Where (not) to put your wi-fi router

signalGet the best out of your wi-fi access point and router by choosing the right place in your home.
The best place may not always be convenient for you, so it may need some extra cabling between your ISP’s modem and your wi-fi router. But even the best router on the market will not perform well if you place it in the wrong spot. Consider these tips to get the best coverage and stable wi-fi connections:

Place your wi-fi access point or router in a central location in the middle of your home rather than at one end. Solid surfaces slow down wi-fi speeds and a central location reduces the number of walls it has to go through. The thicker the wall, the harder it is for the wi-fi signal to pass through. Hiding away the router in a corner may not be a good choice.

Don’t put it on the floor. Try and position it on a shelf, cupboard or table. Do not put it in a cupboard or closet, which will reduce the wi-fi signal speed and distance. Wi-fi signals go down as well as up, so if you put it on the floor, a proportion of the signal will go through the floorboards. Compare the signal performance with a light bulb. Mounting the light on the ceiling shines better.

Keep your wi-fi access point or router away from material that can reflect the signal and dispersing it: metal objects like a TV, mirrors and glassware. Water can absorb the wi-fi signal, so it reduces the travel distance of the signal. Also micro-waves may interfere with the wi-fi signal.

Finally, test your wi-fi signal before you settle with the location of your access point or router. Connect as many devices as possible from the different and the most used locations in your home. Use streaming services to see if your signal is stable. If you have portable devices, like tablets and smartphones, walk around your home to detect the ‘weak’ spots. The position of the antenna(s) or the position of the router itself (if no external antenna is available) will also influence the performance.

N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router – TL-WDR3600

TL-WDR3600-UN-V1TL-WDR3600 – N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router

  • 5GHz: Up to 300Mbps
    2.4GHz: Up to 300Mbps
  • 2 USB 2.0 Ports
  • 4 10/100/1000Mbps LAN Ports
  • 64/128-bit WEP,WPA / WPA2,WPA-PSK/ WPA2-PSK encryption

Firmware Version 3.13.31 Build 130320 Rel.55761n

Works well with Windows XP and 7 clients and iOS and Blackberry. Connectivity issues may occur with some Android versions. USB device control is not very flexible. Supports three simultaneous networks, including a guest network.

This router can be used with a  Netgear WNDR3700 or with the ZTE Home Station to extend your wireless coverage at home.

CastleNet CBV38Z4EN

CastleNet CBV38Z4EN

The CastleNet CBV38Z4EN is a cable router used by SFR (previously Numericable) in France to offer triple play services to domestic users. The modem specifications can be downloaded from the CastleNet website.

Both data and voice services work seamlessly with this device. Good voice quality for local and International calls.

The wifi settings can be easily configured to control the security and the access credentials.

Works well with Windows XP, however IPv6 should be disabled on Windows 7 clients. Works well with Android and iOS.

Beware of the Firewall Features settings on this router, which you can change in ‘WAN Network Configuration’, Services:

Low = no port restrictions

Medium = allows the services below

AIM/ICQ 5190 5190 TCP
DHCPv6 546 547 UDP
DNS TCP 53 53 TCP
DNS UDP 53 53 UDP
FTP-S 989 990 TCP
HTTP 80 80 TCP
HTTP ALT 8080 8080 TCP
HTTP-S 443 443 TCP
IMAP 143 143 TCP
IMAP-S 993 993 TCP
IPSec NAT-T 4500 4500 UDP
NTP 123 123 UDP
POP3 110 110 TCP
POP3-S 995 995 TCP
RADIUS 1812 1812 TCP
RADIUS 1812 1812 UDP
SMTP 25 25 TCP
SSH 22 22 TCP
SMTP-S 465 465 TCP
Steam 1725 1725 UDP
Steam Friends 1200 1200 UDP
Telnet-S 992 992 TCP
XBOX Live 3074 3074 TCP
XBOX Live 3074 3074 UDP
World of Warcraft 3724 3724 TCP
World of Warcraft 3724 3724 UDP
Yahoo Messenger 5050 5050 TCP
Port for stb 8184 8184 TCP
Port for stb 8184 8184 UDP
VoWIFI 500 500 TCP
VoWIFI 500 500 UDP
VoWIFI 4500 4500 TCP
VoWIFI 4500 4500 UDP

High = allows the services below

DNS TCP 53 53 TCP
DNS UDP 53 53 UDP
HTTP 80 80 TCP
HTTP-S 443 443 TCP
IMAP-S 993 993 TCP
IPSec NAT-T 4500 4500 UDP
NTP 123 123 UDP
POP3-S 995 995 TCP
SSH 22 22 TCP
SMTP 25 25 TCP
SMTP-S 465 465 TCP
Port for stb 8184 8184 TCP
Port for Stb 8184 8184 UDP
VoWIFI 500 500 TCP
VoWIFI 500 500 UDP
VoWIFI 4500 4500 TCP
VoWIFI 4500 4500 UDP

D-Link DIR-600 Wireless N Gigabit Home Router

D-Link DIR-600 Wireless N Gigabit Home Router

The D-Link DIR-600 Wireless N Gigabit Home Router is good value for money and works fine with PCs and MacBooks. This basic router can be added to your cable modem to provide better wireless performance.

 The D-Link DIR-600 Ethernet Broadband Router device offers:

  • an Internet sharing through Network Address Translation (NAT),
  • a Firewall, with optional DMZ,
  • a DHCP Server for automatic IP Address alocation,
  • a Print Server over IP for a parallel attached printer,
  • a 10/100 Base-T switch for up to four LAN connections,
  • Support for WPA™ and WPA2™ for wireless security,
  • Configuration management through a web interface. The default address of the router is http://192.168.0.1 (factory setting)

Webstar DPX2100 Modem login

Webstar DPX2100 Modem

The Webstar DPX2100 Modem provides Internet access through a cable connection. The Webstar DPX2100 Modem includes an USB, RJ-45 and Wi-Fi connection.

To control the Wi-Fi access, you can proceed as follows:

– connect your pc to the modem with the LAN cable (RJ-45) and open a browser with the following URL:

http://192.168.100.1/

– when the modem responds with a logon window, you can use the following credentials:

user: admin

password: W2402

In the security tab, you can change the wireless settings and press the apply button to save them. You may need to reboot the modem to have all settings applied.

RJ-45 Cable lay-out

RJ-45 Cable lay-out

The RJ-45 cable is used for the Ethernet Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) wiring.

Notice the difference between the RJ-45 here and the RJ-11, which is smaller.

RJ-45 Cable lay-out

RJ-45 Cable lay-out

The RJ-45 cable is used for the Ethernet Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) wiring.

Notice the difference between the RJ-45 here and the RJ-11, which is smaller.