How You Get A Better Wi-Fi Service Outside

Ever found yourself sitting outside in the garden, trying to connect to the WiFi? Maybe you are relaxing, or you now work from home like so many are these days and want to make the most of the weather?

So you are walking around the patio trying to get the best signal, as you are trying to watch a video or join a meeting for work and it is not happening for you. Well, it doesn't need to be that way. Having reliable WiFi outside the house is easier than you may think.

It would be great if you could simply plug your Laptop or tablet directly into the home router, then you know you will get a perfect connection and a fast speed, but you can't trail a cable around the garden!

So how do you get that perfect signal that doesn't drop outside? It's unlikely that you can get a cable outside, and really, not very practical.

So, how do you get internet access outside?

So if using a data cable outside isn't the answer, maybe WiFi outside is the way to go? A Wireless signal should travel a distance of at least 100m outside without any obstacles, perhaps further, but bear in mind that the further away from the signal source you are, the slower the speed you will achieve.

Remember too, any obstructions in front of the wireless access point such as doors, walls and even glass (although to a much lesser extent). 

What can I do? You have three options:

It would be worth at this point, taking the time to test the range you have first. Check how far your signal reaches before you decide what course of action to take.

To conduct the test, try:

  • Relocating your router if you can
  • Take away any metallic obstacles
  • Removing any water features (as water absorbs any WiFi signals)

Once you've tried the above and are still struggling with connection, maybe it is time to consider one of the three following options.

Wireless Access Points

A wireless access point is similar to the broadband router you already have at home that lets you connect WiFi devices to a cabled network and ultimately your broadband. Once connected to a router, your wireless access point creates a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). This is what enables you to transmit and receive data to any WiFi-enabled devices within range.

The wireless access point is connected to a router using an ethernet cable, and you can use a 10BaseT Ethernet cable that's up to 100m long.

A wireless access point is the best way to provide you with internet access all around your property in a small office or home networks environment. It is often the case that they will deliver greater ranges than your standard home wireless router. You may wish to consider using a Power over Ethernet (PoE) device as this means you will not have to power up the Access Point using a local mains power socket you may or may not have.

Things to consider if you wish to use a wireless access point:

Use a CAT6 or CAT5e cable as a minimum when connecting the Wireless access point to the broadband router.
Take into account the total cable length when establishing the location for your new Wireless Access Point to the router.

WiFi Range Extenders

A range extender extends the range of the WiFi signal. The benefit of using a range extender rather than a repeater is that it uses different frequencies to send and receive data, and this means that the signals do not interfere with each other. Any interference caused will serve only to reduce the throughput of data and hence the efficiency and performance.

Where you place the WiFi range extender will determine whether or not it will achieve the range required for your WiFi outdoors. Many of the devices available are "plug and play", which makes the installation of the kit easier.

You should review the best WiFi range extenders currently available and then ensure that you take advantage of flexible installation options. Many wireless extenders come with ethernet ports attached, allowing you to connect devices that aren't WiFi-enabled to your network.

Wireless Repeaters or Meshing WiFi

A wireless repeater or Meshing WiFi acts like a relay system for the WiFi from your router. 

Mesh WiFi is merely a standard Access Point that has been set to Mesh mode, and enables it to reach out to other Access Points that have also been set to Mesh mode.

They are generally installed somewhere between one Mesh Access Point situated with your  router and another Mesh Access Point and where you wish to use any WiFi devices that you could not reach before.

As there is no connection between the router/Mesh Access Point and the Mesh Access Point located further away, this makes it a very convenient device but is not without its drawbacks.

For instance, any connected users that move around the building and need to connect to a new device will find that they will need to switch between Mesh Access Points. Another major disadvantage is that processing the received and transmitted frames actually needs to be done twice. This will reduce the data throughput by a minimum of 50% and will inevitably impact the WiFi's performance, especially if you have multiple concurrent users.

Whilst an inadequate or non-existent WiFi signal can be very frustrating, especially if you need to roam around your house or building, using the right WiFi solution can always be achieved.
You can find out about the range of Wi-Fi solutions available from CMW by clicking here. You can also speak to our Wi-Fi  specialist Tony Fossella by emailing