A conversation sprung up via a whats app group today caused by the news that finally we may get fiber to the cabernet and thus better broad band.

However, the crux of the conversation was not about the speed of the Broadband to the house, it was about how much juice it loses between the router and the device in the home.

In my old home, a 3 bed 1930’s council built semi in the middle of rural Oxfordshire we had little problem with the wifi signal at the farthest point away in the house. I guess it help that during the refurbishment back in 2001 of all the downstairs walls I ran cat5 cable to convenient points, like behind the TV. Then, after extending into the loft and moving the router up there I replaced it with a pretty powerful SOHO (Small Office Home Office) model.

Recently a friend was having trouble with there BT router and there BT sport/TV box. The two were one room apart. It is true that the wireless router actually gave up the ghost and had to be replaced but even then it was not sufficiently powerful for decent viewing. However luck would have it that they already had a piece of cat5 neatly ran from the router to the back of the TV. So it was an easy task to buy a terminator from Screwfix, connect up to the cat5 and plug in. Bingo. A perfect picture and hours of premiership rugby.

So here is the thing. There is something about the houses in this neck of the woods. They are like living in a Faraday cage. Mobile phone signals don’t stand a chance and the same applies for wifi. The room with the TV in is next to my office with the Wifi router but if you do not have the router in the optimal position, no Iplayer, no Amazon prime.

Wifi is not that stable. Packets get lost so watching movies over it can be a poor experience if it gets really bad.

I have tried an extender. It works quite well. The idea is plug it in the wall in between the black spot and wifi router and it will extend the the signal into the black spot. I don’t see it as the final solution though. Wifi Extender

How to get the best out of the expensive broadband being pumped into your house then.

  1. Buy the right type of business broad band. You get a less contested line, so less people are using the cable from cabinet to exchange. My current deal is £35 (inc. vat), unlimited broad band, unlimited local and national calls and pretty cheap international. I get 8Mgbs where all my neighbours get nowhere near. In fact half.

  2. Buy an aftermarket SOHO modem wireless router. They are more expensive but they have much more powerful wifi. More often than not have 2 or 3 ariels that allow you to direct the wifi signal in the right direction.

  3. Go for cat5 cable. But you don’t want it hanging around in the house, right. Well that’s fine; how many of you have cables neatly run around the outside of your house to carry phone, tv ariel, satellite cables. You can buy armoured or waterproof cat5. A couple of neat holes and you can get true broad band from your router to the device i.e. the TV.

    Example of waterproof patch cable