Can I Cover My Wi-Fi Router to Hide It?

 

A modern living room with a side table concealing a Wi-Fi router.
Followtheflow/Shutterstock.com

Wi-Fi routers and associated gear aren’t usually essentially the most pretty to have a look at—so that you is perhaps tempted to hide them away. Is it OK to cowl your router to cover it?

What Are Router Covers?

If you happen to poke across the web, particularly within the craftier corners like Pinterest or YouTube craft channels, you’ll come throughout all types of tutorials that can assist you conceal your ugly community gear away—there are such a lot of other ways to show a black field with some antennas protruding into one thing a bit of extra homey trying.

The options vary from horrible, comparable to making a field out of ornamental metallic sheeting to the not-as-terrible comparable to hiding your router in a light-weight fabric basket. There are even industrial choices in the marketplace like this wooden box, designed expressly for the duty of camouflaging your router.

Bearut Picket Router Field

 

This router cowl gives loads of air flow, house for antennas, and even wall mounting choices.

Hit up Etsy for router covers and also you’ll discover all method of them starting from faux-book hideaways to ethereal mesh containers. Before you purchase a router cowl, nevertheless, we encourage you to learn by means of to the top of this text to make sure you discover a resolution that’s optimum for each your decor and your Wi-Fi setup.

We Advocate You Don’t Cowl Your Router

A home office with a small Eero mesh node.
Mesh routers mix in so properly you actually must search for them. Amazon

As cute as numerous these options are, our initially suggestion is that you simply don’t cowl your Wi-Fi router, Wi-Fi entry factors, or different Wi-Fi gear. These gadgets are all designed to be within the open and never wrapped up, stuffed in issues, or in any other case lined up. (If you happen to actually need to do it, nevertheless, preserve studying as we’ll tackle how you can disguise your router in an optimum method within the subsequent part.)

As a substitute, earlier than you take into account stuffing your poor router inside some hollowed-out World Books you picked up at an property sale, first take into account doing what you may to clean over your complaints concerning the gadget.

For instance, in case your major grievance is that the LED lights are unbearably vivid, then you definately’re an ideal candidate to purchase some Light Dims. We’ve been utilizing them for years—they’re a cleaner and simpler option to take care of vivid LEDs than busting out {the electrical} tape.

And in case your actual grievance is how ugly and utilitarian your Wi-Fi gear seems to be, there’s at all times the choice to improve to a mesh system. As a result of mesh programs are meant to be positioned all through a house, the mesh nodes are designed to look method much less industrial and far more decor-like.

Google Nest Wi-Fi nodes seem like gently curved little white canisters, as an example, and Eero nodes have the same, albeit boxier, rounded look. A number of of Netgear’s mesh programs just like the Nighthawk AX3600 MK83 have a form like a texture dice that appears extra like a bit of speaker than a Wi-Fi gadget.

Practically all Wi-Fi mesh programs characteristic nodes with out exterior antennas so whether or not you go together with a cylinder, disc, or dice form, the dearth of huge antennas sticking off the again goes a good distance towards serving to the nodes mix into your decor.

If, nevertheless, you actually do need to cowl up your Wi-Fi router or entry factors, we advocate studying over our ideas and tips beneath to make sure you get the decor impact you’re going for with out killing your router or Wi-Fi sign energy within the course of.

If You Do Cowl It, Observe These Guidelines

Let’s say your Wi-Fi router is absolutely ugly and also you’re not planning on upgrading your property community to get mesh nodes that seem like an Art Deco interpretation of ocean waves, in order that leaves concealing it in some vogue as a workaround.

If you happen to’re going to cowl up your router, there’s a proper method and a incorrect option to do it, so let’s run by means of all of the dos and don’ts of camouflaging your router.

Lots of the following pointers construct off of fine router placement practices and understanding what issues in your house block Wi-Fi alerts, so take a look at our remedy of the subject right here and preserve the final ideas in thoughts as you propose the place you’ll place your router and the way you’ll camouflage it.

Don’t Put It Inside Thick-Walled Containers or Packed Cabinets

Wi-Fi alerts are waves on the electromagnetic spectrum and a type of power. Placing your router inside one thing with thick partitions like a heavy ornamental field simply dampens the sign.

And it doesn’t matter if the field is open on one aspect or even when the “container” is definitely a gap on a bookshelf closely loaded with books. All these books act as radio-wave absorbing boundaries and considerably impede your sign. The extra open-air publicity your router has, the higher.

