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I'm about to set up a new home network and was looking for advice on where best to locate my cable modem and wireless router.

I live in a ranch style home (i.e. single floor) with an unfinished basement. Currently, modem and router are both located in my home office and I'd like to keep them there. I plan on having a maximum of 4 drops (living room, 2 bedrooms, and kitchen) and installing a 4 port patch-panel in the office. I will then string 5e to the rooms previously mentioned.

Here's the thing: all the home networking guides I've read suggest placing the router and modem in the basement, near the electrical panel and other utility drops. Is there any compelling reason to do so? I don't want to have to go the basement anytime my cable modem and/or router decide they need to be rebooted.

Any obvious pros/cons to the "basement" vs "office" approach would be much appreciated.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Keep them under your eyes :)

A quick look at them when your computer freezes is always good to see if it is a connection problem or not.

Those home networking guides need revision for wireless as I don't see any benefit to put a wireless router near an electrical panel... only possible problems.

Anyways, distances from the basement will probably be longer than from the office and this means more cable and a worse wireless connection mainly with a floor between the router and the computer.

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Putting a wireless router in the basement dosen't make sense, to me. If you had a large wired router, it would, but you want the wireless router as near to where you'd use it as possible for obvious reasons.

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Since most SOHO wireless APs are omni-directional, it makes sense to put it as close to the middle of all nodes as possible. Of course, if you want a better signal, put it closer to you :)

Always keep in account the antenna placement as well. You will also need to consider the obstacles between each node as this will affect placement of the device.

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If you are pulling cable, centrally located is usually the best bet. If wireless connectivity is most important then pick a spot that provides best coverage for all areas.

In my two story home my router / NAS are located in a utility closet near the middle of the house on the second floor. My PC, connected via WIFI, is at the farthest point, and I still get above average reception.

One of the best spots for WIFI is actually on the first floor. In my case that is because the only obstacle is the floor. On the second floor numerous walls degrade the signal.

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