Buying a router for a house is not always straightforward, especially if you have a 2-story house. In order to have the best coverage possibly, you need to make sure that you have the best router for 2 story house. But what features should you be looking for?
The features that you should be looking for will depend on the size of your house as well as how you are using the internet.
From the square footage of your house to the amount of bands that you should be looking for, there are many factors to take into consideration.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Router For A 2 Story House
House Size (Square Footage)
The size and layout of your house is a big factor that you should consider when looking at routers. A router is only capable of reaching so far, so if your home exceeds a router’s range, you will be disappointed. Are you looking for the best router for a 2000 sq ft, 2500 sq ft, 3000 sq ft or 4000 sq ft house?
For larger networks, a mesh system is a great choice, because you can always add on more points when you need to. Sometimes the layout of your home can also interrupt the radio signal from a router, so consider the shape of your home as well.
The best router for 2000 sq ft house will be different than the best router for 4000 sq ft house.
Wireless Range & Number Of Bands (2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz)
The amount of bands that your router has as well as its wireless range should also be taken into consideration. The 2.4GHz channel is by far the most common and, in some cases, can be the most congested.
But, the 2.4GHz channel has better range than the 5GHz channel does. You should still aim to have both, however, because it can help you optimize what devices get what range and ensure that devices that are far from the base still get good coverage.
You might be thinking that antennas are a little archaic or obsolete. But that is not the case. Your router works off of radio frequencies and your antennas are what can shoot that signal toward the devices that you want to receive it.
The amount of antennas that you need depends on the space of your network as well as the location of the router. If it is centrally located, you might want antennas shooting the signal in multiple directions if you have devices all over. Antennas allow you to focus the signal in a specific direction.
QoS and MU-MIMO Features
Whether you need QoS and MU-MIMO depends on your network’s internet usage. The QoS feature means that the devices that should be receiving the uninterrupted signal will be able to receive uninterrupted signal.
MU-MIMO technology means that more than one user and device can stream at the same time with the same amount of power. If you need either of these features, make sure that the router that you are shopping for has them listed.
5 Best Routers For A 2 Story House (2020)
1. Netgear Orbi
5000 Sq Ft
2. Eero Pro WiFi
4500 Sq Ft
3. Motorola MR2600
2000 Sq Ft
4. Google WiFi Pack
4500 Sq Ft
5. Netgear AX8
2500 Sq Ft
1. Netgear Orbi Home Mesh WiFi System
Best Router For A 2 Story House (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best router for a 2 story house is the Netgear Orbi. This is a mesh system that allows you to customize the range and shape of your network.
The Orbi system has four LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports, which mean you can plug in any device that you need to in order to have that extra guarantee that you will not be kicked offline if someone else logs on.
The Wi-Fi points are much easier to hide. Mesh systems allow you to add in more access points as you go in case your network extends beyond the reach of the basic points.
The Orbi system is made to cover every inch of your network, eliminating any dead zones that you might normally experience. With the mesh system, the Orbi can get 5,000 square feet of consistent coverage, all with speeds up to 30 Gbps. As you add in more access points, you can extend the coverage even further.
The tri-band technology of the Orbi system allows you to maintain speed even as other devices hop onto your Wi-Fi. So when you are in the middle of streaming, your speed will not be interrupted if someone within your network hops online and begins to stream as well. This is so important with any modern home network, but even more so with heavy streaming networks.
2. Eero Pro Mesh Wi-Fi System
If your 2 story house needs a high performance router, we suggest the Eero Pro. This is a great Tri-band mesh system that was made to work for 5 bedroom houses.
The design of the Eero is actually pretty great. It is the slimmest mesh system that we have seen. The points can be made virtually invisible due to its small size and white casing.
It comes with two Ethernet ports that can allow you to wire in devices directly if you need to. The setup of this system is also incredibly easy. You just need to place the beacons throughout the network for great coverage.
The Eero system is made to easily cover a 5-bedroom house, but if you need coverage that goes beyond that, each added point will further extend the coverage. It has tri-band coverage, which means there is one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands, allowing you to do more from every location throughout your network.
It also comes with a beacon that can add an additional 1,000 square feet to your coverage. Luckily, you can add as many beacons as you want, extending the coverage as far as you might need it to go. The Wi-Fi it supplies is ideal for entertainment, whether you are streaming or gaming, and allows it from any point in your home.
3. Motorola MR2600 WiFi Smart Router
If you are more in the market for a budget friendly router for your 2 story house, we suggest you take a look at the Motorola MR2600.
Design-wise, the MR2600 is a horizontal router and it is not built to be vertical. There are four Gigabit LAN ports that let you connect the devices that you need to, however, which is always a nice feature to have in a router. This AC2600 router also will give you a USB3.0 port, Smart QoS support, a fire wall, parental controls, and so many other features that should keep you happy.
This router also comes with four adjustable external antennas. The antennas provide concurrent performance across both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands, which should help you avoid too much congestion on your network.
