As a Virtual Personal Assistant, I need a reliable internet connection, so my broadband router is in my office next to my PC. Everywhere else in the house has a weak wireless signal – is there any way to make it better? I want to be an Office Hound, not officebound.
Trapped of Tankerton.
If your router has an antenna that can be unscrewed, you could try a larger or directional antenna to make some improvement. Sometimes a homemade silver foil reflector placed behind the router can make a big difference.
Alternatively, you could look to upgrade your router from 802.11g to 802.11n – this new standard offers higher speeds and greater range. However, your PCs have to have 802.11n adapters as well to take advantage and there’s no guarantee. Wireless signals do not like travelling through walls or metal objects, which houses tend to be full of.
Wireless repeaters available but they tend to be neither cheap nor simple to set up.
The most reliable, and often cheapest option, would be to get a drill out and run some cables, or at least ask your friendly local geek to do it for you.
There is a halfway house though, to get wired reliability without having wires everywhere.
Your house is already equipped with a high speed network with multiple connections in most rooms – it’s the ring main that carries electricity around.
Using “powerline” or “homeplug” adapters, you plug one into your router and others into any rooms you want connections in. A pair start at around £60 on the high street, about half that online (see our blog for links). You can even plug a cheap little wireless router into the other end to create another wireless network!
Where to buy – we have previously installed these powerline adapters from eBuyer – Extra Value 200Mbps Powerline Adapter Twin Pack – and what a bargain they are!
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