As more products become reliant upon a robust connection to the Internet, ensuring you have excellent WiFi coverage throughout the key areas of your home is more important than ever.
Creating a WiFi network that reaches out to every part of your home might not be as complicated as it sounds. Over the years there have been many different solutions to help extend WiFi coverage, but robust and affordable packages are now commonly available that can be deployed quickly.
The first thing to evaluate, before starting out on any networking upgrade, is your incoming Broadband speed. As you introduce more coverage across the house, you might find that you start to use more devices simultaneously, each of which will put a demand on the incoming broadband connection. Streaming audio, television and films all require a different amount of data throughput, as does online gaming and day-to-day browsing. Streaming video will typically put the most stress on your home Broadband connection, with Netflix requiring around 5 Mbps to stream HD content and 25 Mbps for UHD content. As more members of your family stream simultaneously, it is easy to see how your connection can become a limiting factor. Do some research and speak to your existing ISP to see what the best packages are in your area, for your budget.
Once you’ve settled on your broadband package, your ISP will typically send you a router. These have WiFi transmission built-in, but their coverage and reliability can be erratic. For the most reliable coverage, we recommend swapping your router out for a higher performing model, we use Draytek products, that can manage the data throughout you require. The router selected doesn’t need to have WiFi transmission built-in as we recommend using other products for that purpose.
WIFI access points
There are many products on the market that promise to give you full WiFi coverage across your home, some relay the WiFi, some use mains electrical cables for their connection and some even use old coaxial aerial cables. The ‘proper’ way to achieve full coverage is to place WiFi Access Points in key areas around the home that broadcast the WiFi in that area. Each of those cable back to the Router via a single CAT6 data cable. When using multiple Access Points from one of our favoured manufacturers, Ruckus and Ubiquiti, they work in unison to create full coverage. As you move around the home, your portable devices will be actively moved onto the closest Access Point repeater, ensuring you always have the best signal possible.
Before deploying access points around the home, it is possible to ‘map’ the coverage you can expect from them. Floor plans can be uploaded into the software, along with details about the building construction, which makes it possible to predict how the Access Points will behave when installed. This allows you to choose the best locations for your equipment before you start the installation works.
Most Access Points support PoE (Power over Ethernet) which means you don’t need to connect them to a local mains electrical outlet. Instead, the data cable used to carry the network communication will provide power for the unit too. When using PoE it is important to ensure that your centralised equipment near the router can provide the power required. PoE injectors can be used in any situation, but the neatest when using multiple access points would be to install a small PoE Ethernet switch by the router.
The WiFi solutions we recommend have many great features. Multiple SSIDs can be set up so that you can have one for adults, one for kids and another for guests. Each separate connection can be configured to have restricted data speeds, limited time ranges or restricted content access. These features are great when used correctly as they can ensure important tasks, such as work video calls, aren’t interrupted by online games that hog all the incoming Broadband bandwidth.
If you need help with your home WiFi and Internet security, get in touch with our expert design team today email@example.com