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Mar 01 2013

Three Ways to Extend Your Wi-Fi Network

The reality is these days is that not every house can be adequately covered by a single Wi-Fi access point given the building architecture and implemented technology. Whilst relocating a Wi-Fi access point could solve a problem you may face issues with having it close enough to your broadband modem to have it cabled up so you may be left looking at installing a second access point to solve the problem.

It really boils down to a few options:

  1. install a Wi-Fi range extender (this sits on the edge of your network and acts as a repeater but halves the speed given how it works),
  2. use ethernet over powerline technology to expose a network socket in an area of poor reception and connect another access point at that location (helps to achieve maximum or close to maximum bandwidth on most 802.11n Wi-Fi networks),
  3. have network cabling run between to two points and implement another access point in the secondary location (guarantees full Wi-Fi bandwidth if gigabit Ethernet is implemented and active between both points).

Cost may vary between the options but I have ranked them from least efficient to most efficient in terms of bandwidth availability and preservation. Also, if you choose to go with the third option, then you may require a licensed cabler to perform the installation to the appropriate legal standards in your part of the world.

All in all, it is a good idea to research and cost out these options to work out what will give you best bang for back whilst meeting your requirements. If you aren’t concerned about network speeds in the extended range of the network then the first option may do the trick. Meanwhile, if you want to get the best possible result without having someone punch holes in your walls and crawling around inside your roof then the second option might float your boat. If network quality is paramount then the third option would certainly top the list.

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