How to Extend Your Home Internet

Learn how to extend Wi-Fi range with GetWindstream

In the modern world, internet access is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. With working from home establishing itself as the new normal, every room in your house becomes a potential workspace. But even those who don’t work from home should have internet access to all areas of their property.

If you live in a house with a detached garage, or a work shed, or a storm cellar with a spotty Wi-Fi connection, you might want some tips on how to expand your home internet. The team at GetWindstream is here to help.

To get started, we’ll walk through common issues that could cause your home to have a limited Wi-Fi range. Then, we’ll break down the right product for your home.

Basic Tips to Extend Home Internet

There are many reasons why your property might experience a lack of network connectivity. To start off, let’s look at some of the most common explanations and solutions for unevenly distributed Wi-Fi.

  • The location of your router: The fewer physical barriers between your router and the rest of your property, the better. We recommend placing your router in a central location in your home to ensure the maximum coverage and fastest possible internet speeds.
  • Outdated Wi-Fi equipment: Most experts recommend replacing your router every three to five years. With Wi-Fi technology constantly evolving, an outdated router is a big problem.
  • Outside interferences: If you have an additional building or fixture that is unattached to your home, there’s several reasons why you won’t receive a good Wi-Fi signal. Thick walls and large open spaces make for strong barriers to your home internet range. 

The last bullet point is what we’ll spend the remainder of this guide on. Let’s get into how to extend your Wi-Fi range to reach every inch of your property.

Invest in a Home Internet Range Extender

Internet range extenders—also called Wi-Fi boosters or repeaters—are standalone devices that you can place between your router and the location where you want the wireless network to reach. Rather than creating a new Wi-Fi network entirely, these extenders simply boost your network’s internet signal to reach a further location.

This is one of the more affordable options to expand your home internet, as a Wi-Fi extender may cost as little as $30. 

To boost your Wi-Fi signal to your garage or shed with an extender, find a place roughly halfway between your router and the location you want your network to reach. Keep in mind you’ll need an AC outlet to plug your extender into. If you can’t find a halfway point with a nearby outlet, we recommend using an extension cord to give yourself plenty of area to choose from.

Once you’ve plugged in and set up your internet range extender, you should be able to access your Wi-Fi from your new location.

Overall, home internet range extenders are an easy, affordable option to boost your Wi-Fi to a different building on your property.

Learn How to Lay Ethernet Cables

Another option to extend your internet connection is to lay ethernet cables from your home to the second location on your property. This is a more labor intensive solution, but cabled internet has existed this long for a reason—it’s a strong and reliable option to get your internet to reach where you need it.

First, you’ll need to invest in an ethernet extension cable. Purchase one that is outdoor-rated to prevent outside elements from causing the cable to malfunction.

You’ll then need a computer or additional modem or router to keep in your second location. Connect one end of your ethernet extension cable to this device, and the other end to the primary router in your home. 

To securely lay the cable, dig a shallow trench from your home to the second location. We recommend digging it at least a foot and a half deep, to ensure the cable keeps safe from water drainage and other outdoor variables.

Once you’ve dug your trench, lay the ethernet extension cable in it and bury it securely. 

The final verdict? Using an ethernet cable to extend your home internet is more labor intensive, but it can be a lower cost alternative to wireless internet extenders. For more information on how ethernet cables can make your home Wi-Fi faster, check out GetWindstream’s guide on how to make your home internet faster.

Expand Your Home Internet with a Mesh Wi-Fi Kit

Much like a Wi-Fi range extender, a mesh Wi-Fi kit is a wireless solution to expanding your home internet to more areas on your property. However, a mesh Wi-Fi system differs from the other options we’ve laid out in that it replaces your existing Wi-Fi network—including your router.

A mesh Wi-Fi system is made up of mesh extenders (also known as nodes or satellites) that work alongside one another to create a broad, secure Wi-Fi network. With a mesh network, you can eliminate the stress of extending a single router’s range by replacing it with a group of mesh extenders placed throughout your property.

This option is the least labor intensive of all our suggestions. To ensure your garage or shed receives good service, simply place one of the mesh extenders in the desired location. 

Overall, mesh Wi-Fi kits are one of the easiest solutions to make sure your home internet expands to the rest of your property. However, this is one of the most expensive options—most mesh Wi-Fi kits cost well above $100.

Final Thoughts on Extending Home Internet

Now, let’s summarize what we’ve learned about each technique and product that can extend Wi-Fi range.

  1. First, make sure your Wi-Fi equipment is up-to-date and placed in a central location in your home.
  2. If you want an affordable, wireless option, invest in an internet range extender. 
  3. For an alternative that is cheaper but more labor intensive, lay ethernet cables and extend them to your detached property.
  4. Finally, for a more pricey but ultimately more cohesive broadband network for your property, consider purchasing a mesh Wi-Fi kit.

For more information, take a look at some of the resources we referenced when compiling this guide. Plus, if you’re looking to upgrade your internet connection, check out Kinetic by Windstream’s 1 GIG internet package.

References

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