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What factors should I consider when planning my wireless home network? Before installing your wireless home network, you should consider:

  • Using the same operating system on all the computers connected to your home network. Using Windows 7 on all the computers makes the installation process significantly easier because it was designed with features and setup wizards specifically for home networking. You can use earlier versions of Windows, but the installation is generally easier and faster in Windows 7.

  • Placing your wireless router or gateway at least 10 feet from cordless phones or microwaves to avoid potential interference.

  • Positioning your wireless router or gateway away from heat sources, moisture, excessive dust, or extreme cold.

  • Locating the wireless router or gateway as high and to the center of the house as possible, especially if you have a large home or thick/dense walls. The wireless router is generally able to go through two or three walls before it loses connectivity.

  • Positioning the devices connected to your network so the signals will go straight through a wall rather than at an angle. If the signal hits a wall at an angle, the signal appears much larger and decreases its strength.

  • Keeping the number of walls and ceilings between your router and the other devices on your network to a minimum.

  • Placing the wireless router or gateway near a window if you want to access the network outside of your home.

  • Keeping the wireless router or gateway away from any large metal objects, because they may adversely impact signal quality and speed.

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