Q: Many, if not most, people have WiFi in their home or office. But there always seems to be somewhere that it doesn’t reach. What kind of options do these people have to improve their WiFi?
A: Many WiFi services just consist of the main modem/router which is in an out of the way Location. Some solutions include:
- Move the modem/router to a more centralized spot.
- Look at what’s around the modem/router. Avoid areas where there will be ductwork, refrigerators, metal desks between the router and the receivers.
- If your modem/router is a bit old, consider an upgrade
Q: OK, but with all these suggestions I still have only 1 location that my WiFi is centered around.
A: Right, and that can be a big limitation when you have a wide area to cover or several floors or structural limitations.
- Consider putting a wired connection to the poorly served area
- Hard to get to these areas, consider Ethernet over Powerlines
- Consider attaching an Access Point to the modem/router
- Consider using a Range Extender
- Then there are Mesh Network WiFi Systems
Q: Pros & Cons: Access Points
A: Pros: Can attach easily to a network switch; Delivers signal at near same speed as original.
Cons: Needs a wired Ethernet connection; Needs power either at end or over the ethernet
Q: Pros & Cons: Ethernet over Power line
A: Pros: Attaches to any power outlet
Cons: Not really widely used. A last resort. Works but…
Q: Pros & Cons: Range Extender
A: Pros: For a 1500 to 2000 sq ft house with one or two blank spots works well; Easy to set up; Less than $100
Cons: Drops the speed of the WiFi connection; May put out a different SSID
Q: Pros & Cons: Mesh Network WiFi System
A: Pros: For larger homes; Easy to setup
Cons: Signal strength can drop thru walls floors; Some have lots of settings; Cost: $200 — $500
Q: Anything else I should consider?
A: As an alternative to a wired connection or an Access Point, I have used the Range Extenders at several locations and have been very happy with the ease of installation and their performance.
Q: If a business or an individual would like some help improving their WiFi or wired network where should they go?
A: I would strongly recommend that they contact PC Applications. We have been working with PCs and PC networks for more than 25 years. At PC Applications. Our goal is to understand your requirements, provide the right WiFi equipment, and make sure its working well for you.
That’s PC Applications at 507-533-6510 or see us on the web at www.pcapp.com.