While working from home, we'll all need better WiFi if we want to move our laptops around from desk to couch and back. For improving your WiFi reception, try moving the router higher up to a shelf/wall so that people (bags of water) do not impede the signals while they're sitting or walking around. Also, try a mesh router to extend the WiFi out with a fast backchannel. While ethernet is often the best option to connect, there are indeed ways to plan your device/router placements in a more optimal way. Check out this article by Leo's friend Jim Salter:
Dan has his TV set up with WiFi about 150' away from his WiFi. How can he improve the connection? Leo says the walls may cause interference. Ben could try setting his WiFi router higher up. But the better option, if possible, is to wire the TV directly to the modem. A mesh router will also help, since it can create a mesh of connectivity, with a separate backchannel. Each Satellite is connected by ethernet. It'll improve it, but it will still deal with interference. He can rewire the home with ethernet. That'll fix things. Also, powerline networking may work as well.
David lives in a poor cellular area and wants to connect his phone to his home internet. But he wants to do it wired. Leo says that WiFi is pretty fast these days and that's the way to do it. He could conceivably get a USB/Ethernet dongle and plug it directly into a router. Then it depends on the phone. Samsung has a DEX adapter. Amazon sells an iOS to an Ethernet adapter with a lightning connector. It would have to be Ethernet to USB-C and the device would have to have a driver to understand it. Most phones don't expect users to do that, so there are no drivers to support it.
Tom has four iMacs and each one is getting an error when connecting to ethernet, and can't connect to the Internet because of a "self-assigned address." But he can connect via WiFi. Leo says to go to the Network system preference pane and make sure that Ethernet is dragged to the top. Also, make sure it's using DHCP in the settings. One thing that may be causing the error is that the computer doesn't see the ethernet cable when booting up, and then gives the self-assigned address. It could also be the router itself.
Ben wants to know why he's having trouble connecting his TV with Cat 5 ethernet. Leo says to try a shorter cable. It may be a kink or a spool is causing connection issues.
Dave has an HP 6700 printer which keeps disconnecting from his network. Clearly, since Dave has replaced the router and modem, the culprit is the printer. He even tried it on a wired connection, but it still dropped off the network. So that eliminates Wi-Fi congestion as being the problem.
Louis is watching baseball games streaming online and sometimes the feed stalls. Leo says that's called buffering, and sometimes a packet drops and the feed will wait to see if it shows up out of order. Then it will insert it and move on. Sometimes, though, it just gives up and continues. There are some causes of this, including congestion from a wireless connection. But Louis can get a dual band router and use the 5Ghz band, or just connect to the router with an ethernet connection. The stream will be more reliable that way.
Matt is building a new house and has run cat 5 ethernet around the house. But should he also use a mesh router? Leo says he uses Eero at home, but here is one mesh system that's great specifically for Matt's situation: Plume. Plume sells tiny little access points that plug into the wall with an ethernet port. It's still part of a larger mesh network, but it creates very localized access from the ethernet.
Jeff wants to extend the range of HDMI to other parts of his house. But when he does, he starts to lose signal. What can he do? Leo says that Baluns are good for that. It stands for "Balanced/Unbalanced" and it will convert HDMI to ethernet and back to HDMI so that he can stretch it hundreds of feet with no signal loss at all. Jeff should check out Monoprice.
While Wi-Fi is more popular and prevalent than ever, it's still no match for a hardwired ethernet connection. But many of the new routers, especially mesh routers, don't have many ethernet ports built into them. Fortunately, if you have at least one ethernet port, you can expand that to as many as you need with a "Switch". Netgear makes some quality switches, but any unmanaged networking switch should work just fine. They all are very easy to use, as long as you get an unmanaged Switch.