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Do Wi-Fi boosters work?
The term “Wi-Fi booster” can refer to any number of devices, such as antennas, repeaters, access points, range extenders or powerline adaptors which claim to boost or extend the wireless signal from your router. While some of these devices are great, others will only offer an incremental improvement to your wireless signal strength. Ultimately, wireless hardware devices are only part of the equation. A robust and high-performance wireless network should be designed to take into account factors, such as the building design, levels of performance required, number of concurrent users, security level and a host of other factors.
What is the difference between a wireless booster and repeater?
The term “wireless booster” is not a technical term that is used in professional wireless network design. However, it is commonly used in the marketing of consumer-grade network devices that claim to extend your network. Therefore, it can refer to a powerline device (such as those made by TP-Link and Devolo) and is sometimes used interchangeably with the term “repeater”.
What is the best Wi-Fi booster to buy?
“Wi-Fi booster” is actually just a marketing term, rather than a technical one. If you need to extend the Wi-Fi signal in your home or office, there are many wireless network hardware devices which can be deployed, such as powerline adaptors, repeaters or access points. The best wireless solution will take into account factors such as:
The quality of your broadband connection.
Whether or not you have pre-existing network infrastructure (such as RJ-45 data points) in place.
The shape of your home or office building.
The composition (concrete, stone, plasterboard, etc.) of your walls and ceilings.
The level of RF (radio frequency) interference in your environment.
Do wireless repeaters work?
Most devices that call themselves “wireless repeaters” can extend the wireless signal from your router (or another access point) but are not very effective at propagating a strong wireless signal. This is because wireless repeaters take the signal from your main router, split it and then retransmit it. This means that you will only get half the data throughput compared to the signal from your main router which results in an extended but much weakened signal. So, in a lot of cases, “repeater” devices are not a really effective way to increase the wireless network coverage in your house.
Can I just buy a second router to increase the wireless coverage in my house?
No, a second router will not work. For most domestic and small business broadband connections (ADSL and cable) only one router can be configured on a single network. This is because your router acts as a DHCP server and for each WLAN (wireless network) only one DHCP server is allowed. If a second router is added to your network, IP conflicts can arise and your devices are likely to intermittently drop off your network.
Are MU-MIMO routers any good for wireless?
While MU-MIMO routers with their multiple antennas might look very sophisticated, they are primarily designed to work with 5Ghz signals. They are great in an open plan office or home but are not that effective at propagating wireless in your average 4-bedroom home.
Is there any software that I can use to measure the signal strength?
You can download a software application known as “inSSIDer” to view the surrounding networks, track signal strength over time and pick the best channel. However, if there are fundamental problems in the way that your wireless network is configured a utility like this will only go skin-deep. It won’t be able to identify any wireless network misconfiguation issues or indicate the best placement for your wireless devices.
Are powerline adapters effective at boosting a wireless network?
Powerline adapters take the internet signal from your modem (ADSL or cable) and then transmit it through the electrical circuitry of your house. In certain circumstances, good quality powerline devices that are configured correctly and deployed in a house with modern wiring can work very effectively. Users will get to enjoy a fast and stable wireless broadband experience. However, there will also be cases where the powerline adaptors will offer only a flaky performance. For example, some adaptors don’t work well in houses where there is old wiring or the building’s electrical circuitry is designed with a lot of junction points.
I’m using TP-Link powerline adaptors in my house to help boost the wireless network, and yet the network still has a poor reception. Why?
Some powerline adaptors will not be effective in boosting your wireless network. This can be due to either old wiring or interference on the electrical circuit in your house. A wireless site survey that’s carried out by an experienced network technician can often help to determine the best wireless solution.
How do I extend the wireless coverage using my Eir Huawei F2000 modem-router?
Make sure that you position your F2000 modem-router in a central location in your house or office building, and make sure that you’re using an uncongested channel for optimum wireless reception. Finally, make sure that your network is fully secure, as neighbours leaching your wireless connection can create a serious slowdown in wireless network speeds.
I want to increase the wireless distance of my Eir broadband. Is it possible to use a third-party modem router?
Yes, you can use a third-party modem-router from manufacturers like Asus, Netgear or TP-Link, but you will need to configure it with the correct ADSL2 settings, as recommended by Eir and make sure your Eir device is put in to bridge-mode.
What are the VPI and VCI settings for Eir?
Eir uses a VPI of 8 and VCI of 35. Their multiplexing is LLC-based.
How can I increase the Wi-Fi range of my Eir broadband?
You can increase the wireless range of your Eir router by placing it in a central location. High-quality powerline adapters can sometimes be successful or you can deploy wireless access points, assuming your house has CAT 5, 6 or 7 ethernet cabling.
My Eir eFibre Wi-Fi is very weak in the upstairs rooms. How can I improve it?
