” Within that section, you should be able to see the current channel being used.
To change the channel to maximize your WiFi signal strength, you can try different channels to see which one provides the best performance. Typically, channels 1, 6, and 11 are recommended for 2.4GHz networks, as they do not overlap with each other. For 5GHz networks, channels 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161, and 165 are recommended.
Another way to optimize your wifi signal strength is to use a wifi analyzer app like inSSIDer (Windows, macOS and Linux) or WiFi Analyzer (Android) which gives you a real-time overview of the wifi networks around you, it also shows you the channels being used, signal strength, and other information that can help you choose the best channel for your network.
Positioning Your Router In Your Apartment
The layout, size, and type of materials used in the walls’ construction will all affect where in your apartment you should put your router. Generally speaking, it’s best to situate the router in the middle of your house so that the signal can spread throughout the entire building. If at all possible, position the router higher, ideally on a high shelf or bookshelf, as this will allow the signal to travel further.
Avoiding positioning the router in a room’s corner or next to an exterior wall is another smart move. The walls in these places have the potential to block or weaken the signal. Additionally, make an effort to keep the router away from other electronic devices like cordless phones, microwaves, and televisions that might obstruct the signal.
Signal extenders, also referred to as WiFi range extenders, can help to expand the range of the signal. They can be placed in areas of your apartment where the signal is weak to amplify the signal and extend the reach of the network. If you find that the signal is still weak in some parts of your apartment, you can try using these devices.
Here are some WiFi Extenders that we recommend:
- TP-Link RE220: This is a budget-friendly option that can extend the range of your existing network and eliminate dead zones. It’s easy to set up and compatible with most routers.
- Netgear Nighthawk X6S: This is a powerful extender that can deliver fast speeds and has a range of up to 2,000 sq ft. It also has a built-in access point mode which allows you to create a new WiFi access point.
- Google Nest WiFi: This is a mesh system that can expand the coverage of your network throughout your apartment. It includes a router and one or more satellite devices that work together to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi.
- AmpliFi HD Mesh Point: This is a sleek and compact range extender that can provide coverage of up to 5,000 sq ft. It’s easy to set up and manage via an app, and also includes a built-in touch screen for easy configuration.
- Eero Pro 6: This is another mesh system that can help to improve the coverage of your network throughout your apartment. It supports the latest WiFi 6 standard and comes with a built-in Zigbee smart home hub.
If your wifi signal is still weak, it might be worthwhile asking your internet service provider if there is any additional hardware—such as a mesh network—that you can use to increase the coverage in your apartment.
Did we answer all your questions about Best WiFi Routers for Apartments? Let us know in the comments, or leave your own questions for our technicians to answer!