WiFi is great when it works well and a huge inconvenience when it doesn’t. I’m sure we’ve all experienced parts of a building that get very weak WiFi connection, or even worse – no WiFi connection.
So, is it possible to get a good WiFi coverage in every part of your building that you need it in? How do you do it? Well, in this article I’ll answer those questions.
How WiFi Works – the Basics
WiFi uses radio waves to wirelessly send data (emails, information from websites etc) backwards and forwards to and from a device such as a laptop, tablet or mobile phone to a router which is connected to the internet.
Why Doesn’t my WiFi Reach my Entire Building?
WiFi sends and receives data through radio waves from the router to the device. Ok, so what effects these invisible waves of data that we rely on every day?
- Distance from the router
- Things get in the way, like walls
- Power of the signal given out by the wifi device
It may be one, two or all of these points causing your problem. Let’s take a look at each one separately.
Distance from the Router
WiFi travels in waves, similar to sound. To explain this simply, imagine a speaker playing music. The further you move away from the speaker, the quieter it gets. Until you finally can’t hear it anymore. Well, the same thing happens with WiFi, the further you move away from the point giving out WiFi signal, the weaker the waves become until they disappear and your device no longer picks up any waves (data).
If we take an average WiFi Router outside, the range that it’s WiFi signal will cover is just over 30 meters (about the length of 7 cars parked in a row). A bad WiFi device will be a lot less, and a very good WiFi device can be 10 times better.
I’ll explain how to overcome this issue later in the article.
Things That get in the way, Like Walls.
Another block to WiFi working in parts of your building are physical blocks, such as walls, that get in the way. When these WiFi waves are travelling at high speed through the air, they can be redirected, weakened or stopped dead by walls. The thicker the walls the worse it is.
Is there anything you can do to overcome this? Maybe something can be done about it, we’ll look at it in the solution section.
The power of the Signal Given out by the WiFi Device
WiFi radio waves get weaker the further you move away from the device sending out the signal, the same way that sound gets quieter the further you move away from a speaker. But on a speaker, you can turn up the volume up and hear it at a further distance.
In the same way that not all speakers are the same volume, not all WiFi devices send out signals with the same power. You know you can get louder speakers, you can now get WiFi with more power thanks to new technology.
Here’s What Your Provider did not Tell You…
A large percentage of the telecom providers give WiFi routers out for free or very cheaply when you take their broadband. So do you think they’re going to want to spend decent money on your free router that they’re already losing money on? Or do they want to minimise their loss, and provide you with the cheapest and honestly worst router you can get? Like when you go on an aeroplane you get given those cheaply produced, free headphones that are terrible quality.
The quality of the free router you’d get from a regular telecom provider is of similar quality to those cheaply produced, free headphones you get on aeroplanes. When I found this out and saw the impact it has on people who use the WiFi, I vouched to never provide low-quality WiFi equipment at Yo Telecom. Instead, I researched the market to find the Dre Beats equivalent of WiFi equipment – high-quality equipment that is reliable, and powerful.
Cheap fixes, That Don’t Work: WiFi ‘Extenders’ or ‘Boosters’
Just before we get onto the real solution to having a strong WiFi signal in your entire building, I quickly want to highlight the common ‘fixes’ that I see people wasting money on so often.
There are two types of WiFi Extenders and Boosters. Wireless ones, and ones that try to send data signals through your electricity cables.
How Wireless WiFi Extenders & Boosters Work
The most common fix to your problems is the Wireless Extender. Now, this may work in very small spaces but in whole buildings, especially large ones, it leads to tediously slow connections that drop in and out.
Here’s how it works. You have your router sending out a signal and then somewhere else in your building, you have a little device that picks up that signal, bounces it on and then you probably have another little device that tries picking up an even weaker signal to bounce that on and so forth. Every time one of these bounces on a signal, the data sent gets weaker and weaker.
Wireless Extenders & Boosters That Try Ending Data Along Power Cables
Whoever invented this had a really good idea with great intentions. Sadly however, it doesn’t work well and he’s caused frustration and wasted the money of thousands of people all around the world.
The product is a set of two or more devices, one of which connects directly into your router through an ethernet cable, which then plugs straight into your buildings mains power circuit. The product tries to send your data through your electricity cables, but on it’s way that data passes through your lights, TVs, Computers and everything else connected to your mains power circuit (all of which damage the data) to the other device, which then tries to send on the damaged data through WiFi. Great idea in theory, but in practice, it doesn’t work.
This solution tries to mimic the solution that does work – sending data through data cables – but here’s the difference between data cables and electricity cables.
- Electricity cables are 10 times thicker than data cables, slowing down the data.
- Electricity cables are made out of stranded copper, on which data doesn’t travel well.
- Electricity cables take your precious data on a journey through your every single device that’s connected to your mains – from PC’s to lights. And they don’t help.
So it was a great idea, but just doesn’t work well. Not to mention that it could potentially be sending your data through electricity cables to your neighbours… You’d just better hope your neighbours aren’t hackers.
The Solution: How to get Good wifi Signal Throughout Your Entire Building.
So I’ve shown you what solutions don’t work, and why. Here is the solution – it takes a little investment in your buildings data infrastructure (if you don’t already have it), and either network knowledge or the help of a professional network engineer (like the experts we have at Yo Telecom).
Here’s how it works, you create a structured network of data cables from the location your main router is, to strategically located points throughout your building. These points then have special WiFi devices connected to the data cabled network, called Wi-Fi Access Points and they send and receive WiFi signals. because they are physically hardwiredinto your main router, they send clean, unharmed data out. Unlike boosters or extenders.
Your professional network engineer will ensure that the signal given out by each device overlaps, and that it’s all on one WiFi SSID (the name of the WiFi Network). So you can walk around your building and your phone, tablet or laptop will seamlessly connect onto the device with the best signal. Because all the devices are connected through a data cable or network of data cables (blue line in the diagram), the data that they emit, is just as strong as the data received and sent from the router to the outside world.
The result is a WiFi signal that reaches your entire building, and allows you, your staff and your customers to use their phones, tablets, laptops and other devices that rely on WiFi to work or for pleasure.
Call Yo Telecom on 02382 146115 to get this in place in your building(s) today!
I recommend calling Yo Telecom and buying a Wi-Fi solution. A professional WiFi consultant will come to your building(s) and do a survey to determine exactly what’s needed for your WiFi to work perfectly everywhere you need it.
He will create and present an order form for you based on what you need. He’ll get the ball rolling on the day and get your new WiFi equipment installed and fully operational within a couple of days.
At the time of writing this article, Yo Telecom is doing FREE surveys, data cabling, and setup of WiFi equipment – but this isn’t going to be FREE forever.
Call today on 02382 146115 to book a free survey and demonstration.
All the best,
Founder & CEO