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Which WiFi Booster ?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Techie Stuff
22 replies 1.8K views
Ebe_ScroogeEbe_Scrooge Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Techie Stuff
I'm thinking about getting a WiFi booster. Our router is upstairs, it'll be a hassle to move it for a variety of reasons. The WiFi signal downstairs is quite weak, particularly noticeable when watching BBC iPlayer on the TV in the lounge - it often pauses mid-programme and buffers.

Anyhow, I though a WiFi booster may be the answer. Having had a quick look online, there seem to be dozens available, from about £10 to upwards of £100. So a fairly simple question - do they actually work, and do you have any recommendations for a reasonably cheap one that'll do the trick ? If I go for one that's less than about £20 I'm happy to just buy it and see how it goes - but if any of you good folk have a recommendation that would be great. Thanks.
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  • edited 17 May 2019 at 10:54AM
    grumpycrabgrumpycrab Forumite
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    edited 17 May 2019 at 10:54AM
    Wifi boosters - a single device which sits in between router and wifi dead-spot- are very much hit and miss; Does your TV have an ethernet port? I suggest powerplugs -which use the house wiring- to extend ethernet capabilities. Again, can be hit and miss for various reasons.

    [STRIKE]What to suggest? Try this pair for £25 from Amazon. If they don't work (or are not reliable enough) - send them back!
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tenda-Powerline-Electrical-PW201A-P200/dp/B076D47V7V[/STRIKE]

    EDIT: I may retract that suggestion. Although very cheap, the reason is that they are quite (IE very) slow. Should be OK for iPlayer via powerline but check Amazon reviews first!

    ** See Cisco's suggestion for a nice fast kit. **
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  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    What router do you have now? If its an old one that only does 2.4Ghz and your devices are all 5Ghz compatible that may be a better solution?

    Note that wifi signals only boost what they can see and if you put one in a place of already poor signal, it'll be the equivalent of a chocolate teapot.
  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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    We've a couple of devolo powerline blocks but I now realise they aren't terribly fast.
    Which in a household of teenage lads may not be that bad a thing, but when we next switch providers & get a new router, we may think about updating...
  • Ebe_ScroogeEbe_Scrooge Forumite
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    Thanks to you all for your feedback. I'll have a look at the one suggested by Cisco, I may end up getting one. But first I'll check out the suggestion from Neil Jones - our router does have both 2.4 & 5 Ghz, though I must admit I've never really understood what it does. Will definitely try and work out if the telly will do 5 ghz and give that a try first :-)

    Thanks again, all
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  • DoaMDoaM Forumite
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    FYI ... 5 GHz is less effective at pushing through walls etc. than 2.4 GHz. Therefore if the 2.4 signal is poor near the TV, the 5 signal is probably worse.*

    * Depending on orientation of the WiFi aerials in the router/access point. Have you tried re-positioning/reorienting the router?
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  • Ebe_ScroogeEbe_Scrooge Forumite
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    DoaM wrote: »
    FYI ... 5 GHz is less effective at pushing through walls etc. than 2.4 GHz. Therefore if the 2.4 signal is poor near the TV, the 5 signal is probably worse.*

    * Depending on orientation of the WiFi aerials in the router/access point. Have you tried re-positioning/reorienting the router?

    Thanks for the info :-) I've tried moving the router around, but it doesn't seem to help much. Looks like I might be buying one of those boosters then :-)
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  • grumpycrabgrumpycrab Forumite
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    I assume you meant powerline. This also good value. £30 with voucher.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tenda-PH5-Powerline-Extender-Streaming/dp/B0746HVPMC
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  • CardinalWolseyCardinalWolsey Forumite
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    If you do go down the powerline+wifi extender route (which can be a good solution), don't allow the unit to "clone" or "copy" your existing WiFi details (e.g. SSI, password etc). Whilst this can seem a good idea - only having one wifi "network" in the house - in reality what happens is that devices connect to one router (or wifi transmitter, so to speak), and then stay connected to it even if there is another network with the same name with a stronger signal available. You have to turn your device's wifi off and back on again to force a reconnect to the stronger signal router.

    This is because the cheap home kit we use for this purpose doesn't have the inbuilt management capabilities to hand off between wifi routers. A mesh network does have this capability, and "pro" routers (such as offices and public spaces use) also do.

    So name each router's wifi differently, e.g. "UPSTAIRS" and "DOWNSTAIRS", as it makes it more obvious and a reminder that you need to switch between networks, and guarantees which router you are connecting to (or spend more money and invest in e.g. a mesh network, such as https://store.google.com/product/google_wifi )
  • SystemSystem
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    Ubiquiti access points. Proper commercial grade stuff that has much better coverage than consumer grade gear. Costs more but solves lots of problems.
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