Ultimate broadband set-up for new builds
In today’s connected world, there is probably nothing more frustrating than a poor internet connection and in a new build it can so easily be avoided if provision is made for “whole home internet” in the building phase. For most new builds, the addition of a few (well placed) ethernet cables in the home (for as little as £50 per point) could be the difference between pulling your hair out with frustrating connectivity or having glorious Wi-Fi everywhere.
But why do I need cables, isn’t everything on Wi-Fi?
To answer this, we first need to understand the capabilities and limitations of Wi-Fi.
In most home and small business networks, Wi-Fi is essentially wireless internet transmitted by radio frequency (RF) via an antenna built into your BT (or similar) router. The biggest downfall of these routers is the built in antenna is not at all strong enough to provide Wi-Fi throughout your home let alone in the garden or out on the sundeck. Basically, the further away you are from the router, the weaker the signal will be and the more frustrated you’re going to get. To add to the frustration, RF signal is easily affected by walls, tin roofs, electronic appliances and pretty much anything that is not just air…
To illustrate how Wi-Fi flows through a building with a brick exterior wall and drywall on the interior… In image A below, the Wi-Fi access point is placed against the outside wall of the building (where most BT routers are placed). The red area is where the signal is the strongest and the white area is where there is virtually no signal. One can see that the interior walls have a significant effect on the signal reach and areas in the opposite side of the house have poor signal.
In image B, the Wi-Fi access point is moved to a more central position in the house and you can see that the Wi-Fi has much better reach within the building. The red wall surrounding the garage is brick and blocks the signal significantly.
In image C, a house with stone or brick walls on the exterior and interior has a significant effect on the signal within a building. In some instances you may require 2 or more access points if the area required to cover is large enough..
To get the best possible Wi-Fi signal in Image A above, it would be best to move the router to the middle of the building (not always possible with BT connections) or mount an additional Wi-Fi access point on the ceiling (image D) to more effectively distribute the Wi-Fi signal. The Access Point would need to be connected to the router via an ethernet cable in order for this to work. It goes without saying that it would be infinitely easier (and neater) to do this before the house is occupied.
Ethernet vs Wi-Fi
The ultimate broadband set-up would use a combination of wired and wireless connections to provide internet to devices within your property. Devices such as TV’s, gaming PC’s, Playstation’s and security cameras are better off “hard wired” than on Wi-Fi due to the volume of data required for streaming etc (this doesn’t mean that they can’t be on wi-fi, we are just talking about best case scenarios).
If you have the need for extra Wi-Fi access points in the house you would be better off hard wiring them back to the router rather than meshing them to each other. A hard wired access point will always perform significantly better than a meshed network point. If hard wiring them is not possible then meshing will do.
If you’re in the building phase or thinking fo purchasing a New Building get in touch for a free quote./consultation We would be happy to chat to the developers and assist to ensure you have the ultimate broadband setup in your new home.