Homes are almost as diverse and unique as the people inside of them. Size, shape, materials, and proximity to neighbors’ networks all impact WiFi strength and reliability.
Materials like brick, stone, concrete, metal, and glass all cause problems. Plus, because of their shape, 5GHz waves don’t go through walls and furniture as well as 2.4GHz waves.
WiFi waves are just radio waves, so as you get farther from the access point, their strength diminishes. In general, the higher the frequency of radio wave — the newer 5GHz band, for example — the better the performance, but the shorter the range.
Depending on the density of your neighborhood, you could have 50 or more WiFi networks nearby, all competing with yours for limited available radio spectrum. The 5GHz spectrum is much less crowded than 2.4GHz.
Believe it or not, household appliances like refrigerators, water heaters and remotes can interfere with your WiFi signal. The more stuff you have, the worse it can be.
Walls and furniture
Spread across 3,500 sq. ft. and two floors, this home has a modern, open floor plan. Distance is the main issue.
The primary eero sits next to the TV in the living room, where it connects to the family's modem.
There's another eero in the home office just off the kitchen. It zaps WiFi to the room above it too.
There’s an eero on the upstairs landing. It has line-of-sight down the staircase to the eero in the living room. For stairways, one eero near the bottom and another near the top often works well.
Another eero has a diagonal line of sight into the upstairs master bedroom through its door. Signal goes through doors easier than walls. Mom can take a video call for work from the deck.
The home’s a long L-shape. Thanks to an addition a few years back, some of the interior walls are brick (great against wolves, but bad for WiFi).
The primary eero is in the office. The home's cable pipe runs through the garage.
Another eero is about 40 ft. away on a table in the living room. There’s rough line-of-sight with the primary eero.
Down the hallway in the bedroom, there's a third eero. It's best to place your eeros just shy of dead zones rather than right in the middle of them.
Besides being historic, the home’s four stories present a vertical challenge. And who wouldn’t want WiFi on that roof deck with a view?
The primary eero is in the basement, where the cable pipe comes into the house.
Another eero is up one floor in the living room. It provides signal to the main floor of the home, as well as the balcony and backyard.
A third eero is, fittingly, on the third floor. This one is placed near the staircase to help signal snake up to the top floors of the home.
A fourth and final eero is in a nook off of the master bedroom. It's at a slight diagonal to the eero on the floor below.
Exposed brick interior walls, while chic, are like kryptonite for WiFi signal. Also: This building is chock-full of bandwidth-hungry young professionals and their competing WiFi networks.
The primary eero is right next to the TV. Fast WiFi for slow mornings, not a problem.
There’s another eero in the bedroom for late-night streaming.