If you live in a medium to large house or business, chances are your one WiFi router will not be enough to cover your whole home. You will end up with dead spots or places where the connection is slow and unresponsive. This will never do in the mobile world we live in today. So, here are some ways to provide coverage to your whole home.
First, let’s go over the components of your home network.
Your internet starts at the modem, either being a cable or fiber modem. This piece pulls the internet signal out of the glass fiber cable or the copper coax cable, separating it from TV and phone services that are sent through those cables.
From the modem, the internet is sent to your router, which is responsible for directing all of your home’s internet traffic to the right place. But, before the router can start routing your request, you must connect to it first, and there are two ways of doing so. First, you can use an ethernet cable to plug your device directly into your router. This will give you a solid and reliable experience without worrying about your connection dropping. However, in the mobile world we live in today, an Ethernet port is not a guarantee. That’s where WiFi comes in.
Some routers have antennas on the outside, while others hide the antennas inside the box. Either way, the WiFi signal is broadcasted outwards in a radius, picture something like a sonar scanner. The closer you are to your router, the faster your speeds will be. The further away and the more opticals between you and your router, the slower your speeds will be until your connection is eventually disconnected, creating a dead spot.
With that overview out of the way, let’s see how to eliminate those WiFi dead zones. Quick note, here I’m only going over the basics. In future videos, I will break down how to set up each of the solutions.
The cheapest option is to get a range extender. You can get a good one for about $50. A range extender does exactly what it says, it extends the range of your WiFi. Plug the extender into a neutral area where it can get a solid connection from the main router, but can also extend it to a wider area.
Here’s one of my problems with range extenders, you have to create another WiFi network. For example, you have your main router on the left side of your house, and you put a range extender in the middle of your house. The WiFi extender will boost your connection and cover the right side of your house. But, unfortunately, this solution is not as simple as being able to walk from one side of your house to the other and automatically jump between your main router and WiFi extender. Instead, you will have to change the WiFi network you are connected to as you go from one side of the house to the other. That’s where a Mesh network comes in.
Setup with a mesh network is about the same as a WiFi extender, with more focus on the software aspect. You see, most mesh networks come with a mobile app that guides you through configuring your WiFi for the best experience. It may have you plug it into one place, run some tests, and tell you if it’s a good location. On top of the guided setup, all of the nodes broadcast the same WiFi network. So, as you move from one side of the house to the other it will automatically switch you to whichever satellite will give you the best results. Also, each satellite is a full router which allows each node to do its own processing.
There’s one problem with both a range extender and a mesh setup, both of these solutions can only rebroadcast the same, or slower, WiFi speeds they are receiving. For example, you’re paying for 100mbps internet. But, due to distance from your main router and opticals, your mesh child node, or range extender, can only receive a 50mbps connection from the main router. So, 50mbps is the max that extender can output. For some, that may do the trick, but others may want max speeds throughout their home.
This is where things get a bit more complex. In order for a range extender to rebroadcast your network’s full capacity, you will need to plug that extender directly into your main router using an ethernet cable. But, depending on the structure this can be a tedious task running internet cables to every corner of your home, especially for residential consumers. Instead of running ethernet cables, there’s one other possible solution, PowerLine.
Getting a PowerLine adapter will let you use your existing electrical wiring to also supply the internet. Before going any further, let me warn you that your experience may vary. There could be many things hidden behind your walls that can interfere with your internet or even filter it out compliantly. But, if you want to try it here’s how it works, you have two adapters. One injects internet into the power outlet and needs to be plugged in next to the router. Another adapter attempts to pull the internet out. It may take a bit of trial and failure to get that second adapter in the right place. And just like that, you’re sending the internet through your walls. You can then grab the internet in one of two ways, most have an ethernet port that you can plug into your desktop device, while others have a range extender built-in.
And there you go, those were some ways to make sure you get a strong WiFi connection anywhere in your home. Out of all of these solutions, I would recommend going with a mesh setup as it is newer and more robust. However, if you’re just trying to get the job done cheaply, a range extender could be your solution. Or if you don’t want to deal with any of this yourself you can contact your internet provider who should be able to come out to your home, figure out the best solution for you, install it, and offer support, all for a monthly equipment rental fee. Or if you want to try doing it yourself, stay tuned as I plan on making in-depth examples on how to set up each of these WiFi-extending solutions.
If you enjoyed this video, be sure to like, subscribe, and hit the bell icon to be notified when those videos are released. To learn more about these solutions, check out the links in the description below along with our website, social media pages, and Patreon where you can directly support this channel. Once again, thank you so much for watching, and I will see you in the next one.
- Wikipedia: Router – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Router_(computing)
- Wikipedia: Cable Modem – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_modem
- Wikipedia: Wi-Fi – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi
- Lifewire: Understanding Wi-Fi and How it Works – https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-wi-fi-2377430
- PC Mag: The Best Wireless Range Extenders for 2021 – https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-wireless-range-extenders
- CNET: Best mesh routers for 2021 – https://www.cnet.com/home/internet/best-mesh-wi-fi-router/
- DigitalTrends: Is WiFi too unreliable? PowerLine networking may be what you need – https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/everything-you-need-to-know-about-powerline-networking/