Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

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juliantenniscoach
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Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby juliantenniscoach » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:59 am

Hi there,

The home wifi is getting a battering like everyone else's and I'm confined to an area where the wifi isn't that great.  Anyone have a recommendation for a good booster? 

Thanks very much,

Julian
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rubyonrails
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby rubyonrails » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:23 pm

We have BT Whole Home which seems to be holding up pretty well. It's getting a fair battering with 4 heavy users  :o
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Gingerfizz
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby Gingerfizz » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:27 pm

Agree with rubyonrails.  We have BT wholehome too and so far it’s coping well with heavy use, even with multiple people on Zoom at the same time. 
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juliantenniscoach
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby juliantenniscoach » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:20 pm

Sorry I wasn't being clear.  I'm on EE for everything and I can't change supplier right now.  What I meant was the plug in signal boosters I've seen.  Anyone got one of those?  Apologies for any confusion.  Thanks again.
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Gingerfizz
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby Gingerfizz » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:14 pm

I think the BT wholehome booster system can work with EE. I don’t think it matters who your supplier is as it connects to your existing router. We are on BT but the friends who recommended it to us are on TalkTalk.
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juliantenniscoach
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby juliantenniscoach » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:44 pm

Ah ok, thanks very much.  I'll check it out.  Another recommendation is a Devolo dLAN 500, anyone know this?
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balhamsw12dad
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby balhamsw12dad » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:45 pm

Google WiFi is very good as a way to set up a house-wide wifi network.
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boonkoh
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby boonkoh » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:04 pm

Steps to troubleshoot:

1) First establish the internet speed coming into your home

a. On your work laptop, bring it next to where your HBB Router is, and connect to Wifi. You should see full 4 bars signal strength

b. With your browser, go to fast.com

c. If your speed is >20mbps you have decent internet speed (the maximum for most homes is 60mbps unless you have Virgin Cable or Fibre To The Premise FTTP internet)

d. You might refresh fast.com several times to get an average reading if you wish

2) If speed <20mbps, we want to see if it’s the Wifi signal that is the issue or the actual line speed into the home

a. You’ll need an Ethernet LAN cable for this next part, and also only if your laptop has an Ethernet/LAN port.

b. Plug in, disable wifi, and do the same fast.com test

c. If the speed you get is higher, than there is probably something wrong with your Wifi router, and you should explore replacing it

3) Next you want to test if the wifi signal is strong enough to reach the room you normally work in

a. Go to the place at home you normally work

b. Run the fast.com speed test again

c. If there is a big difference in speed, and below <20mbps, then you have weak wifi signal in that area at home

d. There are ways to boost your signal to that room, through:

i. Get a more powerful wifi router. Something like the Netgear Nighthawk. This does require a bit of intermediate knowledge setting up, but instructions are easy to find online for BT/Sky/Vodafone/etc

ii. Get a wifi signal booster. This is something you plug into a power socket. Ideally halfway in between where your router is, and the room you want to work in. It takes in the wifi signal and amplifies it. Search for “wifi booster” or “wifi extender” on Amazon. TP Link do a popular model.

iii. Get a powerline adapter. It comes in two devices. It sends the internet signal down your power lines in your home, and then creates a wifi signal at the other end.

iv. Or just switch providers! Most HBB switch doesn’t require an engineer, but there could be a few hours downtime on switch day.

1. We have an amazing deal at Vodafone currently – SF2 for the price of SF1, and a further discount for existing PAYM customers.

v. If you can't get fast broadband in your area via land-line, then check to see if you can get 5G mobile coverage in your home. Every network will have different coverage so check Vodafone, O2, EE and three. You can then buy unlimited mobile broadband from one of those providers, to create a strong WiFi network at home.
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juliantenniscoach
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby juliantenniscoach » Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:10 pm

Thanks very much,  very helpful.
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:47 pm

OP, you should give some more details about the layout of the property.


A lot depends on the materials used in the property. I have seen old houses where a router can easily reach all rooms across 3 floors, and modern flats where the very same router struggles to get the signal to the other room.


What is your budget? How much are you willing to spend on this?


Wired is always best. If you can run ethernet cables from one room or one floor to another, and then set up a separate access point or router in the other room/floor, do that, the connection will always be better than what you would achieve wireless. The Unifi AC or AC Pro are amazing pieces of kit, miles ahead of any network-supplied stuff, and they also look OK (google them, they're like a whitish dish), but they are only access points, not routers. If you don't know what it means, then configuring them won't be for you :)


If you can't or don't want to run cables all over the house, you must make sure the repeaters you use have 2, or preferably 3 channels, so they use 1 to communicate between them and the other(s) to send data to you. Otherwise speed will be slowed down too much. This is a good one: https://www.tp-link.com/uk/home-network ... der/re365/


Depending on your needs and the layout of the house, you could also think of a mesh wifi system - they are basically a set of repeaters like the TP Link in the link above.
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juliantenniscoach
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby juliantenniscoach » Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:08 pm

Definitely not the wires over the house option.  I had enough hassle running an Ethernet cable from the router to the music streamer.  Thanks for your help, all good to know.
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:33 pm

Also, to clarify what boonkoh said:

powerline adapters send the signal through the electrical wires. They are hit or miss because it depends on the distance and quality of the wires. I have been in properties where they worked brilliantly and in others where the very same adapters were useless. If you can borrow some from a neighbour it's worth a try, otherwise beware you might spend the money for nothing.

I think his or her way to test the signal is a bit convoluted, to be honest. A much simpler way is this: unplug your router, get an electrical extension lead, plug the router somewhere else in the house (by plugging it into the lead, ignore the network cable), then install a wifi analyser app on your phone, and wander around the house to determine the strength of the signal. Do this multiple times, moving around the router and the phone, to determine where you want the repeaters. For example, this will tell you that if you put one near the kitchen window you cover the garden but not the main bedroom, while if you put it between the kitchen and the stairs you cover the kitchen and the bedroom but not the garden.

You do NOT need the router to be connected to the internet for this. The router sends a wireless signal regardless of whether it is connected to the internet. If it is, the signal it sends will provide internet access; if it isn't, it will provide access to whatever devices are connected into the router, eg you can use a router to connect two PCs to each other without connecting them to the internet
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:38 pm

PS to be clear, in theory , you can get slightly different results with a different router or repeater (sending the signal) and a different phone or PC receiving it. In practice, though, the difference is unlikely to be night and day.
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chorister
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby chorister » Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:09 pm

We've used a wifi powerline extender plugged into the 13 amp circuit from a router at the very top of the house to run a smart TV and laptop on the ground floor with practically no issues for years.  It's easy to set up and the only maintenance is to switch it all off one evening once a week and then reboot it the next morning (it saves the configuration etc).
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condorblanca
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Re: Recommendations for a WiFi booster please

Postby condorblanca » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:44 pm

We’ve got 2 Devolo devices in our town house and they are fantastic, totally recommend them
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