Monday, October 21, 2013

How can I bring WiFi to my shed?

It's a question that pops up all the time and this time the fine folk at Engadget are having a go at crowdsourcing the answer. Lots (and lots) of comments and suggestions so if this is something you're thinking about doing, then it's well worth a long browse. We'd also be keen for readers of Shedworking to suggest their solutions below this post. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  1. Data cable laid at the same time as the electrical connection is by far the most reliable and will give you the same speed you get in your house.
    You could experiment with the plugs that plug into your house electrical system, assuming you shed is wired from the same circuit, but you will experience a drop off in signal strength if the cable running to your shed is a long one.
    If you shed is right next to the house you may be able to get a signal from your router, as long as your house isn't made of stone and the router is well positioned.
    Signal relayers don't seem to work outside, I know this because I've tried it myself in our garden office.
    If you have a telegraph pole anywhere near your shed, you could install a dedicated phone line. This would probably cheaper than the data cable to install but more expensive in terms of line rental because you would then be the proud owner of two phone lines.
    Lynn Fotheringham
    InsideOut's Garden Buildings Guide

  2. I can connect to my wifi from my shed as I would do if I was in any other room. Probably helps that I don't have a big garden!

  3. We ran a cable from the back of the router down the garden with the power cable but you could use powerline range extenders if you already have power in your shed

  4. Ubiquiti has some excellent and inexpensive products for long distance wifi - even if your shed is 10's of kms away - as long as there is reasonable line of sight. I set up a reliable 14km connection using their equipment several years ago. A second connection through 800m of trees with no line of sight was still useful enough for me to do my work (which is entirely using the internet).
    The equipment is off the shelf and uses unlicensed bands and available for sale and use in most countries.

  5. The usual options are a powerline ethernet or wifi bridge. I hoping to use the later although I might need an aerial upgrade.

  6. Originally, I relied upon the wifi signal from our router but the connection could be unreliable. My problem was further complicated by the fact that my wooden shed is completely surrounded with foil backed insulation in all walls, roof and floor which would completely block a wifi signal (and FM radio signal) and as such I had to rely on the window and open door in good weather. Eventually, I ran an ethernet cable from the back of our router, externally around the house and across to my shed and now have no connection problems.

    1. Hi, if I run a cable from my router to my Shed do I then plug it into another wifi router..??

    2. This is what I'd like to know. I have an ethernet cable into my shed which is great but how do I then get wifi from that? Do I plug it into another router?

    3. Hi!

      I've done the same thing, but was wondering what sort of cable protector you use for the cable to prevent weather and wear damage?

      I'm worried my cable won't last long out there, and googling for outdoor cable protectors only gives expensive products (over $25/m) that are able to withstand vehicles going over them etc... and that's the budget product!

      I think I may be searching with the wrong terms - do you have any advice? Thanks.

  7. I work from the 'shed' around 4 days a week and originally used wireless however then noticed I was only getting around 12Mbps and though i really should be looking for something a but quicker as I have a 120Mbps connection into the house. I didn't do too much research at time but the local PCWorld had a special deal on Netgear Powerline adaptors so I bought a pair to try out, they were only about £39.99 so nothing too serious if they didn't work. They were really easy to setup and in the office I get just over 125Mbps each way which I think is pretty good as they electrical wiring probably isn't 100% great down there plus the house has an old style fusebox right now with fuse wire.
    I think they are so good I bought some more and use them on the Virginmedia Tivo box and the occasional corporate laptop that visits and doesn't like a wireless connection.
    One trick is that as long as the devices all match the Homeplug standard then you should in theory I am told be able to mix and match manufacturers, although I have only personally used Netgear and right now have 4 connected.

  8. Hi, I work from the office in the back garden, I have an internet cable running from the house to the office and into the PC. I have recently taken on another person and therefore require wifi in the office.
    How would I go about setting this up? Do I need a new router which the internet cable gets plugged into or a WIFI bridge?
    Slightly confused, any help would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Hi there, I'm wondering what you eventually went for? I'm converting my garage at the end of my garden to be a workspace. It's 20m away. My plan is to send an ethernet cable down to the garage with the electricity but I'm concerned about the length and there seems to be a lot of different spec for ethernet cable. Does anyone have any advice or a good brand of cable? Thank you!