You could reposition your Eir eFibre modem-router to an upstairs location, assuming that you have a suitably located RJ-11 data telephone or data socket.
How can I increase the range of my Virgin Media Hub Wi-Fi?
I’m using a Virgin Media Hub 3.0 but its wireless signal does not extend beyond my living room. How can I boost the signal?
Unfortunately, this is normal from some Virgin Media hubs. You could try using a third-party wireless device such as a hiqh-quality access point to propagate the signal to other rooms.
What is the best way to extend the signal for my Virgin Media Hitron router?
Assuming you have little electrical interferance in your home’s electrical circuit you could try using powerlline (home plug) adaptors.
I’m using a UPC Horizon Samsung box for Wi-Fi. Can you tell me why I don’t get a strong signal upstairs?
UPC “Horizon boxes” do not have a great reputation for strong Wi-Fi. An upgrade of this modem-router might help or you could put the device into “modem-mode” and use a third-party router from Asus or TP-Link.
My home already has CAT 6 cabling. However, My Cisco 3925 modem has very weak wireless. It’s in a wiring cabinet along with my patch panel and data swtich. How do I improve the signal?
Forget about the wireless functionality of the Cisco 3925! Connect it to your data switch and then patch your switch correctly to enable broadband on your data points. Then connect some hiqh-quality access points in strategic places around your home while still using your Cisco 3925 as your default internet gateway. This should improve your wireless network.
I’m using a Technicolor TC7200 modem-router from Virgin Media but it’s wireless is very slow?
You sometimes have to manually perform the firmware update process. (It does not always happen automatically with this model).
How do I improve my Wi-Fi signal strength?
There are a number of ways to improve the Wi-Fi signal strength in your home or office. Here are a few wireless network tips to get you started:
First, Check your Broadband Speed - The speed of your Wi-Fi will be partly determined by the quality of the broadband connection entering your home or office. A quality broadband connection is fast and stable. To measure your broadband speed, you can perform an online broadband speed test using a service such as Ookla. For this to be accurate, you should connect a laptop directly to your modem-router by using an ethernet cable. If you have a stable broadband connection, but poor Wi-Fi coverage, we can help you get coverage in every inch of your house.
Router Firmware - Make sure your router uses the latest firmware. Some routers develop bugs or imperfections which have an impact performance. These can cause a router to freeze or suffer from lagging performance. Router manufacturers often release firmware updates that can enhance your router’s performance.
Change Channel – If your wireless network is configured to use the 2.4Ghz frequency, try changing your WLAN to use a different channel. Channels 1, 6 and 11 do not overlap with each other, so try one of these instead.
Change wireless frequency – The transmission frequency may coincide with signal interference in the area. This can result in poor Wi-Fi performance because the SNR (Signal-to-Noise) ratio will be fairly low. Sometimes, changing to the 5Ghz band can offer a significant performance improvement. If you’ve already changed to the 5Ghz band, you can also try changing to a 40MHz channel to improve the wireless performance even further.
Antenna Placement – For omnidirectional antennas, they should be aligned vertically to the ground. If they are mounted relatively high, you might need to tilt them to get a better coverage. Sometimes, a small antenna adjustment can make a big difference.
Radio Signal Interference – You can use a spectrum analyser to monitor your environment for the sources of potential radio signal interference with your 802.11 wireless network. Common sources of interference include older-model cordless phones, baby monitors and water heaters.
How do I extend the Wi-Fi to reach a small office in my back garden?
Set-up your router or access point to create a “line-of-sight” between it and your back-garden office. Assuming the distance is not too far, your office should be able to get a wireless connection.
Which frequency band is best for extending wireless coverage – 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz?
The 2.4Ghz band is designed to cover longer distances but with less throughput, whereas the 5Ghz Wi-Fi band is designed for smaller distances but with a higher throughput. The 2.4 Ghz band is much better suited to penetrating walls and ceilings than 5Ghz is.
I’m using a Samsung Smart TV. What is the best wireless router for watching Netflix?
Each wireless solution is going to be different. The efficacy of a wireless hardware device, such as a router, will depend on a) the quality of your broadband connection, b) the distance between your router (or access point) and the TV and c) the number of other wireless devices used concurrently on the network.
I have a patch-panel in my house that my electrician installed but none of the network points around my house are working. Can you fix that?
Yes, we can configure patch-panels so that your RJ-45 network points will become activated. Once these are working, we can supply, install and configure access points to give you a fast, reliable and secure broadband all around your house.
The Samsung Smart TVs in our house receives a very weak Wi-Fi which causes Netflix to freeze a lot, can you fix this?
Yes, our wireless setup service for your home or office offers a fast and stable broadband that will cover every inch of your building. Once installed, you will be able to enjoy Netflix without choppiness or freezing.
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