Can a Cable Modem Go in a Cupboard or Cabinet?

If you’re like most people, you likely have your cable modem placed in a visible spot in your home. But there are a few reasons you might want to put your modem inside furniture, such as a cupboard or cabinet. 

Maybe you want to keep the device as well as the cables that run from it out of sight, or perhaps you’re worried about dust and other debris getting into the modem.

And this might cause you to wonder if putting your cable modem in a cupboard is a good idea. 

A cable modem should not go in a cupboard. Placing it inside an enclosed space such as a cupboard, cabinet, or wardrobe restricts airflow to the device which can result in overheating.

A modem should be placed in an open space such as the top of a shelf or table to facilitate cooling by allowing air to flow freely in and out of the device via the air vents.

If you decide to put it inside furniture, ensure it is spacious and perforated or has mesh doors that will not restrict airflow. This will prevent heat build-up within the enclosure.

Can a Wi-Fi modem be inside a cabinet?

Just like cupboards and closets, cabinets seem like an ideal place to keep your modem hidden from view. 

A Wi-Fi modem should not be put inside a cabinet. This is because cabinets are enclosed spaces that lack sufficient airflow to cool the device. Also, since Wi-Fi modems have wireless capability, tucking them inside a cabinet or closet could cause signal degradation which results in a poor Wi-Fi connection.

Can I put my modem behind my TV?

You can put a cable or DSL modem behind your TV since they use a wired connection that maintains the signal within the wires where it is not affected by surrounding signals such as those from a TV.

On the other hand, WiFi Modems (modem router combo) should not be placed behind a TV because they can suffer from signal interference and reflection which weakens the Wi-Fi signal causing a poor connection. Placing the Wi-Fi modem about 5-6 feet away from the TV is a good way to prevent this interference.

What is the best place to put my modem?

Setting up your modem can sometimes be intimidating, especially if you are unsure of the best location to put it.  

The best place to put your modem is a centrally located, open space, such as the top of a shelf, that is far from other wireless devices (to avoid signal interference), and away from direct sunlight or heat-producing appliances that could encourage overheating.

Can you lay a cable modem on its side?

modem placed on its side sideways

You may want to lay your modem on its side for several reasons such as cable management, limited space, and aesthetics. This may lead you to wonder whether a modem can be laid on its side.

Technically, modems are designed to be placed upright to allow for adequate ventilation from the top, bottom, and sides that’s why some come with vertical stands. You can lay a modem sideways as long as you are not blocking the air vents and it’s placed in an area with adequate airflow. In most cases, there is no significant impact on Wi-Fi performance despite the change in orientation.

Can you move a cable or DSL modem to another room?

At some point, you may find yourself wanting to change the location of your modem. This can be for various reasons, for example, keeping the modem out of sight from guests or using a different room as your home office.

You can move your cable or DSL modem to another room as long as the new location has a cable jack that is provisioned correctly for internet data. Otherwise, you will have to contact your cable company to install a cable jack and set it up for the Internet before moving your modem to the new location. 

Keep in mind that the cable company may charge you a small fee to have this done.

Is it safe to put a cable modem in the bedroom?

The health effects of electromagnetic radiation emitted by various electronic devices, such as smartphones, routers, microwaves, and modems, are a common concern for most people. Some people believe that the electromagnetic radiation emitted by devices such as modems and routers causes health problems such as cancer, headaches, and fatigue. 

It is not safe to put cable modems, especially Wi-Fi modems, in the bedroom because they emit small amounts of electromagnetic radiation. While there is no documented scientific evidence to prove that these waves are harmful, keeping them away from the bedroom is a great way to reduce the amount of radiation you are exposed to on a daily basis.

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Will my cable modem work in another house?

Moving to a new house can be unsettling for many reasons, one of which is ISP (Internet Service Provider) compatibility in the new location

A cable can work in another house as long as the modem is compatible with the ISP (Internet Service Provider) and you have an active internet connection in the new house. The cable jack in the new house should also be compatible with your modem for it to work.

The following video explains the process of setting up your modem and router in your house:

If you face compatibility issues, you will need to buy or lease a new modem from your cable provider to solve this problem.

Conclusion: Does it matter where I place my modem?

When picking a location for your modem, it is important to avoid putting it inside furniture such as cupboards, cabinets, and closets. Enclosed spaces are bad for modems or any other heat-producing electronic equipment because the lack of air circulation leads to overheating which is a major cause of premature hardware failure.

It is also important to place your modem some distance away from other electronic devices such as TVs and microwaves to reduce the likelihood of signal interference. 

If you ever need to move your modem to a new location, such as a bedroom or new house, always ensure it is compatible with both the cable jack and ISP in the new location.

Eustace is a technology enthusiast and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Telecommunication and Information Engineering. His passion and knowledge of computers, and technology in general, is channeled towards helping others understand complex concepts, solve problems, and make informed decisions.