Tuesday 2 December 2014

How to Extend the Reach of Your Home Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is so much a part of our lives that it has now become the first thing that we ask for when we are in a public place or even in a foreign country.

Hence, it can be very frustrating when our home Wi-Fi signal is very poor in certain areas of our house as most Wi-Fi networks cannot travel beyond two walls (as illustrated in the floor plan below).

Wi-Fi connection in my house
(Floor plan, not drawn to scale, was drawn using my Samsung Galaxy Note 3)

As you can see, because the router (labeled as Wi-Fi in the floor plan because I equate it with Wi-Fi) is placed in my room (for many reasons that I shall not bore you with the details), the Wi-Fi connection is very poor in my mum-in-law's and brother-in-law's rooms. They often had to use 4G, resorting to either purchasing more data or using the internet at the living room. The arrangement was very inconvenient and uncomfortable.

Hence, even though I don't really review IT-related stuff cos it ain't my thing, I was very happy to review the Linksys N600 Pro Wi-fi Range Extender (and give a layperson's take on it) as it promises to extend the range of any Wi-Fi network.

Linksys N600 Pro Wi-Fi Range Extender
(Front and back)

I found setting up the Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extender to be relatively painless.

First, you plug in your device near to your router.

I liked that the Wi-Fi Range Extender comes with 3 types of plugs so that you can choose which is most appropriate
(Left to right: 2-pin, 3-pin and 3-pin wireless)

Next, insert the installation CD into your computer or download the installation set-up from their website if your computer does not have a CD compartment. Make sure that your computer is unplugged from lan (the wired internet connection) and connected to the router (the wireless internet connection).

Setting up my Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extender

When the green light on the Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extender stops blinking, you may follow the instructions given to set-up (this requires you to enter passwords to your Wi-Fi connection and stuff).

When that is done, simply place the device in the mid-point between your router and the area without Wi-Fi (see my floor plan below).

Plugged directly into my wall without the use of wires
Place the Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extender in a spot that is equidistant to the router and the room that requires Wi-Fi
(Floor plan, not drawn to scale, was drawn using my Samsung Galaxy Note 3)

You may want to test different areas in the house to see which is better. We tried to put it in the living room (see red 'x' in the floor plan above) but that didn't work at all. Eventually we discovered that the spot in the dining room was the most ideal.

The difference in the Wi-Fi signals after installing the Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extender was very significant!

Wi-Fi connection in all of the rooms AFTER installation of the Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extender
(Floor plan, not drawn to scale, was drawn using my Samsung Galaxy Note 3)
Screenshots of my handphone's Wi-Fi connection in my mum-in-law's room before and after installation of the Wi-Fi Range Extender

The brother-in-law was the happiest as he no longer have to go to the living room to surf the internet. The mum-in-law can also Skype her son in the USA in the comfort of her room while I can reply emails while putting my girl to bed. It's a win for everyone =)

This is definitely something you can consider for your home as well =)

Disclosure: A complimentary Wi-Fi Range Extender was received from Linksys Singapore for the purposes of this review. No monetary compensation was received; all opinions are my own.
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