No matter where you go, the most common way to set up a private home network and connect to the internet is with a wireless router. Some households may even have more than one depending on if the individuals living there have their own wireless router and ISP. So what happens if you place them next to each other? Do they conflict with one another, or is it fine to do so? Let’s find out.
Two wireless routers can be placed next to each other without the fear that they will conflict with one another. Due to their design in terms of access and how they set up a network unless another router is explicitly set up to communicate with another, it will not be able to. Moreover, the radio waves that the router produces will not conflict with each other either.
This article will first cover wireless routers with a general overview, and you need to read that before figuring out the question that has been posed. Then we will take a look at if routers can be placed next to each other regarding the accessibility of other routers, networks, and devices and then how it sends signals through the air.
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Wireless router overview
Let’s quickly take a look at what a WiFi router is to better understand how they work, and then we will be able to know if they can indeed be placed in close proximity to one another and work fine or will they conflict with each other.
A wireless router will perform the dual function of a wireless access point and a router. It will typically provide access to the internet and provide you with a private network. That means you would connect to it with your device (computer, tablet, smartphone), allowing you to access the internet and enabling you to see other devices on the network (if they are visible) with which you could share files and resources.
A wireless router will essentially create a private network by having its own private IP address (you can think of an IP address like a street address) and assigning other private IP addresses (IP addresses that are not visible on the internet) to devices that are connected to it. Furthermore, it will be given a public IP address (an IP address that is registered and visible on the internet), typically provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider), so that it has access to the internet.
It is important to note that besides having a private IP address, a wireless router is also defined by its name (the network’s name), and when you try to connect to it, its name will be visible and not its IP address.
Furthermore, it is not uncommon for routers to have the same private IP address if they are not connected to each other because their name defines them as well as their public IP address. This is because, as we said, when connecting to the internet, it is assigned a public IP, and its private IP is only ever used to function on its or a private network.
A typical private IP address that a wireless router will have will look something like 192.168.0.1 or 10.0.0.1, while its public IP might look like 22.214.171.124. You can check your public IP address by typing “what’s my IP” into Google. The name of the network of your wireless router might be something like “home network” or “bobs WiFi.”
The last thing we need to understeers and about a wireless router is that because it will typically be a private network, access to it will be restricted. That means you will need credentials (a username and password) to connect to it, and hence other devices such as computers, smartphones, and even other routers won’t be able to connect to it unless they have been giving access or they have been set up to do so.
Can two wireless routers be placed next to each other?
Now that we understand what a router is and how it functions, we can comprehend that they can be placed next to each other without the fear that they will affect each other in any way. In fact, you can have more than two routers placed next to each other, although there are no actual or practical situations that call for this to be implemented.
As we know now, a wireless router is a networking device that provides other devices that are connected to it, access to the internet, and access to its private network, but it is restricted. That means That even if they are placed next to each other, they won’t be able to connect to each other, and devices on those specific router networks won’t be visible to one another unless those devices or routers have direct access or have been set up so that they can see and communicate with each other.
What about the wireless router’s signal?
The way by which a wireless router sends its signal of the air is by radio waves. Radio waves are a form of electromagnetic radiation that has wavelengths within the electromagnetic spectrum. Going into detail about how radio waves work is far beyond the scope of this article, but the essential factor to consider is that they are generated by a transmitter and are picked up by a receiver.
Furthermore, these waves are invisible to the naked eye, have a fixed distance they can travel depending on how powerful the transmitter is, and span in all directions when they are transmitted.
Due to their nature, radio waves do not conflict or interfere with one another. Think about the radio in your car. There are many radio stations to choose from when you decided to put one on in your vehicle, and they do not block each other out, do they? You can switch from station to station as you are driving and get a clear reception for any of them (assuming you in range and you have an antenna). The only way in which signals would be blocked in terms of being sent or received is if a device was placed in some sort of Faraday cage (a shield that blocks electronic signals).
This means that placing two wireless routers side by side will not have any impact on one another when it comes to their signals interfering with one another or their signals being received by the devices that are trying to connect to them.
Furthermore, placing two wireless routers next to each other will not impact the signal strength of either of them in any way, and they will both function correctly. The only thing to consider is how far away from your device the wireless router is when trying to connect to one of them.
We discovered that wireless routers are networking devices that function and operate at a level of proficiency that does not allow them to conflict with each other even when they are placed next to each other. Due to how they are designed in terms of restricted access and addressing you would have to specifically connect two routers together over WiFi via the router settings or with a LAN cable if you want them to operate with one another (essentially increasing the size of the network).
Furthermore, a wireless router sends signals through the air with radio waves, and radio waves do not conflict with one another. You can literally have thousands of radio wave frequencies in the air at one time without them interfering or stopping each other.
This means that if you are in a situation where you need to place two wireless routers next (perhaps two individuals in the same house have different ISPs to connect to the internet and have their own wireless router) to each other, it will be perfectly fine to do so.