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How To Improve Your Home WiFi Network

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In this post I’m going to suggest how to improve your home WiFi network by strengthening your WiFi signal around the house and garden. I’m a network engineer and I’ve been working in IT for over 20 years. I specialise in WANs (Wide Area Networks) and of course what I’m about to talk about are LANs (Local Area Networks), so if anything I’m about to say can be improved upon in any way feel free to comment below with your suggestions.

Working From Home

Many of us are working from home more often than not and even though we may have thought this was a temporary arrangement (during the Coronavirus pandemic, for example) we may find that it has become permanent once companies realise that they don’t need as many people occupying their expensive offices.

So it’s really important that we make the best use of the WiFi networks we have at our disposal at home.

Broadband Bandwidth

That said, it’s worth remembering that what I’m about to explain is how to boost your WiFi signal around your property.  It won’t do anything to increase the bandwidth from your home to the internet. 

If you’re lucky then you may have a fibre optic cable from the nearest green telecommunication junction box in the street to your home, but many of us still have only a copper cable.  Copper cabling severely limits your bandwidth in comparison to fibre optic cabling.  So you may have to wait until they upgrade the network in your area or until 5G is available to you.

How To Improve Your Home Wifi Network

How to improve your home network

Anyway, here’s how to improve your home WiFi network by strengthening your WiFi signal.

My existing broadband router creates a WiFi network with a limited range, given all the walls and ceilings in the house and I wanted to install a pair of No products found. on the opposite side of the house and found the usual options for connecting to the router were not practical.

  • It would be too expensive to install a cable from the camera to the router
  • The WiFi signal was too weak on the other side of the house
  • Using a pair of No products found. didn’t work because the two plugs were on different electrical rings. For other connections this idea works well enough e.g. connecting the TV to the router.

So I considered the fourth option which is to boost the WiFi signal.  

At first I tried a simple plug-in WiFi range extender in the form of a NETGEAR Wi-Fi Booster Range Extender EX3700. This works well enough in terms of boosting the WiFi signal from my existing router but the boost didn’t extend far enough into the garage area where I needed it for the security cameras.

Then I wondered if I should put another router in the garage and bridge from the new (TP-Link) router to the existing router, but that proved unsuccessful too due to the poor signal strength.

So then I found the No products found.. I bought the pack of three (there are other options with fewer or more units) and put one next to my existing router, another in the kitchen (where I had previously plugged the range extender), and the third in the garage, which I then cabled to the second router.

I then attached the two security cameras to a PoE (Power over Ethernet) hub and attached that to the TP-Link router. The TP Link Deco units form a new WiFi network so I was able to bridge this network across to my existing network by configuring WDS bridging on the new TP-Link router.  No changes were needed on the existing router.

The net result of all this is that I have two WiFi networks in the house, the second of which is for my security cameras and for use by any other device that’s out of range from the first network. The only disadvantage I’ve found so far is that the printer is only accessible if my device is connected to the first network but that’s a minor hitch.

If all this sounds a bit complicated then that’s because it is a bit fiddly if you haven’t done it before and there may be a neater way of doing this.  Feel free to suggest a way below.

Here’s a list of the kit I used to test these ideas

WiFi Range Extender Plug

Netgear Ex3700-100Uks Ac750 Wifi Range Extender 802.11N/Ac 1-Port Wall-Plug External Antennas
7,833 Reviews
NETGEAR EX3700-100UKS AC750 WiFi Range Extender 802.11n/ac 1-Port Wall-Plug External Antennas
  • EXTENDED WIRELESS COVERAGE: Adds Wi-Fi range coverage up to 1000 sq ft, and connects up to 15 devices such as laptops, smartphones, speakers, IP cameras, tablets, IoT devices, and more. Technical Support on 03448 754000
  • AC750 WI-FI SPEED: Provides up to 750Mbps performance using dual-band and patented FastLane(TM) technology.
  • UNIVERSAL COMPATIBILITY: Works with any wireless router, gateway, or cable modem with Wi-Fi.
  • WIRED ETHERNET PORT: Simply plug in game consoles, streaming players, or other nearby wired devices using the one 10/100M port for maximum speed.
  • SAFE & SECURE: Supports WEP and WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols..SIMPLE TO SETUP: Press the WPS button to connect to your router. Use the NETGEAR Wi-Fi Analyzer app for optimal location.

Household WiFi Mesh System

No products found.

TP-Link Router

Tp-Link N450 Wifi Router - Wireless Internet Router For Home (Tl-Wr940N)
22,727 Reviews
TP-Link N450 WiFi Router - Wireless Internet Router for Home (TL-WR940N)
  • Wireless N speed up to 450Mbps, ideal for bandwidth-intensive tasks like HD video streaming, VoIP, and online gaming. Not compatible with phoneline internet.
  • 802.11n technology, 15x faster with 5x the range of 802. 11g, Three antennas for increased coverage and stability, System Requirements - Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7, Windows8/ 8.1/10, MAC OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux
  • IP based bandwidth control allows you to determine how much bandwidth is allotted to each device, WPS button for one-touch wireless security encryption
  • Parental Controls to manage Internet access on children's or employees's computers, Industry-leading 2-year and unlimited 24/7 technical support.
  • 450Mbps wireless speed is only for TL-WR940N V3 while the earlier version is 300Mbps. It is a combined wired/wireless network connection device designed specifically for small business and home office networking requirements. You could easily pick up the wireless network during long-distance connection where legacy 11g products may not

Powerline plugs for connecting two devices on the same electrial ring

No products found.

Easy to install PoE security cameras

No products found.

MicroSD cards for the security cameras

Sandisk 64Gb Ultra Microsdxc Uhs-I Memory Card With Adapter - 100Mb/S, C10, U1, Full Hd, A1, Micro Sd Card - Sdsquar-064G-Gn6Ma
400,264 Reviews
SanDisk 64GB Ultra MicroSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - 100MB/s, C10, U1, Full HD, A1, Micro SD Card - SDSQUAR-064G-GN6MA
  • Ideal for Android Smartphones and Tablets, and MIL Cameras
  • Capacities up to 512GB (1GB=1,000,000,000 bytes; Actual user storage less) to store even more hours of Full HD video (Approximations; Results and Full HD (1920x1080) video support may vary based on host device, file attributes and other factors)
  • Up to 100MB/s transfer read speed (Based on internal testing; Performance may be lower depending on host device, interface, usage conditions and other factors) lets you move up to 1000 photos in a minute (Based on 4.1GB transfer of photos (Average file 3.5MB) with USB 3.0 reader; Results may vary based on host device, file attributes and other factors)
  • Load apps faster with A1 rated performance (A1 Performance is 1500 read IOPS, 500 write IOPS; Based on internal testing; Results may vary based on host device, app type and other factors)
  • Class 10 for Full HD video recording and playback (Full HD (1920x1080) video support may vary based upon host device, file attributes, and other factors)

Power over Ethernet (PoE) hub for the cameras

Tp-Link (Tl-Sf1005P) 5-Port 10/100 Unmanaged Desktop Switch, 4 Port Poe, Steel Case
2,110 Reviews
TP-LINK (TL-SF1005P) 5-Port 10/100 Unmanaged Desktop Switch, 4 Port PoE, Steel Case
  • Note: This item is UK spec and comes with a Type G power plug. A separate US universal adapter will be given so that you can use it in the US.
  • With four PoE ports, transfers data and power on one single cable
  • Working with IEEE 802.3af compliant PDs, expands home and office network
  • Supports PoE Power up to 15.4W for each PoE port
  • Supports PoE Power up to 58W for all PoE ports

Last update on 2023-03-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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