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Extending my wifi at home to outside about 100 metres - which way is easiest/best?

18
Found 16th Feb 2013
As in the question, I have broadband internet connection (Tiscali) at home, with a Talk Talk N router. It works well and extends to all parts of the house linking up to many devices without a problem.

But if I step outside my back door with any laptop/Macbook I lose connection with wifi.

I have an outside office approximately 100 metres down the garden, and I would like to be able to use wifi down there, to link either with Macbook "an" bother laptop/netbook/tablet (undecided which one yet!) and I guess it would also extend to my phone so I will see my emails coming in.

I have looked on google for a few suggestions, but not being technically minded, I was the easiest to set up, and have come across the following possible solutions, but don't know which would be best to try in which order, to hopefully get a result?

a) have an existing router (Belkin) set this up as a wifi extender in room furthest from router and nearest to my outside office

b) run an external ethernet cable down the garden 100 metres through the window and sat on the lawn (not attractive but will work) - a bit of a pain as I'd have to take it up to mow grass etc and will only work x 1 device

c) home plug adapters - will these work?

d) something like a netgear wifi extender unit sat in room nearest the office? would this work?


Any thoughts suggestions ideas, nothing complicated as I'd not manage to get it set up on my own. Thank you.
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18 Comments
im looking at this aswell dont no if its simple im told it is but for someone who dont no alot on opening ports etc im on o2 with wireless box2
How do you get power down to your office?
Assuming your shed/office is on the same mains ring go with homeplugs for simplicity with an extra router in the shed connected to the homeplug.
^^^
Homeplugs the best way. My house is on three levels and my study is on the top floor where the wifi signal is weak. I have been using homeplugs for over three years and can't fault them.
I think the distance might be an issue.
Original Poster
Thanks - I have electricity at the office, it was put in when it was built. It's on the same bill as the house, but obviously on it's own circuit. Does this mean it's on the same mains ring? I know it had to have a special cabling, like a thicker cabling but not sure what it was called, it looked like a hosepipe when being put under the ground. There is also a breaker circuit unit down there. Can I still use the home plugs as these sound the easiest?

If I can and put the spare router down there too, I just need router connected to power, not anything else? Connected to the home plug with an ethernet cable?
Edited by: "angiepidsley" 16th Feb 2013
Original Poster
pghstochaj - you mean with home plugs the distance a problem?
angiepidsley

Thanks - I have electricity at the office, it was put in when it was … Thanks - I have electricity at the office, it was put in when it was built. It's on the same bill as the house, but obviously on it's own circuit. Does this mean it's on the same mains ring? I know it had to have a special cabling, like a thicker cabling but not sure what it was called, it looked like a hosepipe when being put under the ground. There is also a breaker circuit unit down there. Can I still use the home plugs as these sound the easiest?If I can and put the spare router down there too, I just need router connected to power, not anything else? Connected to the home plug with an ethernet cable?



armoured cable
Op, I am 99 percent sure it will work, buy a pair of homeplugs and test x
Yes - the distance for home plugs. Is it actually 100 m? That's quite a long way.

Most sites suggest a theoretical limit of 200 m for home plugs and I would guess that's very optimistic. I wonder if they will be suitable.
Ethernet over power lines should work providing you haven't got any really fancy breakers between the circuits. Just buy a cheap switch to go on the other end and it will let you plug everything in your shed in.

My prefered option would probably be to run a network cable ub though just for better speeds and it will definately work! You won't be restricted to 1 computer either you can plug a wireless access point in, or a switch or even a router setup correctly. Why not bury the cable in some conduit behind your borders etc?
I think everyone is missing the most important thing here, you have a garden 100M long? :0
Original Poster
LOL yes victor I really do have a garden that long. It's part of an orchard, probably about 1/2 acre.

I'm going to have a go with the home plugs first and see if they work (as this is the easiest for me to do) and if they don't, then I'll run a cable down the garden, with a view to maybe burying it when I can get someone to help me do this.

I will report back in a few weeks to let you know how I'm getting on, thank you all so much for your help.
angiepidsley

LOL yes victor I really do have a garden that long. It's part of an … LOL yes victor I really do have a garden that long. It's part of an orchard, probably about 1/2 acre.I'm going to have a go with the home plugs first and see if they work (as this is the easiest for me to do) and if they don't, then I'll run a cable down the garden, with a view to maybe burying it when I can get someone to help me do this.I will report back in a few weeks to let you know how I'm getting on, thank you all so much for your help.



On a lighter note you will want an APPLE repeater (i'll get my coat)
Original Poster
Hello again everyone, I said I would report back..........................

Well I have tried a plug and play wireless extender (NetGear) and although it threw out a bit more extension of the wifi it wasn't enough to pick up a connection down the garden.

