Improving Wi-Fi at home
I live in an apartment which has a lot of square feet. The modem of my ISP is located in the Closet/Metering cupboard, meaning the Wi-Fi access-point is also there.
Initially I was using home-plugs from Devolo to get internet connectivity to the home-office and the living room. These are the rooms were initially I wanted ‘wired’ connections to be available. I had chosen home-plugs because I didn’t want to route network cables through the whole house. Although it is a relative new apartment it is not prepared for the current times.
For some time this was working fine, but as soon as I started to copy large files from one machine to another everybody else lost connectivity until the copy was complete. This was mainly an issues for the computers located in the home-office, so installed a network cable leading directly from the modem to a switch located in the home-office. All was well again.
I also installed a special home-plug which creates an additional Wi-Fi network via the power-line adapter. Most of the time it is working fine, but from time to time the connection between the base home-plug and the Wi-Fi module gets very unstable. The problem is that initially you don’t notice what the problem is, because the Wi-Fi module is working fine you will have full bars for the Wi-Fi connection. The fix is easy, unplug the device and plug it back in. But still the speed provided by the power-line adapter is not that great. Something had to chance.
I started taking measurements for the signal strength of the various Wi-Fi signals around the house. The main focus is on the access-point named ‘ziggo-redeye’. I used the application Wifi Analyzer (Android )to take the measurements.
Closet/metering cupboard in the hallway
On the last two pictures you see a very strong signal on the right-hand side of the chart, this is the one from the home-plug. When the home-plug is working properly then this is great, a mobile device will switching automatically to a known network with the strongest signal.
For the cases the home-plug is not functioning properly it would be desirable to switch to the known network with a weaker signal. But that is something (at least for iOS devices) that not something that’s automatic.
Wi-Fi Range Extender
To improve the quality of the Wi-Fi signal I ordered a TP-Link RE200. This model is compatible with 802.11 b/g/n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi devices and supports dual band speeds up to 750Mbps. It even has an Ethernet port.
Since the Ubee EVW320b Wi-Fi-modem has a WPS button the setup is very simple, but for security reasons I have disabled this feature. The manual has good instructions on how to setup it up manually via Wi-Fi or direct cable connection. So still easy.
For now I have placed the extender in a wall socket in the dining area. This gave me the following results. Before the signal strength was between 65-80 dBm, now it is between 45 and 60 dBm.