Planning to connect an outbuilding or shed to your wireless network? With a strong Wi-Fi signal, this should be simple. But if Wi-Fi isn’t reaching the external building, you’ll need a different solution.
Here are five ways you can connect a shed, garage, or summer house to your home network.
It might not be your shed, of course. It could be a purpose built crafting studio, an office, a dance room, a gym. You might want to get Wi-Fi in your greenhouse for remote monitoring purposes. Perhaps you want to observe wildlife on your property using wireless cameras.
You might want to enjoy soothing tunes in your summer house. If you have a larger property, connecting buildings to the network might be vital for your home business.
Or you might have space for a marquee for a celebration and want to enjoy music piped across your network.
Related: Where Should You Build Your Home Office?
Whatever the reason, you have five clear ways to connect your shed or other outbuilding to your Wi-Fi network:
Let’s look at these in turn and examine the advantages and disadvantages of each. This will help you decide which is the right solution for you.MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
Wi-Fi extenders are also known as repeaters or boosters, but there isn’t a clearly defined difference. These are interchangeable terms, mostly used for marketing, but which all describe the same thing: increasing the strength and range of a wireless network.
Some Wi-Fi extenders can be used outside, suitable for mounting on an external wall. Of the range of the extender can reach the building you’re trying to connect, this is a smart solution.
Read More: The Best Wi-Fi Extenders
Another option is a Wi-Fi mast that can be mounted on an external wall. This works along similar principles to an extender, the key difference being that such a mast requires just one cable.
Thanks to the emergence of Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, such an external mast can be powered by the same cable carrying the data from the router. This makes for an easier installation, one that isn’t restricted by the position of electric cables and points in your property.
However, an external mast retains some installation issues. Mounting means drilling, more than likely up a ladder. There is also the path the Ethernet cable takes between the router and the mounting point. Some cable covers may be required here, or at least time spent running the Ethernet lead around doors or under floors.
This is a more unusual solution.
Ideal for large properties, a pair of point-to-point transmitter/receivers create a wireless bridge beyond the restrictions of repeaters.
Typical point-to-point wireless bridges can operate across several kilometers, providing long range access to a home (or business) network. This makes it suitable for properties on large plots, or businesses situated in different locations.
With a point-to-point wireless bridge you can expect transmission speeds of 300Mbps or higher. This makes the solution perfect for maintaining a standard 100Mpbs network.
A point-to-point wireless bridge set up includes a master device (connected directly to the router) and one or more slaves. Fortunately, setting up a wireless bridge is straightforward, but as with other solutions, the devices require mounting.
If none of the wireless solutions work for you (or your budget) and drilling holes isn’t appropriate, powerline adapters are a smart alternative.
These devices use your property’s electric wiring to carry data. If the external building is connected to your main property’s electric circuit, then powerline adapters are a practical solution.
Related: How to Set up Powerline Adapters
Powerline adapters support wired and wireless networking. An affordable, clutter free solution to networking issues, they don’t require any cables, drilling, or fuss. There is a shortcoming to powerline adapters, however. Data speed is noticeably degraded (or sometimes non-existent) the router and the outbuilding are on different circuits.
Read More: The Best Powerline Adapters for Your Home Network
It’s the no-nonsense solution to networking issues around the home, but it might just be the answer you’re looking for.
If powerline adapters, external extenders or repeaters, a mast, or point-to-point transmitter/receivers don’t seem attractive – or worse, you’ve spent money and they don’t work – then the answer might just be a simple length of Cat 5 cable with RJ45 connectors at each end.
Ethernet ports can be found on routers and on most computers and consoles. You can even set up a wireless router in your outbuilding, disabling the modem functionality to use the device as an extension of your network.
Related: The Best Ethernet Cables for Gaming
Each of these methods of hooking up your shed, orangery, garden office, or even garage to your network is straightforward. However, they vary in difficulty, depending on your knowledge and budget.
For example, running an Ethernet cable from the router to the garden building might seem the simplest and cheapest option. However, for a safe installation, you would need to drill holes and route the cable safely. Conversely while more expensive, an external Wi-Fi mast is almost wire-free.
If you’re desperate to get online while situated in an outbuilding and none of these solutions work, consider the alternative. Mobile internet from a tethered smartphone won’t connect you to your home network, but it will provide internet access.How to Connect Mobile Internet to Your PC via Tethering Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorChristian Cawley(1580 Articles Published)
Deputy Editor for Security, Linux, DIY, Programming, and Tech Explained, and Really Useful Podcast producer, with extensive experience in desktop and software support.A contributor to Linux Format magazine, Christian is a Raspberry Pi tinkerer, Lego lover and retro gaming fan.MoreFrom Christian Cawley
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