The Reliable Option: Mesh Wifi Systems
A mesh WiFi system works as though you had multiple WiFi extenders. By plugging nodes into multiple points around your home, mesh network systems provide whole-home WiFi coverage with a strong signal. Each node can distribute a wireless internet connection to your device. Connecting to each node happens seamlessly you wont even notice a disruption in your WiFi connection.
Mesh WiFi systems are easy to set up and have a great range of coverage, around 3,000 square feet. Thats perfect for the back yard, garage, or any other place you need better coverage.
How To Extend Wifi To A Detached Garage
Older homes werent built with Smart Technology in mind. In fact, the average home in America was built before internet or WiFi was even a thing. But these days new homes take things like WiFi and internet access more seriously. As a home builder, I consider internet access throughout a home to be just as important as plumbing, HVAC, phone, cable and electric. In fact most of our customers dont even run traditional cable and phone lines anymore. Here in New Jersey, we build a lot of detached garages because lots are often narrow and deep. Adding internet access to a detached garage can be challenging depending on where its located, what its made out of and whats in between the house and garage. Luckily I have some great ways to extend WiFi to a detached garage.
The best ways to run internet to a detached garage are:
- Run an Ethernet cable from the homes main router to a garage computer or router. A hard wire is great because youll have full signal strength.
- Install an outdoor WiFi range extender. These are better for running a WiFi signal to a detached garage than indoor range extenders because the homes exterior walls dont get in the way of the signal. Theyll also extend WiFi to your entire property.
- Use a powerline networking kit.
The great thing about all 3 of these methods is that you can use them to run WiFi to an existing detached garage and theyre easy to install.
Beef Up Your Network Security
Even if you discover that a neighbor is stealing your Wi-Fi, you don’t need to hunt them down and start a fussyou can just kick them off with a change in router security. Head back to your router’s web interface and find the option to change your password . If you don’t have a password, you absolutely need to start using one, and it needs to be strong. Without a password, your personal information is up for grabs to any amateur hacker that drives by. Choose WPA2 for the password type, since it’s far more difficult to crack than the now-outdated WEP.
If WPS is turned on, you should turn it off, since this feature makes it easier for people to crack your Wi-Fi password. If you want to let guests on your Wi-Fi without giving them access to your devices and information, you can always enable your router’s guest network, or simply wirelessly.
If you already had a passwordmaybe it was weak and easy for your neighbors to guesschanging it to something new should be sufficient to kick them off. Of course, you’ll also have to re-authenticate all of your devices, but you should be able to rest a little easier knowing that all the devices on your network belong to you.
Like What You’re Reading?
Sign up for Tips & Tricks newsletter for expert advice to get the most out of your technology.
Also Check: Can You Have Two Wireless Routers In One House
Should I Just Get A Mesh Router
One last note: If you’re living in a larger home, or if you need speeds faster than 100Mbps at range, then it’s probably worth it to go ahead and upgrade to a mesh router that comes with its own range-extending satellite devices. You’ve got more options than ever these days, and just about all of them would likely outperform a standalone router paired with a plug-in range extender like the ones tested here.
For instance, I had a three-piece TP-Link Deco M5 mesh router on hand during my 2020 tests, so I set it up and ran some speed tests alongside the four range extenders I initially tested. My average speeds stayed well above 100Mbps throughout my entire house, even in the back. Better still, I didn’t need to jump back and forth between my main network and separate extension networks. Everything was consolidated to a single, unified network and the mesh automatically routed my connection through an extender whenever it made sense. Simple!
Better still, a three-piece version of that system with a router and two extenders currently costs $150 — and it’s just one of several decent mesh setups you can get for under $200. For instance, the 2019 version of Eero’s mesh system now costs $199 for a three-pack. The AC1200 version of Netgear Orbi is another good budget mesh pick and a three-pack is available for just $140 at Walmart. Options like those are why I don’t recommend spending much more than $100 on a range extender.
Change Your Wifi Channel
Just like walkie-talkies, all WiFi routers broadcast on a certain channel. In the 2.4 GHz band, there are 11 channels, and the 5 GHz band has 45 channels. That may seem like plenty of channels to choose from, but the reality is different. Only channels 1, 6, and 11 are spaced far enough from one another to not overlap. The remaining channels can be used, but they are more likely to experience interference resulting in slowdowns, particularly in heavy use.
