With the recent quarantine and stay at home order, your home wifi connection is very important, especially if your work depends on it. It’s not the time for something to go wrong with it. If you’re getting a weak signal, it could be that an external antenna on your router isn’t pointed in the right direction.

While that could seem surprising, it really does matter which way the antennas are pointed. Most wifi routers send out their signal in an arched circular shape around the antenna, meaning that if your antenna is laying flat (parallel to the floor) on a surface, then your signal is going up and down more than out and around. You want to keep your antenna perpendicular (pointed straight up or down). As a side note, brick and stone degrade signal performance much faster than drywall.

As Dave Hamilton from Mac Observer writes: “This is because radio reception is maximized when both client and access point have matched polarization (antennas pointing along the same plane). Some client devices have antennas in vertical orientation, some horizontal. The current crop of MacBooks, for example, have their antennas in the black plastic part of the hinge in a horizontal orientation.”

To ensure that you are maximizing your home wifi, check to make sure that external antennas are pointed up and not being blocked by any surfaces. In offices, we worry about concrete stairwells and elevators shafts inhibiting signals—most homes don’t have that issue.

During this time, it’s important to have working internet and a solid connection so you can stay productive and connected to the community. Have questions about how to stay productive and connected? Let us know in the comments below.