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The proper way to mount your Apple wireless base station

A question we get asked frequently is "Can my AirPort Extreme/Time Capsule be mounted vertically/upside down and not affect the performance of the wireless signal?". The short answer is yes, it can- but with some caveats. Let's first take a look at why you would want to mount your AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule.

Get 'er up there!
Mounting your wireless antennae as high as possible will always give you a better signal than if it is sitting on the desk, on a bookcase, or on the floor. The concept is simple. The higher the antenna, the less objects a signal has to pass through and, thus, greater range should be the consequence. In nearly every instance, mounting your wireless antenna higher will result in better signal strength and speed. Each time the signal has to travel through an object- especially dense objects such as metal desks, etc- the signal degrades and speed drops off. Take look at the radio and television antennae in your area. They're always tall towers stationed at the highest possible point in your area. So, height is key. The higher, the better.

Central station
What about laterally? A centrally-located base station is always best. Meaning, if you placed your base station in the most center part of where you plan to install it (assuming as high as you can place it as well), the better your signal will be overall. This should be obvious, but we've seen a number of customers place their base station in a corner of the house and wonder why the signal is weaker on the other corner of the house. It's just as simple as the height issue- more objects to travel through. Of course, not everyone can locate their base station centrally for a number of reasons. Just do your best to get your base station to the most central part of where it will be installed and you should see consistent performance all around.

Going vertical
When Apple released the latest AirPort Extreme and, subsequently, Time Capsule, they changed the antennae array. While both Apple and H-Squared have confirmed that the base stations perform equally well in either orientation, there are reasons to believe that, from a technical standpoint, both AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule spread their signal better laterally when oriented horizontally versus vertically. At H-Squared, our Time Capsule has been mounted vertically since day 1 and gives us full strength around the entire facility. That said, your personal mileage may vary. If you're noticing the performance has degraded once mounting the base station, you may want to try our Horizontal Adapter product which allows you to still mount your base station high, but in a vertical orientation.

So, there you have it- short and sweet. The key theme is as high as possible and as centrally-located as possible. Then, you'll just have to see if a vertical or horizontal orientation works best for your installation. Should you have any questions pertaining to your specific installation, feel free to contact us anytime.