A basement is not the best spot. Think of a sphere of radio waves eminating from the router, if you put the router on the main floor and ignore any obstacles, it will reach the furthest distance horizontally at the ground level.
It is important to consider what sort of large appliances or metal ducts, etc might be in between the router and where you need the signal. Putting the router upstairs is a good idea because the signal would come from above with less obstacles in the way to block the signal.
Common antennas emit the strongest signal horizontally when the antenna itself is aligned vertically, kind of like this: ( I )
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