Moving Your Router to Another Room: A Step-by-Step Guide
Why You Might Want to Move Your Router to Another Room
If you’re wondering how to move your router to another room, there are a few things to consider before getting started. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Your router needs a wired connection to the internet, so to move it to another room, you need a wired connection to the internet in the new room—there’s no getting around that. If you don’t have a line running to the room, the easiest way to get one installed is to go through your internet provider.
Once you have an active internet connection in the new room, moving the router is just a matter of hooking it up to the active line and a power outlet. We’ll provide a full breakdown of all the details and steps required to move your router.
First, here are the basic steps to moving your router:
Step 2: Connect the modem and router to the internet line in the new room and to a power outlet.
Step 3: Test the connection.
Step 4: Terminate any unused lines.
Install an internet line to the new room
You need a networking cable that connects the new room to the internet. If you have cable or fiber internet, you need a coaxial cable line. If you have DSL, you need a phone line.
Check if an existing line is active
If you already have the connection you need in the room, that doesn’t always mean the connection is active. The fastest way to find out if a line is active is to simply connect your modem and router to it and see if they go online. If the modem goes online, the line is active.
If the modem fails to go online, you need to activate the line. We recommend having a tech from your internet service provider (ISP) do it because the process can be complex and potentially dangerous.
Install a new line
The best way to get a new line installed is to go through your ISP. It’s doable on your own, but we don’t recommend it. Internet providers typically don’t charge that much for this service—the cost is usually comparable to the install fee. The tech can also check the integrity of your network while they’re there.
There are two different ways you can install cabling:
You can have the cable enter from the outside of the house or another room through a hole drilled in the wall. If you go this route, you have to live with a visible cable tacked to your baseboards—it usually comes out looking pretty tidy, though.
Alternatively, you can have the cable run through the walls and enter the room via an outlet—this is called wallfishing and usually costs a little extra. If you want this, make sure you specify that when making your appointment.
Installing a standalone router in a different room than your modem
The best way to move your router is to move both your modem and router to the new location. But, if you have a separate modem and router, you have the option of moving just the router. To do so, you need to run an Ethernet cable from the modem in the old room to your router in the new room.
For troubleshooting purposes and general network tidiness, it’s best to have your modem and router in the same location. If your active internet connection isn’t in the room you want it in, have an ISP tech run the appropriate networking cable (coaxial cable or phone line) to your preferred location. Moving just the router can be a good option if you can’t install a coaxial or phone cable in the new room, but you can install or already have installed an Ethernet cable in the new room.
DIY your own Ethernet line
If you’re feeling handy, you can always run your own Ethernet line to the new room. Most of the major hardware stores even carry special staples that allow you to neatly tack the cable along your baseboards—it can come out looking pretty clean. Just make sure to purchase enough cable to run around corners and over doorways. Take a look at our Best Ethernet Cables of 2023 guide for some help choosing a good cable. You can also explore making your own cable to save a few bucks, but that will take some additional learning and time.
Do not run the cable along the open ground; even if it’s covered, it could (and probably will) eventually come loose and create a tripping hazard.
Move your modem and router
Once the new line is ready, it’s time to move your equipment to the new room. Your router needs a modem to get online, so if you have a separate modem and router, they both need to be moved. If you decide to have ISP tech set up your new line, they complete this step for you.
Step 1: Connect the coaxial cable (or phone line if you have DSL) to the port on the modem or gateway.
Step 2: Connect your router to your modem with an Ethernet cable. Your router has several Ethernet ports; use the port labeled WAN. If you have an all-in-one modem/router, skip this step.
Step 3: Plug in the power cables to your modem and router. It will take a few minutes for the devices to boot up and connect to the internet.
Close any unused coaxial cable lines
You don’t want to leave an old line open. An unused, open cable port will introduce signal interference, known as ingress, into your home network. Ingress can cause all sorts of problems, like slow speeds and disconnection issues. It causes issues for your ISP, too—so much so that if your home network is introducing a lot of interference into its network, the ISP may shut down your internet connection until it’s fixed.
Again, if you choose to go through your ISP to have the new line installed, the tech should complete this step for you.
To close off an unused coaxial port, you need a coaxial terminator and maybe a coaxial barrel connector. Coaxial terminators are metal caps that screw onto the cable and seal it off, insulating your home network from ingress.
You need the barrel connector if you’re terminating an open cable, as the barrel screws into the open cable and provides threads for the terminator cap to screw onto. If you’re closing off a coaxial wall outlet, you can just screw the terminator directly onto the wall outlet.
Alternatives to moving your router
You can get both wired internet and Wi-Fi to a specific area without relocating your router to a different room. If you just need a bit more range, you could try repositioning your router slightly or removing Wi-Fi obstacles.
If you need to extend your Wi-Fi in only one direction, a Wi-Fi range extender could be the answer. Wi-Fi range extenders repeat your router’s Wi-Fi signal, which causes a bit of latency and slows down your speeds. So they’re best for extending Wi-Fi for casual use.
Powerline extenders use the existing power lines in your walls to create an actual wired connection from your router to the power outlet the powerline extender is plugged into. Powerline extenders provide an easy, quick way to get a fast wired connection.
Author - Austin Aguirre
Austin worked as a broadband technician installing and troubleshooting countless home internet networks for some of the largest ISPs in the U.S. He became a freelance writer in 2020 specializing in software guides. After graduating with a BS in technical communication from Arizona State University, he joined the team at HighSpeedInternet.com where he focuses on home network improvement and troubleshooting.
Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong
Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.