Thats why you should sign in to your routers administrator interface and set it to use one of the three non-overlapping channels. Which one? The one thats used the least by other WiFi networks in your area.
Don’t Miss: Spectrum Compatible Wifi Extender
Are Directional Or Omnidirectional Antennas Better
A. That depends on your needs. An omnidirectional antenna pushes your Wi-Fi signal in every direction. Its the optimal choice for covering as much nearby space as possible such as an entire floor of an office or home. A directional antenna pushes the signal in one direction, and devices get a better signal the closer they are. This is the right choice if youre trying to reach a specific spot, such as a distant home office or an outside guest house.
Changing Your Wifi Frequency For Faster Speeds
Switching your WiFi frequency to the 5Ghz band instead of the 2.4Ghz band can be an effective way of improving the WiFi speed.
Simply navigate to your modem-routers backend and customise where it displays the band. Usually itll be on the 2.4Ghz band, but its worth trying to switch it over to the 5Ghz band, or vice versa, just to see a speed improvement. Some modems wont have this option, but its worth a try if yours does.
Don’t Miss: Blink Camera Password Reset
What Is A Wifi Extender
The device does exactly what it says extends wireless signal strength throughout your home or business. That means better coverage and download speeds. By taking your existing WiFi signal and transmitting it in a given area, WiFi extenders help to reduce buffering issues and dropped connections for devices that are farther away from your router.
What Is A Wireless Mesh Network
While mesh wireless networks are more complex from a technical standpoint, they can be visualized as a series of access points distributed throughout your office that work together to form a mesh of wireless connections.
Since several nodes are connected wirelessly, the WiFi signal is broadcasted from each node around your office, providing better coverage over a wider space, making mesh wireless networks a great way to extend your WiFi range.
Mesh networks are easily scalable, as more nodes can be added for additional Wi-Fi coverage. The signal is rerouted through another node if a node fails, making Mesh WiFi networks extremely durable.
However, Mesh WiFi networks have traditionally required some relatively advanced networking knowledge to set up properly. Fortunately, new consumer-focused technologies such as Google Wi-Fi have streamlined the set-up, allowing a mesh WiFi network to be up and operating in minutes.
|Our Verdict: Mesh WiFi provides comprehensive coverage and is one of the best ways to extend your wireless network. However, these Mesh wireless solutions can be expensive.|
A mesh network may be excessive for your needs, especially if you only want to extend your WiFi to a specific area or zone.
What is the best Wireless Mesh Network? For smaller offices or a home office, we suggest the .
Larger premises will benefit from the Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Tri-band Mesh System for Business, which provides coverage of up to 9000 sq. ft. for 80 devices.
Don’t Miss: Dunkin Donuts Free Wifi Near Me
How Mesh Networks Work
Mesh networks allow multiple routers to work with each other as a team to share information and distribute wifi signals. Generally speaking, mesh networks will improve your wifi range, connectivity and stability.
For larger homes that may have a lot of electronic devices spread throughout the house, a mesh network may be a better solution than a wifi extender. When wifi signals have to travel between floors of a house, or building materials that interfere with wifi signals, a mesh network is more likely to be able to overcome wifi obstacles than a wifi extender.
For many years, mesh network technology has required complicated set ups or professional installers. Now, mesh network technology is much simpler, more affordable and easier to set up for the average person. So you dont have to sacrifice good performance because its too difficult or costly. One mesh network device is placed next to your current router and then nodes can be placed throughout your house in order to make sure your wifi signal stays strong and consistent.
Ring recommends eero mesh network systems as a way to help neighbors maintain wifi strength and stability.
Join Our Community
Block Specific Devices With Mac Filtering
If youd rather not nuke your network entirely, you can block specific devices with a feature called MAC Address Filtering. It isnt a particularly effective security setting, since its easy to bypass, but itll work for our purposes.
