There are many reasons to share an internet connection from one building to another. Projects such as garden offices, garage conversions, annex buildings, granny flats, shed workshops, portable offices, and connectivity for holiday accommodation, to name a few. All require robust, stable, and secure internet connectivity. WiFi can also be extended to outdoor areas to reliably access the internet from your garden patio, driveway, pool/bar area, or hot tub location. If you are looking for solutions to such problems, read on. Depending on your situation, a resolution may require one or a combination of the technologies discussed in this post on how to extend Wi-Fi outdoors to the garden studio.
Trends in Working from Home
As more people shift towards working from home, outdoor garden offices have become increasingly popular. However the convenience of working from your garden poses new challenges, one being how to get a stable internet connection over distance and past obstacles. In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to extend Wi-Fi to your outdoor garden office.
What to Consider
The best solution for your outside building connectivity project depends on several factors. For example, distance to your outbuilding, continuity, and quality of the connection. Is the internet required for a purpose where dropouts and lag can be tolerated or is the garden studio used for a home office or online gaming where low latency and fast speeds are paramount? Let’s look at the pros and cons of the 4 best ways to extend WiFi to your Garden Studio, annex building, garage conversion, or portacabin. Further in this post, we will also look at the solutions that are not recommended and the reasons why.
Power Line Adapters
Power line adapters use electrical wiring to create a network by plugging them into your electrical wall sockets. This is a simple way of extending your network. However, there are limitations as to where you can extend internet. If the garden building is on the same ring main, then power line adapters are more likely to work. Due to the ease of installation, it’s the lowest-cost option. If you’re not too concerned with occasional dropouts and don’t need a reliable connection all the time. This is the best solution if you’re on a budget and a solid connection is not imperative.
Hardwired Ethernet Cable
Hardwired Ethernet cable with a wireless access point is a very reliable method of getting fast and secure WiFi reliably to your Garden building. It is guaranteed to distribute the internet at speeds and quality similar to the speeds received straight to your router. The outbuilding should ideally be less than 100 meters away from the router for optimum throughput and cost efficiency. Opt for a wireless access point to enable the seamless hand off functionality. This means where you have a correctly configured network. Your phone or tablet will automatically connect as if you were in your home. With this solution you can also utilise WiFi calling, handy if mobile signal is a problem.
To install Wi-Fi in your garden office, use good quality external grade Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable. The correct cable needs to have a solid copper core with the right type of plastic sheath, to protect it from the rain and UV. This will not only give you the fastest most reliable throughput but will also provide a solution to connect your garden office to the internet for durability and longevity.
Point to Point (PtP/P2P) or Wireless Bridge
It is possible to share wifi over long distances with PtP or multi-point network bridging technology. It works like a long-range WiFi extender for outdoors. A basic system requires a sender and a receiver, these devices need to be positioned high up, usually attached to a building or pole. A clear line of sight is required between the sender and receiver. The signal will be adversely affected when there are obstacles such as trees or buildings.
This solution is useful if you wish to share internet between cabins located long distances away from each other. A more complex system can be implemented in a holiday park where you need to distribute internet from the main source or hub to many lodges or caravans. Many businesses, campuses, hospitals, and apartment complexes use Point-to-Point WiFi Bridge systems because they can offer a lot of flexibility in terms of bridging and spreading an internet connection from a single source of internet.
Point to Point systems delivers fast internet, without too much loss of bandwidth and latency from the main hub. However, they are not as fast as a cabled solution. They are reliable delivering a good quality of service. One of the downsides to this system is that there is a single point of failure so if the main sender goes down then all of the others will lose internet, it doesn’t happen very often but should be considered when selecting a suitable solution.
4G or 5G with Unlimited Data SIM
You can insert a SIM card into a mobile router or a 4G/5G router. If there is no sim slot you could check to see if it supports a USB dongle that can accept a sim card. Also, you will need a compatible mobile data plan from a mobile network operator that has good 4 or 5G coverage in your area.
This can be a good solution if there is no way of getting an Ethernet cable or there is no clear line of sight for PtP bridging. For this solution to work you will need good mobile data coverage in the location and don’t mind a monthly cost for the unlimited data sim. This is also slightly less reliable as the bandwidth is dependent on the availability and quality of mobile signal in your area and can vary at any given time.
Internet Connectivity to Portable cabins
Depending on the location of the temporary office, distance from the main internet connection obstacles in-between and the ability to route an Ethernet cable. Its possible to implement one or more of these solutions to connect portable offices to the main network. Providing a robust and stable connection capable of supporting multiple users for an office set up.
Extend Wi-Fi to your Garden Office
Long-range Wi-Fi Extenders and internet boosters also known as mesh systems are not recommended as a way of reliably getting Wifi in the garden room. Mesh WiFi Extenders don’t typically boost the signal very well through walls, these systems also struggle to send the internet over enough distance to provide a usable connection outdoors. You could spend a lot of money on the system and there’s no guarantee of a continuous or stable internet connection once you have invested your money buying the kit, so for these reasons, it’s best to give the mesh/booster systems a miss.
