• Daniel Storch

Home WiFi: Which option is best for your home?

Torch IT Solutions Computer Repair Tech Tips

A wireless network's range can vary greatly depending on the type of network, where the router is located, and how many walls it has to go through to reach your device.

A 5 GHz connection will offer slightly shorter range than the 2.4 GHz counterpart, averaging 150 feet indoors with no obstructions. For every obstruction, walls, floors, or other electronic devices, your WiFi signal weakens. Metal and Wood can decrease strength of your WiFi up to 25%!

So how can you increase your wifi reach to ensure there are no dead spots in your home (or on your back porch)? There are three options that can help you extend your wifi: an extender, a Wireless Access Point (also known as a WAP), or a Mesh Network system.

WiFi Extender

Almost every residential client we have had tried to self-solve their wifi issues purchases a WiFi extender like the one pictured below.

Netgear Wifi Extender

While they often EXTEND the signals, they add another obstical for your wifi speeds. Clients come in upset that the extender made their signal stronger but the internet was even slower and wondering why. This is the explanation we give: think of your WiFi like sound waves. An Extender takes the "noise" level (bandwidth) of the internet at that location and extends it further. But like sound waves, the further out the extender is from the router (and the more obstructions it has in its way), the "quieter" the sound that its extending out, making that signal (bandwidth) even weaker at a further distance.

Wireless Access Points (WAPs)

Wireless Access Points are a quick, and manageable fix to most internet inconsistencies in home and businesses. Torch IT actually uses one in our office. What is a WAP? A Wireless Access Point is a hardwired device that is installed from your router to another location in your home or business. That WAP then acts like another Wireless router. It allows your network to be extended without losing the signal strength up to 300 feet from your initial router. The only down side to WAPs is that it requires another WiFi connection to your device. However, in most situations the WAP can easily be placed in a better centralized location than the ISP (Internet Service Provider) router.

Ubiquity Wireless Access Point

If you would like more information about extenders, or WAPs or would like one of our trained technicians to come give you a free estimate, give us a call or Schedule an Appointment now.

Mesh Networks

According to Google Wifi Help, "In a traditional Wi-Fi network, your phone or laptop is connected to a single router, and all communication passes through that single router. The farther you are from the router, the weaker the signal. With Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi mesh systems, you'll have multiple Wifi points in your house, so you’re never far from one." Basically, there is a main router connected at the ISP connection (hardwire from the wall to a router), then multiple nodes, points, or modules (brands call them different things but they are all talking about the same thing) through the rest of the space. Each node helps boost the other nodes signal around it working more as a network compared to the one-to-one communication of extenders and WAPs. WiFi Mesh mesh systems are easy to expand (with no current limit to the amount of nodes you can add) and manage using your smart phone. This will allow you to disable Wi-Fi access to specific devices/nodes with a press of a button (hello, internet parental controls!) and even give certain devices network priority!

If you would like more information about extenders, WAPs or Mesh Networks or would like one of our trained technicians to come give you a free estimate, give us a call or Schedule an Appointment now.

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