FROM THE FRONT LINES: Router in a dresser drawer?

Come on, folks… I know routers are ugly. I know they’re big and have all sorts of flashy lights and you don’t want them in your house. Yeah, I get it. I know that even if you consider them a necessary evil, your significant other probably doesn’t.

I’ve seen it myself, and we recently worked with a customer who complained about bad network speeds. We went through all the normal steps, only to find that the router was sitting on the floor, under a bunch of pillows. Putting the router up higher and making sure it was uncovered fixed the problem instantly.

Here’s the worst-case scenario

Probably the most common — and worst — way to hid a router is by putting it in a drawer.  So look, I know that the tendency is going to be for you to want to hide stuff that’s ugly. Sure, I would too. But do everyone a favor and don’t hide the router by shoving it in a drawer. There are two reasons:

It’s not good for the router.

All electronic devices hate to be hot and most routers cool themselves by letting cool air flow through them. That’s why they have all those vent holes. If you put the router in a drawer you’ll make it fail faster and then you’ll have no internet. No one wants that.

If you’re renting that router from the cable company, you could have to deal with steep fees if multiple ones fail fairly quickly. Of course there’s even more of a hit on your wallet if you have to keep buying routers one after another because they fail.

It’s not good for you.

By putting a chunk of wood or metal (like a drawer) between you and the router, you’re cutting its performance by at least half, possibly more. You’re cutting the range and the speed and honestly there’s just no winning there. You have a router because you want Wi-Fi, but if you hide it you won’t get good Wi-Fi.

Let’s not forget the fire danger

Any discussion of hiding your electronics has to include the very real danger of fire. Pretty much all devices are designed with a simple circuit breaker to allow them to fail instead of catching on fire, but you can’t count on that. You can’t rely on that failsafe. Proper ventilation is absolutely critical for keeping electronics healthy, and it’s just as important for keeping you healthy.

So seriously, just keep that router out. If the lights drive you nuts, use a little masking tape over them or something. Just don’t put it in a drawer.

And, if you’re looking for an upgrade to your computer systems, your work-from-home setup, or even your home entertainment setup, you can count on Solid Signal to help you live your best digital life. Shop at our all new web site now, or call 877-312-4547 for all the free help and pre-sales support you’ll need. If it’s after east-coast business hours, fill out the form below. We’ll get back to you, usually within one business day.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 7,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.