Wireless Networking

Wireless networking technology is a very convenient way of connecting devices together, but it can be rather troublesome! For some the solitary router may provide ample coverage around the house, though for the strongest signal you’ll probably need to be sitting next to (if not on top of!) the router. For the rest of us one base station (e.g. your router) won’t cut it and you will have rather annoying weak spots or every wireless networkers dread “dead” spots in rooms around your house. This can be for many different reasons; from thick or insulated walls to other wireless devices interfering destructively with the signal we are trying to lock on to. There are things you can do to improve the situation and they are as follows;

  1. Upgrade your router. If you’re still using a router you got from your ISP 8 years ago then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance. It might not even be wireless if it’s old enough (which would go a long way to explain the poor wireless signal in your bathroom!). Buy a new router. You might find that this alone will solve the problem around your house. You’ll need to make sure you buy the right type of router (an ADSL modem/router for ADSL connections and a router for Fibre broadband/cable broadband), you’ll also need to know what your broadband user name and password are if you using an ADSL connection
  2. Upgrade your antenna. This will only be applicable if your router comes with detachable antenna. They cost from about £10 per antenna and all you need to do is unscrew the old ones and screw on the new ones. Pretty straight forward; the price of it being straight forward is that it is only going to help if your signal is weak, if you want signal to go where no signal has gone before then you need to look elsewhere for your solution
  3. Get yourself an access point. Whilst these devices have many uses in this example you’d use them to take a weak signal and extend it into areas with no signal. These will do the trick every time, though you may find (if you’re fortunate enough to have an exceptionally large house) you’ll need to use a few of them to get the desired effect. These do come with a couple of draw backs; A) You’ll have to configure them (have fun!) B) You’ll need to have them placed in a weak spot next to a mains socket
  4. Buy some power line plugs. These are great; they work by extending your network over the power lines in your house. That means that you’ll be able to extend your wireless network into dead spots, bypassing weak spots along the way. They also require very little configuration. In most cases all you need to do is plug one in one end (the router end) and one in the other end and you’ve got yourself a network. The problem with these being so easy and so great is that they are (surprise surprise) the most expensive way of extending a network. If that part of the house you are trying to extend the network over is an extension then there is a real chance that the two plugs won’t find each other over the old and new electrical circuit

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