Your signal comes from your Wireless Access Point (WAP) and/or the modem or router that controls the connection to the internet. Us Nerds like to have two separate devices… one managing the connection and another the wireless… and therefore, that’ll always be our advice too. Take note that whatever the device is, it is sending and receiving a wireless signal at all times and it struggles to send and receive through walls, metal structure, and electronic devices so this means that its physical placement is of paramount importance (hence the reason we like to have two separate devices).
The solution to better wireless is to either have multiple wireless Access Points (AP’s) to distribute your wireless signal in such a manner that the signal has as little impeding it as possible on its way to and from the devices it connects to, or invest in a top quality (and much stronger) wireless access point than the one you currently use.
If you opt for the former, these AP’s must be connected to each other by a cable to ensure the maximum speeds are reaching it, prior to that same signal being sent on (in radio waves), which is the “wireless” we’ve all come to rely on. While it is true that there are devices called repeaters that pick up a wireless signal and “repeat” it to a larger area… this usually leads to a 30% drop in quality AND speed and over many years of testing and implementing solutions, we have yet to find a product that can be relied on.
Time for some Q&A:
Question 1: Is the wireless access point (or its antenna’s) high quality and is it sending a strong signal? Importantly… did you get it for free? If so, assume that it is the cheapest solution that money can buy…
Answer: Buy a good quality access point and switch off the wireless transmitted from the router.
Question 2: How far away are you from the device and how many solid objects or structure are in the way?
Answer: Move the device. If you can’t move the router, then buy an Access Point and run a network cable to it. Put it as high as you can and in the middle of your house.
Question 3: How old (or inferior) is the DEVICE that you are communicating with?
Answer: Remember that wireless is a two-way conversation so the device you (or anyone else) is using is also important. If it’s an old cell phone or a cheap laptop with a sub-standard wireless card, then it’s going to send and receive the wireless signal badly. Also, remember that most access points will SLOW themselves down to accommodate the slowest device connected.
Question 4: How many devices are connected and what are they doing?
Answer: Data is traffic and some traffic is heavier on the “road” than others… if everyone in the family is watching Netflix or Showmax then that means your network is FULL of video content which is the largest and most intensive. This will affect everyone connected and only the newest and best technology will allow for separate users and separate data streams.
Question 5: Will a Wi-Fi Extender/ Repeater help boost the internet?
Answer: Look at our article on it here
|Property type||Device||Jargon & Nerd speak||Approximate Cost*|
|Apartment or small office +/-200m2||A strong Access Point with multiple antennas||Mu-MIMO
Tri-band & 5GHz
|+/-R2,000 for the device
+/-R3000 for the job
|Home or apartment of +/-400m2
excluding outside buildings & property
|One or two ceiling mounted AP’s that are cabled to the router||As above & CAT5e network cable linking devices.||+/-R800 per network cable run (installed)
+/-R1500 per Access Point+/-R1000 for labour
500m2 to 1000m2
|Two or three ceiling mounted AP that are cabled to the router||As above & shielded CAT6 network cable if running to outside buildings.||+/-R800 per point
+/-R1500 to R3000 to reach outbuildings on property
+/-R1500 to R3000 for AP’s
+/-R2000 for labour
*Please appreciate that all costs provided are general market related costs and every home and office differs in size and complexity and the price will change to accommodate this.