While smart home tech is getting a little more conscious of the design side of things, it still has a long way to go. In the meantime, there are all these ‘creative’ ways that people have come up with to try to make their smart home tech fit into their design-centric lives and living spaces. I have seen a lot of suggestions on how to hide your router, including making it look like a single book, or even a row of books neatly placed on your desk. While I can see how these ideas might resonate for anyone out there that is a self-proclaimed neat freak, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to stop trying to hide your router. This is one DIY project that I just can’t get behind.
There is one good reason that you should listen to me. All these cute techniques for hiding your router are dangerous, and they could lead to disaster for your family.
Your router is an electronic device that runs constantly. It can get hot, and it needs to be able to vent to avoid overheating. When you stick your router in a decorative box, or enclose it in a fake book, you block those vents that allow the hot air to flow out and the cool air to be pulled in. While the best case scenario is that your router overheats, the worst case scenario is that it could actually cause a fire.
And if that isn’t enough to scare you out of making a decorative box for your router, consider this: anything that blocks your router can cause a slower connection. That’s right – slowed access to the Internet, several long seconds to for a video to buffer, delayed receipt and delivery of emoticon-filled text messages. We should be well past the days where we hold our phones up trying to get a bar of service – but that’s where you could revert to if you can’t play nice with the way your router looks.
So, the next time the people that you live with complain about how your router looks, you can tell them this ‘ugly’ scene is the price they have to pay to stay ‘connected.’ Or if you want to be less dramatic, fill them in on the safety risks of hiding the router, and offer some of these solutions as ways to make it more pleasing to the eye: place a large photo frame in front of the router; put the router on its own special shelf, off of the main desk area (either above or below your desk); go with the theme and decorate the entire space with a technology theme; use the fake book idea, but don’t enclose the router – instead just put the ‘books’ around it, leaving enough space for it to properly vent.
Have you experimented with a technique to try to hide your router? Did you find an alternative, safe way to hide your router? Share your story with me in the comments section.