Don’t Conceal It Inside, or Behind, Something Steel

Similar to placing your router inside a thick field or behind thick books is lower than supreme, metallic is a no-go in the case of concealing your router. Amongst different supplies in our checklist of issues within the residence that block Wi-Fi alerts, metallic is without doubt one of the most prevalent and problematic.

You don’t need to disguise your router in a metallic mesh basket or container as a result of that creates a Faraday cage impact that screws up your Wi-Fi protection.

Whereas some folks purposely purchase such “shields” for his or her Wi-Fi gear, you positively don’t need an unintentional Faraday cage round a radio-based gadget. The objective is broader and sooner Wi-Fi protection, not much less!

Along with avoiding any kind of metallic mesh, the identical factor goes for metallic bookshelves, metallic containers, or making an attempt to cover a wall-mounted router behind a metallic ornament like a tin signal or such. Even placing the router on the wall behind a big TV isn’t sensible, as most TVs have a large metallic defend inside.

Don’t Cowl the Router Physique or Vents

Your router has vents for a reason. Let it breathe!
A Netgear Nighthawk router sitting on a shelf. Netgear

Digital gadgets generate warmth and excessive temperatures are the enemy of all electronics. Whereas the heat-dissipation calls for of a small residence router aren’t anyplace close to the calls for of, say, a laptop computer or recreation console, that doesn’t imply you may’t pile stuff on high or shove the router in a cramped house with out repercussions.

The surplus warmth may not outright kill the gadget, however you’ll danger efficiency points and instability. To keep away from that don’t tightly enclose the router in something and particularly don’t put it someplace that the warmth vents on the router are lined up.

Whether or not your router is passively cooled—as most shopper routers in the marketplace are—or it has a small fan, protecting the vents up is a certain option to smother it.

This isn’t to say you may by no means put the router inside or behind something, however no matter you place it in ought to permit for warmth to rise and have enough air circulation.

Do Use Skinny Coverings

The thinner and fewer metallic the factor you utilize to hide your router the higher. If the worst factor you may put your router in is a thick metallic field with a lid, the very best factor you may put your router in can be a big fabric dice—the material would disguise the router however be successfully invisible by way of Wi-Fi absorption.

If you wish to put the router in a basket, go for a basket with an open high and sidewalls made of fabric that’s largely invisible to the Wi-Fi radio waves like fabric or woven grass materials. This woven grass magazine organizer, for instance, is giant sufficient for many routers however permits for airflow.

Or, in the event you do need to need to conceal the router behind books construct a shell of simply the spines, sans all of the paper, to make sure there’s little between you and the Wi-Fi sign. This Pinterest tutorial reveals how one can create the look with out the majority.

No matter you conceal it with, you need that materials to be non-metallic and as factor as attainable.

Do Depart the Prime Open

Talking of airflow, depart the highest open. As our web use has develop into extra demanding through the years, routers have develop into beefier and beefier to deal with all of our streaming, gaming, and extra. Beefier routers generate extra warmth than their little forebearers did.

No matter you place the router in shouldn’t have a lid. On high of not blocking the vents, you need someplace for the warmth to go and warmth needs to go up.

Open-top baskets and bins, journal racks both on a desk or mounted on a wall, and different options make it easier to to hide the final form and shade of the router whereas nonetheless permit the warmth to flee.

Do Depart the Antennas Sticking Out

If you happen to disguise the router inside one thing, attempt to choose a container or location that permits you to place the router with the antenna protruding.

Within the case of routers with precise exterior antennas, this may imply positioning the router in a vertical place so the antenna can mission up out of the basket or such you’ve positioned the router in.

If you happen to poke round you will discover all kinds of picket router containers, like this one we talked about above which can be designed to interrupt up the profile of the router whereas nonetheless permitting the antennas to mission out.

For routers with inner antennas, this will likely imply forgoing placing the router solely inside one thing and as a substitute place it on a aspect desk or such the place you may park one thing “light-weight” in entrance of it like an image body. It’s not whole concealment, but it surely helps with the “Yup, that’s some black digital field” profile most routers have.

Once more, nevertheless, we need to emphasize that the very best apply is at all times to only depart your Wi-Fi router and different Wi-Fi gear free within the open air.

Must you mess around will concealing your router for aesthetic causes and discover that your Wi-Fi sign isn’t what it was, it’s value both switching to a mesh system to get that low-profile decor vibe you need or ditching the protecting and utilizing your router “bare” once more.

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