When you pay forty pounds or more each month for a service, you’d quite rightly expect it to work.
But for Jamie, a client I visited in Esher last week, this was not the case.
The service was for the high-speed broadband, but unfortunately for him, it was anything but fast, and was getting frustrated at the poor performance from various laptops and other mobile services around his home.
Having already spoken to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and getting even more frustrated when they said there was nothing wrong with his broadband, he then got in touch with us.
Once I carried out the initial inspection, I confirmed with Jamie that the broadband was indeed perfectly OK, and that the issue was to do with his wifi, not the broadband service itself.
This is the bit that confuses a lot of people. With any type of broadband, there are two elements at play – the broadband service itself and then there’s the wifi access to the router from the devices throughout the property.
Here’s a straightforward example – Say you access the internet from the lounge, where your broadband routers located; you’ll very likely experience the download speeds expected from your ISP.
But, if you move to a room upstairs and find that the internet is much slower or sometimes buffering when you watch a video, this means that your wifi connection it too weak. The broadband is still working fine but the wireless connection from your laptop to the router is the cause of the problem.
So what’s the solution?
First of all, stay away from wifi range extenders. These devices rely on a strong and healthy wifi connection from the point of origin to point B in the setup. So if you have a weak wireless connection in the first place, this isn’t the best remedy to the problem.
What I recommend are Powerline adapters. This works on the electrical system in a property, and they work very well.
So, with the above example, you’d simply plug in the master Powerline adapter into the electrical wall socket near the broadband router and connect an Ethernet cable into a spare port into the back of the router.
You’d then plug a Powerline wifi adapter into a spare electrical socket in the room upstairs and the two adapters would then connect to one another via the electrical circuit.
IMPORTANT POINT: As this system functions via the electrical system, both point A and point B need to be on the same electrical circuit. So in this case, the lounge and the room upstairs need to be on the same circuit. If they’re not, the two adapters won’t be able to connect to one another.
So now, instead of you connecting wirelessly from upstairs to the router downstairs, you’d connect wirelessly to the new adapter in the room upstairs.
If you already have similar equipment installed, but you’re still finding the performance isn’t to your liking, make sure that you’ve given each wifi adapter an unique SSID (wireless network name). Otherwise, you won’t know which wifi network you’re connecting to as you move around the property.