When installing our calving cameras and lambing cameras, we are often asked if there is a way that we can help to boost the WiFi signal. The thick walls of most farm houses make the range of the router particularly small within a farm house, and it seem to be the bug bear of most of our framing clients. We’ve written up this little guide to give you an overview of the options you have.
Change your Router
The first thing to consider when looking to boost the WiFi signal inside your farm house is what kind of router you have. The router is one of the most essential parts of a wireless network and can end up holding back your performance of your wireless devices. There are various different wireless standards which are available, the newer ones are much better at penetrating the thick walls of a farm house. Check the label, the most recent WiFi standard is 802.11ac, followed by 802.11n. Older versions are 802.11 g b and a – if you’ve got a router that’s 802.11g you’re essentially using a router that is 13 years out of date! Basically if you have not had a new router in the last year or two we would recommend you call your broadband supplier and ask them if they will send you a newer version out.
A little tip…
Most of the big internet service providers out there care so much about customer retention that if you threaten to leave or change provider, they will usually send one out to you free of charge.
Plugging In – with Powerline Networking
The next easiest way to boost the signal is to use PowerLine networking. These PowerLine modules use your existing electric cables to distribute the signal around the house. We regularly have great success with PowerLine networking, but there are one or two things to consider. Firstly they don’t work well going through multiple fuse boards. Unfortunately, the way many farmhouses have been extended over the years means that the presence of one fuse board controlling one part of the house whilst another controls the second part is quite common. This can be an issue for PowerLine networks as they cannot work between multiple fuse boxes. Try and keep the PowerLine devices on the same circuit and if not possible then on circuits operating from the same fuse board. Another thing to watch out for when utilising a PowerLine network is that they dont will not work well when plugged into a surge protected extension lead as the surge protection will filter the signal. The device may still work, but speeds will be drastically reduced. For this reason we much prefer to use a Powerline network device that allows you to plug through the device.
Wifi signal boosters are often the choise for those looking to give their signal that little extra kick – boosting the signal to areas in the house which usually wouldn’t get coverage. You can see an example here: Amazon.co.uk.
We don’t use these ourselves and whilst some of our customers swear by them, they are still subject to the problems of thick walls. If your house is just big, but the walls are of normal thickness then a WiFi booster may be the way forward.
Hardwired Access Points
If none of the previous suggestions work for you then the ‘bomb-proof’ way to improve your signal is to hard wire an access point close to the room where you need the signal. You can also use this method with an external access point to provide WiFi access in your farm yard. The most difficult part of this option is running a cable from your router to the position where you will place the access point. Most farmhouses have attics, cellars, basements and voids behind the walls, which might make a cable run relatively easy. However, rather than lifting floorboards, we often find it is easier, with the correct cable, to run it on the outside of the house. So it might not be as hard as you might at first think!
Comes as standard with our Calving Cameras and Lambing Cameras!
Of course one way to improve your WiFi signal is to let us install any of our calving cameras and lambing cameras on your farm – then as part of the service we will sort out the problem for you!
We hope this little guide helped you out. If you’ve got more questions about improving the WiFi signal on your farm, or want to check out our calving cameras, pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org