Having a strong Internet connection at home allows us to stay connected. We can stream movies, play games, find out the latest news, and much, much more.
For most of us, having grown up through the evolution of the Internet has not been easy. Routers used to be damn near impossible to configure without a computer science degree; the boxes would die randomly and getting an Internet signal more than one room away from your access point was a pipe dream.
Luckily, Internet tech has come a long way in the last couple of years. Anyone can set up a router and even build their own extended networks, allowing them to get Internet in every corner of their house, including their yard.
If you are looking to create a wireless network that gives you a strong connection and coverage outdoors, then we have you covered. In this article, we are going to give you some tips for extending your WiFi network outdoors without breaking the bank or needing a "tech guy."
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Can WiFi Range be Extended?
The first thing that you should consider when looking for a stronger WiFi signal is your router's location and the quality of your router. The routers that come with your internet package are generally lousy pieces of hardware. They will most likely have poor signal in the area behind them and a weak penetrative signal that is stopped by the walls of your house.
The first step, if you are fully committed to getting a good internet signal, is to upgrade that router to a stronger model. If you decide to do this, we recommend checking out these articles:
The best routers will project a WiFi signal in all directions, creating a mesh of coverage around the house. With these routers, you should set the equipment up in the center of the house.
Upgrading your router is the first step you should take for extending your WiFi signal indoors.
Configure Your Equipment Properly
The second thing you should do is ensure that your wireless equipment is set up correctly and is updated to the latest firmware. To do this, you should google the make and model of your router followed by "Firmware Update."
Most routers will have an easy to follow guide written for them to help you do this. You should also make sure that the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz settings are configured properly. Remember, some devices will not connect to the newer 5 GHz range, so you may have to enable the 2.4 GHz range.
How can I Extend my WiFi Signal to my Backyard?
If you don't mind running cables across your house or garage, the most stable connection will come from running an ethernet cable from your main access point to a router outside in the garden.
This is the easiest method for getting strong WiFi coverage outside your house. The only trade-off is the need for a wired connection.
When looking to extend your WiFi signal to the outside, the middle ground option is to use a powerline adapter. A powerline adapter utilizes the wiring in your house to create a strong extended wireless signal.
You plug one half of the adapter into a wall outlet by your wireless router. This then connects to the router.
Next, you plug the other half into a wall outlet as close to the space you are trying to extend the WiFi range too.
You can then use the second adapter as a router and connect to that. This should allow you to access your WiFi signal from outside.
This method provides a strong connection without the need for running ethernet cables across your house. This method is also very easy to set up and should give you a strong signal and outdoor access to your WiFi network.
However, keep in mind that powerline adapters are generally the most expensive method for extending your wireless network range.
The last choice and the cheapest way to extend your WiFi range is through the use of a WiFi extender or wireless repeater.
To use a WiFi extender, you simply plug the device into a socket at the edge of the range of your existing network. The extender then connects to your home WiFi network and extends the coverage mesh by creating a second router. If you are out of range of the primary router, you can then connect to the extender.
A range extender can be an easy way to get outdoor access.
Outdoor Access Point WiFi Extenders
If you want to go one step further, or you have a large outdoor space, you could also look into weather-resistant equipment. These will be near-identical to a normal WiFi extender, with the small difference being that they are waterproof and designed to be plugged into an outdoor access point.
If you have a particularly long garden, you could use multiple wireless extenders chained together to send the signal down to where you need it. Make sure that the WiFi extender is definitely designed to be used outdoors. As well as being impervious to the elements, they are also usually more powerful.
Outdoor Extender Setup
The final and most complicated way to extend your WiFi signal is to use a wireless home bridge. These use two infra-red laser antennas to send signals across. For these to work, the two antennas must be within sight of each other to provide strong wireless coverage.
Setting a wireless bridge up in your home is a little bit more complicated than the other options on this list, so we advise you to do your research before deciding to buy one.
Setting Up a Bridge
What is the Best Way to Extend WiFi Range?
This will depend entirely on the individual situation in your home. The strongest connection you can get will be obtained through running an ethernet cable between either your device or a second router and your primary access point. This may be impractical, especially if you want an outdoor signal.
If you can afford to use Powerline Adapters, they are the best solution to the problem as they piggyback off the wiring inside your home already to boost the signal massively.
If you are on a budget, you might want to consider using an extender. They are cheap and easy, but they are not as stable or secure as the other options.
When extending your connection to an outdoor space that is particularly big, outdoor extenders are the best option for your money if you don't want to run a cable across your yard.
If you have some WiFi know-how, you might be able to get the best coverage by using a wireless bridge. Remember that the two antennas must have a clear line of sight to give a good WiFi signal. This equipment can be particularly tricky to set up and provide poor WiFi coverage when misconfigured.
A strong WiFi signal is immensely important in today's world. We need it for work, for education, for information, and for socializing.
You should not have to avoid lying in your garden simply because you have no WiFi signal. Hopefully, by following the advice we have given you here, you will no longer have that problem.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.