So next I tried the powerline plugs, with ethernet cables on them - and the connection does work in the office 100Metres away, but I find it quite slow and almost not powerful enough, I can't play games on flash websites on this connection, the pages aren't loading it just lags and almost freezes. They were 200Mbps.

My next question - if these did seem to work, I know there are more powerful options i.e. 500Mbps and 1000Mbps - is it worth trying these, or will I not get any improvement?
Edited by: "angiepidsley" 28th Feb 2013
angiepidsley

Hello again everyone, I said I would report … Hello again everyone, I said I would report back..........................Well I have tried a plug and play wireless extender (NetGear) and although it threw out a bit more extension of the wifi it wasn't enough to pick up a connection down the garden.So next I tried the powerline plugs, with ethernet cables on them - and the connection does work in the office 100Metres away, but I find it quite slow and almost not powerful enough, I can't play games on flash websites on this connection, the pages aren't loading it just lags and almost freezes. They were 200Mbps.My next question - if these did seem to work, I know there are more powerful options i.e. 500Mbps and 1000Mbps - is it worth trying these, or will I not get any improvement?



That performance on those powerline adaptors sounds suspicious I would have expected them to have worked better for you so I would find it hard to advise you to spend more money on the faster ones as I would think you will not get any improvement even with 500Mbps (this would be due to your actual internet speed being 120Mb or lower to the house anyway ffrom your Internet Provider.

Having taken up astronomy about a year ago i noticed some folks in the UK have elaborate garden setups for telescopes involving sheds setup as observatorys - one bloke dug down the side of his garden, put in trunking for an ethernet cable to go from the house, under the ground to his shed. Maybe this would be better for you (it is what I would do in your position with such a great garden sizewise.

Also, how did the Dell netbook go once you had 2GB of ram in it?

As always, good luck!

ps thinking about the lag on flash games etc have you tried speedtest.net picking the london hosted by namesco server you should do 3-5 tests in the house then 3-5 in the garden and maybe post the down Mb, up Mb and ping ms on here for us to look at.


Edited by: "wellen1981" 3rd Mar 2013
if you try the powerline adaptors and arent sufficient I dont think you ll see any improvement with faster one, maybe better try a different make if you can borrow from smone....In my opinion 100m is not a massive distance for wireless, specially if there are no obstacles in between, and you have clear optical contact between the wifi antennas...I set up a 50m connection from the home router to a remote desktop attaching a hand-made cantenna in the place of the normal pci card`s antenna of the desktop, pointing at direction of the home router.Although the router is not near the window and there are a couple of trees in between, I have a stable connection not very fast though but i was trying to keep minimal budget...to do it the right way I think you need a pair of these or smth similar:
linitx.com/pro…251
remember that clear optical contact between the two points is important....you can attach the second router that you ve got in the shed and make a local access point and operate desktop/laptop/mobile wireless...just ask before you buy smth like that, if is the right gear for the job...
Original Poster
Thanks wellen and pwel. I have been experimenting a bit more and I think it's more my Dell mini playing up than the connection or the powerlines. Wellen - it is MUCH improved with the 2GB of ram in it, I was quite shocked at the difference, as wasn't expecting much. The Dell mini is still a bit challenging with reference to the flash based games/chat rooms, but I think its because I have ubuntu OS which only supports 11.2 Adobe Flash player and most the flash websites I go on are needing the newest latest version 11.6 I will put the XP windows back on it as can then load the latest flash player I think - then see if things improve.

So I have internet now down in my office 100metres away, powered by TP Link 200 adapters, I can connect up to my Dell mini as this has an ethernet slot, but can't test out my Macbook Air as that doesn't have an ethernet slot (have ordered a usb to ethernet adapter for this). In the house I am getting between 2.2 and 2.8 download speeds and very similar on the Dell mini down in the office - so that's good news and tells me that they are actually working well. And such a simple installation, even I managed it on my own! The only difficult thing was pressing the pairing button on the one in the house, then dashing down the 100metres to plug in the other and all within 2 minutes! No problems whatsoever with setting up.

So now that I have the internet ethernet cable powered up - can I use my existing Belkin router to attach so that I can have a wireless connection down there? And will this interfere at all with the set up in the house, either whilst using it or whilst its sitting idle unused? If the office isn't heated or very well insulated, I guess this isn't too good an enviroment for a router, but should be OK for the summer months at least? Think again come winter, the plug and cable are easy to carry up if they're not in use, I will be bringing back any laptop/netbook or whatever and not leaving it down there due to the risk of damp.

My Belkin router is F5D9630-4 model number and an adsl2+ modem, G router.

If it is possible to set this up without interfering with the current router and wireless in the house, how do I do it please, or where can I get instructions (not too complicated, or big words!) of how to set it up to make the office wireless, this would be really handy as then my phone would work wireless too!

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