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Christmas Gift Guide
Smart Home

Why hiding your router is a terrible idea

Before you declare your router an eyesore and banish it to a basket, read this.

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If you hide your router in a book it may overheat.

Alina Bradford

Do-it-yourself blogs and Pinterest users love sharing the idea of hiding Wi-Fi routers in hollowed-out books or pretty boxes, wrapping them in gift wrap, or putting them in drawers.

Here's why that's a terrible idea.

Take a look at your router. You'll notice the enclosure has vents on the sides, which allow hot air to flow out of the router and cool air to flow in. Those vents prevent overheating the delicate circuitry inside.

A pretty box, a hollowed out book, a drawer or a basket can prevents hot air from circulating out of the router, raising the temperature of the device. Ultimately, it could cause your router to overheat.

Even if your router doesn't overheat, tucking it away may slow down your connection. Obstructions around your box can make the signal weaker or spotty throughout your home.

A better way to blend your router in with the decor is to place it behind a picture frame, or set it on a bookshelf. Just make sure that the modem or router has at least 4 inches (10 centimeters) of clearance on each side to give it good air flow.