Again, youll have to hunt around for this setting, but on my Asus router, it was under the Wireless MAC Filter tab in the Wireless section of the settings. Turn the MAC filter on, and youll likely be given a choice: you can either allow certain devices, blocking all others, or block certain devices, allowing all others. Since its 2021 and you probably have more than a couple Wi-Fi devices in your house, the Reject or Block setting is probably the best.
To block a certain device, youll need to know its MAC addressa 12-digit number unique to that specific device. You can find a devices MAC address by checking your routers list of connected devices, which might be under the Network Map,Client List, or similarly named option. Itll match MAC addresses to conventional names like Jacks iPhone.
Sometimes, these names are difficult to understandmany Windows computers have names like DESKTOP-BD0GFITso you may need to do some extra digging with third-party software to get more information on a given device. For example, you may not know whether your daughters laptop is DESKTOP-BD0GFIT or DESKTOP-SE8WDRE, but if you can determine which is the Dell and which is the HP, you can figure out which MAC address belongs to her.
Recommended Reading: How To Find Optimum Wifi Password
How To Extend Wifi Range With Another Router Or Other Equipment
If you have exhausted the free methods of extending your WiFi range to no avail it might be time to consider purchasing some additional equipment in order to improve your WiFi coverage. There are a number of different ways you can do this. Here are three methods from which to choose.
Using another route
You can use a second router as a repeater to help reach WiFi dead spots in your coverage area. In some cases, you will need to connect the two devices with a cable, though some configurations can be accomplished wirelessly. Basically, you are using the second router to catch the WiFi signal and push it to previously unreachable parts of your home or office.
Using a WiFi extender
In a similar manner to a second router, a WiFi extender or booster also takes the original signal and repeats it to extend its reach. They come in a variety of styles including extenders that simply plug into a nearby electrical wall outlet and can solve the problems of an inadequate WiFi range.
Employing a mesh network
Large wireless networks may benefit from the installation of a mesh network to replace the traditional WiFi configuration currently in place. They are meant to provide coverage of areas of more than 1,000 square feet on either a single or multi-floor building. Mesh networks are easy to configure and offer resiliency by design as each base station is seen as a node.
How Do Wifi Extenders Work
Some WiFi extenders known as “powerline” extenders use the electrical wiring in your home or business to carry high-speed internet traffic over a wired connection through your house, before converting it to a wireless signal.
Other WiFi extenders rely purely on wireless transmission to extend your signal to access points in your home.
Don’t Miss: Dunkin Donuts Login Wifi
What Is The Best Way To Extend Your Wifi Range Extending Your Wireless Network For The Best Coverage
2 May, 2022255
Whether youre working at home or in the office, one thing is sure, Wi-Fi is a fundamental part of everyday life. It can be frustrating if youre experiencing a weak WiFi signal or no coverage at all, and you may wish to explore the best ways to extend your WiFi range.
There are multiple devices available that can help extend your wireless network, and you can take steps to improve the quality and range of your WiFi signal. With several options to choose from, identifying the best way to extend your Wi-Fi can be complex and can result in time wasted in trial and error.
To save you time and quickly improve wireless coverage, the information below explains the best ways to extend your WiFi range, whether at home or the office. We explain the devices available on the market for expanding your office wireless network, and some of the most common coverage issues and how to fix them.
On this page:
Check The Placement Of Your Router
Wheres your router right now? Is it on the ground or stuck in a corner of your home? If so, youre not getting the most out of your Wi-Fi signal. Imagine your router is like the misting setting on a spray bottle that sprays Wi-Fi internet throughout your home. And, like a spray bottle, the closer a device is to the router, the better the signal will be. To get the most coverage, or for the spray of internet signal to cover the most distance, make sure that your router is:
- In a central location within your home. This allows the signal to disperse more evenly in multiple directions. It may be worth getting an extension cord to ensure its in the best spot, or if you have a larger or multi-storied home, invest in a Wi-Fi extender or mesh network
- Positioned higher up. In fact, the higher the better. Like a spray bottle, if you spray it while its on the ground, most of the contents are lost on the floor, but if you raise it up high, the spray covers more area. For better coverage in a two-storey home, its best to place your router on a high shelf near the ceiling on the first floor or on the ground on the second floor.
Also Check: See Saved Wifi Password Mac