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How to get broadband to a garden office

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2016 10:26AM GMT

With our reliance on technology increasing, along with more and more people choosing to work from home, it is progressively becoming the norm for garages, sheds, summerhouses and barns to be transformed into garden offices. An excellent way to keep home and work life separate, a garden office allows you to skip the commute and work without intruding on your personal space.  

With this eureka moment comes a number of puzzles, such as figuring out how to extend your internet signal to the garden office. The chances are that your home Wi-Fi does not have the range to reach your office and provide you with a strong, reliable signal. You probably already know this if you’ve tried rejigging the router by moving it to the nearest windowsill or pointing it towards the office. Even if you manage to achieve a signal, it is likely to be a weak one and the movement of your router may have even adversely affected how your home broadband performs. The last thing you want is the internet-addicts in your home complaining about a drop in signal. 

Try a Wi-Fi extender

A Wi-Fi extender is a simple piece of technology which connects to your existing Wi-Fi network and extends the signal. Together, the router and the extender bridge the gap between the main router in your home and your office building. 

You will need to plug the extender into a mains socket in your home somewhere; it’s best to choose a location half way between the router and the garden office. Even though a Wi-Fi extender is cheap and quick to install, it’s only really effective if the signal only has to extend a relatively short distance, i.e. 30m. The signal deteriorates more the further it has to reach. 

How about powerline networking?

Powerline networking uses the electrical power cable which runs between your home and garden building to deliver internet data between two or more separate units. The system works alongside your Wi-Fi and shouldn’t need a technician to install. 

All you need is a simple kit which consists of two adapters, each with its own short Ethernet cable. One adapter is plugged into the mains and directly to the router using the Ethernet cable, the second adapter is plugged into the garden office. From here you have two choices. Either the device is connected directly to the second adapter with an Ethernet cable or you can attach a second Wi-Fi router, providing a wireless connection for all of your devices. This alternative system is also relatively cheap and easy to install, however, the external building must be connected to electricity and wired to the same distribution box. 

Have you tried an Ethernet cable?

Laying an Ethernet cable between your home and garden office is the most secure and reliable means of establishing an internet connection and is probably the best option for a fast and reliable connection. 

If you have recently had your garden office built and have yet to install an electricity cable to your new outbuilding, it’s a good idea to arrange for the Ethernet cable to be laid simultaneously and placed next to the power cables. Installing retrospectively will require additional effort. 

Very little technical expertise is required to lay an Ethernet cable and an IT technician is not generally necessary. Your new Ethernet cable can be plugged into any Wi-Fi router or directly into a device which has an Ethernet port. You will certainly experience a more secure and reliable connection; however you must remember that the trailing cable needs hiding from the elements or laying underground. 

Wi-Fi Point to Point

Not dissimilar to a Wi-Fi extender, Wi-Fi Point to Point is a more reliable alternative which requires a complex installation. A unit needs to be installed on the outside wall of your house and another on the garden building. Both units require power and IT knowledge would be useful if you plan to do this yourself. 

The unit on the house is attached to the home Wi-Fi and transmits the signal to the second device. By using this system, you should be able to establish an effective signal though it’s important to bear in mind that trees, shrubs and other buildings can interfere with the signal. Boasting a greater range than Wi-Fi repeaters, Wi-Fi Point to Point works over longer distances but only if it has the benefit of a clear line of sight. 

If you have yet to find the perfect garden office for your home, make sure to call in at your local Solid Sheds show site to see the models we have available.