Router antenna position for best coverage?

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Ricky

Occasional Visitor
Hi guys,

I'm trying to improve my router's signal coverage in my home. My house has 2 floors and the router is located in the upper floor, mounted high up.

My router (D-Link DIR-882 AC2600) has 4 antennas. According to what I've researched online, the best antenna position is like an L shape. So one pointing straight up and one pointing parallel to the ground. So I basically have 2 L shape configurations for the 4 antennas.

I'm just wondering if this is the recommended antenna position? I've used inSSIDer after adjusting the antenna position and the signal strength is more or less the same.

Also, are there any benefits for rotating the antennas? What I mean by that is, you can place the antenna horizontal / parallel to the ground, but you can rotate the antenna left and right. So imagine if you point your finger at someone, your knuckles or fingernails will be facing up, but you could also point at them where your palm is facing up. But both positions are the same angle, just rotation is different.

Slightly unrelated, but after each antenna position adjustment, I've also looked at the WiFi Status window (see below). I sometimes see better signal quality but lower speed, whereas other times I see high speed but low signal quality. I've observed this several times and the result is very consistent. During all my oberservations, I haven't actually used the internet. There's no traffic going on in the background.

Better signal, lower speed:

upload_2019-1-6_12-38-53.png



Better speed, lower signal:

upload_2019-1-6_12-37-17.png




I'm just wondering how this works? I thought that in order to get better speed/throughput, you should have good signal strength?
 

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RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
While it will depend on your specific environment, the most generic recommendation is to keep all antennas vertical if covering a single floor, or orient half of them at 45 degrees if covering multiple floors.

Orienting some of them at 45 degrees might help for some single floor environment, depending on the kind of obstacles present in the direct line of sight between the router and the clients.

Rotating does not help in any way, no. The dispersion pattern of these antenna is roughly like a doughnut shape around the antenna.
 

Ricky

Occasional Visitor
OMG, Merlin commented on my thread!!!

Just want to say a big thank you for your custom firmware. I use it on my Asus AC-88U and it's amazing!

And yeah I've tried pointing all antennas vertically already but still getting a weak signal unfortunately.....The router is located maybe 3~4 rooms away on the same floor. There are no metal objects or microwave or anything that I know of that could be blocking the signal. The house is made of wood, which should be ok for Wifi. Transmit power is set to High for both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. I am getting a weak signal and throughput speed when connected to 2.4Ghz from 3~4 rooms away. Not even bothered testing 5Ghz. Router is brand new, got it just recently. Firmware updated to latest (using stock firmware).

I think if I point one of the antennas horizontally / parallel to the floor, then I can get a better signal from 3~4 rooms away on the same floor. This doesn't seem to make senes to me, because the donut shape of the antenna that is parallel to the floor should be something like this (see blue donut):

upload_2019-1-7_10-9-19.png



In the configuration above, both the upper and lower floors should receive better signal and that's the case for me. But the room furthest away from the router on the upper floor also somehow benefits better signal. Whereas pointing the antenna vertically doesn't really provide better signal to that room, which is bizzare.

My plan is to have use 2 routers, one on each floor and bridge them together. Router 1 should provide the best signal coverage for floor 1 and router 2 will cover floor 2. I think I'll have to use one of those WiFi heatmap apps to map the floor and get an idea of the signal -dbm and try the various antenna positions again...

Also, apart from the router antenna positions, should the router be front facing or back-facing? Back-facing is where all the ports are. I ask this because 2 of the antennas are located at the back, next to the ports. The other 2 antennas are located on the sides.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
This doesn't seem to make senes to me, because the donut shape of the antenna that is parallel to the floor should be something like this (see blue donut):
Signals can partly reflect on obstacles, which is why sometimes, aiming a few antennas at an angle can help reach further locations.

Router facing does not matter, go with what's most convenient for you (typically having the LEDs facing you).
 

Gar

Very Senior Member
In my 1500 sq ft, single story house my 86u works best with the center antenna vertical and the outers at 11 and 1 o'clock. That's not much of a spread but it makes a difference, a greater spread is much worse. I don't know how the internal, 4th antenna might factor into it. This is based on observed use, nothing measured. Also, I use the SNBForums recommended settings under the Professional tab.
 
Last edited:

Belle Bowler

New Around Here
Most of the Home routers antennas have omnidirectional antennas that emit radiations equally in a single plane.
The direction of radiation emitted will be perpendicular to the direction you point the antenna. That means, If your WiFi router antenna position is vertical, it will emit radiation in a horizontal plane. If you are pointing WiFi antenna horizontally, waves will be emitted vertically.
 

Rob Q

Regular Contributor
While it will depend on your specific environment, the most generic recommendation is to keep all antennas vertical if covering a single floor, or orient half of them at 45 degrees if covering multiple floors.

Orienting some of them at 45 degrees might help for some single floor environment, depending on the kind of obstacles present in the direct line of sight between the router and the clients.

Rotating does not help in any way, no. The dispersion pattern of these antenna is roughly like a doughnut shape around the antenna.
Hi, how would you aim the antennas if there where 3 of them? I have a single story house and the router is in the center of the house (in my bedroom on a shelf). The signal going to the living room that's not that far away is awful (you would think it would be the best) but the signal going to the other side of the house is excellent. So, with 3 antennas, would one be vertical and the other 2 at 45 degrees?
 

Gar

Very Senior Member
From what I've read on this forum and personal experience in a similar layout I have found all 3 vertical to be best. But, I did find rotating the base of my 1900 somewhat helped and I have no confirmed reason why, probably some local interference being avoided.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Hi, how would you aim the antennas if there where 3 of them? I have a single story house and the router is in the center of the house (in my bedroom on a shelf). The signal going to the living room that's not that far away is awful (you would think it would be the best) but the signal going to the other side of the house is excellent. So, with 3 antennas, would one be vertical and the other 2 at 45 degrees?
It's highly environment-specific and requires a lot of testing, but as a starting point for a single floor I would keep them all vertical. If you have problems, then try dipping the first and third ones at 45 degrees, then take new measurements. The general diffusion pattern is shaped like a doughnut around the axis of the antenna.

If you have issues on only one side of the house, look at how the line of sight between the router and the weak spot look like. If there's a large metallic obstacle like a fridge between both points, then you will need to move the router around to get a better line of sight with that weak spot.

Dipping a few antennas a bit can sometimes help by having some of the wave reflect around the room, improving general coverage. But it requires experimentation.
 

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