The MR2600 router has the Wave 2 MU-MIMO technology that any streaming network should have. You should be able to get consistent and reliable speeds throughout your network as well with the Beamforming feature.
This router has the QoS settings that will keep the devices that you don’t want to be interrupted running strong, even when another device hops on your network. You do not want to be buffering in the middle of a game because someone else starts streaming a movie in another room.
4. Google Wi-Fi System 3 - Pack
Great Option For A 2500 Sq Ft House
Another great choice for a 2-story house is the Google Wi-Fi System. This is a reliable mesh system that can reach up to 4500 square feet of coverage, using only the points that come with it.
The Google System comes with three Wi-Fi points that will eliminate dead spots throughout your network. You can purchase additional points if you need to extend your coverage even further, making this ideal for large spaces and buildings that might have obstacles obstructing your range.
Appearance-wise, the Google Wi-Fi System, you will notice right away that it is white without any external antennas. This means it is easier to blend in with your home décor and easier to conceal.
Each of the three points that are included with the package have their own LAN port in addition to being a Wi-Fi point, so you gain two Gigabit Ethernet ports in each point. You can wire a device directly at any point, ensuring that your devices can be as connected as you need them to be.
The Google Wi-Fi system can cover up to 1500 square feet without dead spots with each individual point that comes with it. If you need more coverage, you can always get more points to extend it further.
5. Netgear Nighthawk RAX80
If you are considering the design of your router, you really can’t do better than the Netgear Nighthawk RAX80. This is an amazing system with an impressive 8 simultaneous streams.
This router looks different than many other routers and is pretty space-age, making it one of the most interesting router designs that you can get and certainly is one of the most modern-looking routers out there. Instead of antennas, the router comes with fins that are designed to extend your range and the power of your signal. Combined with the Beamforming+, this router has great range.
This router also has 5 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices, giving you a lot of chances to wire in the devices that really can’t lose signal or be affected by other users or devices that are on the network.
If you really need the best performance from your router, the RAX80 has 8 simultaneous streams going at once. That means that many people on different devices can stream at the same time without losing any speed.
It comes with MU-MIMO technology, further allowing multiple users at the same time. Power-wise, it is designed with a 64-bit, 1.8GHz quad-core processor, ensuring you get all of the power that you could ever want from your home router.
Where To Place The Wireless Router In Your 2 Story House
The location of your wireless router in your 2 story house will make a huge difference in the performance of your wireless network.
You will want to make sure that you follow these points when deciding the best location for your wireless router.
1. Place Your Wireless Router In A Central Location
Your router should be placed in the center of your home so that the wifi signals can travel from your router to the far reached of your home in a shorter time.
The less distance it has to cover, the better your connectivity will be. This way dead spots are more visible and easy to eliminate.
2. Avoid Placing It Near Obstacles And Metal Objects
Certain building materials and objects such as metals, glass, water and more are obstacles that will absorb the signal, making it weaker.
Your kitchen is not a place where we would recommend you place your router. The further away, the better. Also, not parking your router next to an aquarium.
3. Walls Are Not Your Friends
Walls will really weaken your signal strength, so the more walls you have between the router and the client, the weaker your signal will be, which will in turn affect the overall performance.
Your router’s signal can travel through floors and ceiling better than travelling through multiple walls.
4. Microwaves Are A Big No No
Have you noticed that your internet drops or slows down every time someone is using the microwave? Your router operates on dual bands – 2.4GHz and 5Ghz.
Many household objects operate on the same frequency as the 2.4GHz band and this can cause fluctuation in connectivity if a kitchen appliance is operating. Keep your router far away from the disruptive radiation coming from the kitchen.
5. Keep It High Up
Routers beam out radio waves and these signals travel downwards and spread out form the source.
This is why you should keep your router ideally in a high shelf or mount it higher up – on a wall or ceiling so that you enjoy good connectivity, even if your home has two floors.
6. Adjust Your Antennas
The direction of your antennas can boost your signal. An antenna placed horizontally will allow your signal to travel up better, while a vertically positioned antenna helps the signal to travel further laterally.
If you have two antennas, cover all bases and point one in each direction – up and sideways. If you don’t have any, place your router the way it was built to be placed. Don’t flip your router if it’s meant to be standing up.
7. Avoid People
We did mention aquariums, but we’re sure you’ve forgotten that humans are mostly water – so placing your router in a room where there are lots of people could worsen your internet connection.
If your home is not too large with multiple devices, you could go in for the Motorola MR2600, if you have a large space (3000 sq ft or 4000 sq ft) that needs to be covered, then the Netgear Orbi Mesh System is the best router for a 2 story house that you can get.
Your internet speed will also determine which router you should choose. However, in our eyes, it is always good to future proof your home, so we would suggest going in for our Editor’s pick as it is simple to set up, while offering excellent range and performance over a large area.