All things considered, the best way to get WiFi to your garden office building depends on your requirements. Are cable routes available and is the outbuilding less than 100 meters away from the router? Where there is a cable route, a hardwired cable will deliver the fastest, most reliable, and cost-effective internet connectivity for one or more end users. Where the building is over 100 meters or you would like the users to connect from multiple locations dotted around a large area, then a PtP wireless bridge would be a good choice, providing near full throughput from the router.
If you require internet in your garden bar, hot tub area, driveway, or for WiFi calling if your mobile cellular signal is poor. Outdoor access points can be used to solve these problems, but only viable if these areas are close to the main building. Where a temporary or lower installation cost solution is required a mobile unlimited SIM will give a decent internet service. Providing there is good 4 or 5G in the area and the odd dropout or service slowdown can be tolerated. The most budget-friendly but high-risk solution is power line adapters. However, be prepared that once you have made the purchase and installed them, the connectivity may not be fit for purpose or work at all. Depending on your home’s electrical wiring. They can provide an unstable solution that may not be reliable enough for remote working or gaming. Buying a WiFi Booster for your garden or extending the WiFi using a mesh system is not recommended, in our experience, they just don’t amplify signal well over such distances and they don’t perform well at getting a good Wi-Fi signal to penetrate walls.
I hope you have enjoyed this post on How to Extend WiFi to your Garden Office . If you would like further information, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Check out our website, drop us a mail or give us a call.
When should you consider that it’s time to upgrade your home Wi-Fi? In this post, I discuss 5 of the tell-tale signs that your household’s tech needs have outgrown the capacity of your current home Wi-Fi system. We discuss methods to check if your broadband subscription needs upgrading or there are line faults that need fixing. If the five common home technology scenarios discussed are familiar occurrences. Finally I discuss how to restore online harmony. With a strong and stable connection throughout your home.
Have you been in the middle of a video call with colleagues when your audio suddenly distorts and becomes inaudible? Or the video image freezes and you drop out of the conversation completely. It’s embarrassing and sometimes costly. This random problem often leaves you wondering why some times your Wi-Fi connection seems ok. Then other times you can barely manage to get anything done around slow connectivity and complete disconnects.
Have you ever settled down to stream your favourite series and found yourself watching the buffering circle turning? This irritating situation is a symptom of your smart TV not receiving an adequate Wi-Fi signal to download the content quickly enough.
This common issue occurs when the device connected to the Wi-Fi is not communicating fast enough with the router. Therefore, the experience is a noticeable lag when online gaming. The most efficient and fastest method to transport data is via a cable from the console, PC, or tablet to the router. Where this is not possible, most up-to-date, correctly configured home Wi-Fi installations will support data throughput so that the gaming experience is unaffected.
Many modern CCTV and Alarm systems rely on a consistent and stable connection from the device to the internet. For example, if your cameras frequently drop offline, you will find that most features will not function as intended. You may get flaky video when viewing your property remotely or missing footage if you ever want to playback the footage.
Technology continues to provide us with many helpful and convenient applications both in and around the home. There are many reasons why it is increasingly important to have a strong and consistent internet connection outdoors. Examples include charging and communicating with your EV (Electric Vehicle) and continuous and reliable functioning of home security systems. Adequate Wi-Fi reach is essential for music and internet access in your garden patio, bar, or office areas. All these examples are reliant on reliable and consistent Wi-Fi. Distance from the router is a common reason for this problem and a sign that an upgrade to your home Wi-Fi network is overdue.
If one or more of the above scenarios blight your online time. Your current setup may be creaking under the strain. There is a good chance that it’s time to upgrade your home Wi-Fi network. There are a few possible causes to consider. One or more of your Network devices could be overloaded and not have enough capacity to cope with the activity. Other things to consider are a home network bottleneck or a problem with the broadband service to your home. In most cases, the root cause of home internet connectivity issues is the distance to the nearest Wi-Fi router, booster, or access point.
Technology is continually advancing, so it makes sense that your home Network should also be up-to-date to best support your tech. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest network protocol. It provides a greater streaming capacity for all your Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices to communicate effectively with your router. Wi-Fi 5 is still a viable protocol and supports ample capacity, speeds, and device compatibility. Meeting the performance needs of most households. Leading us to the next question; do I upgrade the broadband subscription or optimise and distribute my bandwidth more efficiently?
You can assess if your home has reached broadband capacity by following our handy guide How to Test the Wi-Fi Signal Strength in your Home.
This blog walks you through testing broadband to your property. Then compare the strength and quality of Wi-Fi signals in various locations around your home.
If the bandwidth to your home is ample reliable and consistent. You might be planning a new tech purchase, signing up for a streaming subscription, smart home automation, installing a security system, or purchasing an electric car. Bearing in mind these will all add extra overhead to your network. The next step is to consult a professional Wi-Fi engineer to assess how to distribute the available bandwidth where you need it.
In conclusion, installing a quality home network, correctly, will provide the infrastructure to support all your devices and systems to their optimum potential. It’s worth overhauling your home network infrastructure to prevent any pesky, annoying, and sometimes embarrassing connectivity issues. Now you can easily spot the signs that it’s time to upgrade your home Wi-Fi. If you would like further information, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Check out our website, drop us a mail or give us a call.
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