Now that summer is in full swing and the days are long and warm, it’s time to spend more time outside. Whether you’re looking to create a back yard home office as you work remotely, want to stream an outdoor movie night with your friends, or tend your vegetable patch with smart gardening tools, you can bring your tech to the great outdoors with you. All you need is to extend your home WiFi to your back yard.
First things first
As you get started, consider where exactly you want to use the internet. Is it on the deck? The whole back yard? The patio off to the side? Take into consideration any outdoor outlets you have in case you need to plug in a laptop or another WiFi-enabled device, as well as any tall trees, shrubs, or bushes that may block your WiFi signal.
You should also consider the weather in your area. Electronics and the elements rarely mix well, so be sure to factor in any humidity, rain, or high temperatures, as they could affect the performance of your backyard WiFi solution.
The budget-friendly option: WiFi extenders
A WiFi extender takes your WiFi signal and broadcasts it to a wider area. A WiFi extender works by connecting to your router, then repeating that same network signal (SSID) over a broader area. You can place it close to your back yard or plug it into an outdoor outlet to broadcast your WiFi signal outside. WiFi extenders can be an affordable way to boost your signal without having to move your router around.
If you need to plug your WiFi extender into an outside outlet to get a wireless signal in your back yard, you may want to invest in an outdoor WiFi extender. These WiFi extenders are waterproof and weatherproof. Otherwise, plan on bringing your WiFi extender inside when you’re done using the internet outdoors.
The reliable option: Mesh WiFi systems
A mesh WiFi system works as though you had multiple WiFi extenders. By plugging “nodes” into multiple points around your home, mesh network systems provide whole-home WiFi coverage with a strong signal. Each node can distribute a wireless internet connection to your device. Connecting to each node happens seamlessly — you won’t even notice a disruption in your WiFi connection.
Mesh WiFi systems are easy to set up and have a great range of coverage, around 3,000 square feet. That’s perfect for the back yard, garage, or any other place you need better coverage.
The easy option: Move your router (if you live alone)
The first step to extend WiFi to the back yard is to see if you can move your router closer to where you want to use the internet. With a longer cable, your router can be more mobile inside your home and can be placed where it will broadcast the WiFi signal to your back yard. Be sure to keep your router away from heat sources (away from direct sunlight) and in an area that has good circulation to prevent overheating. If you can, move your router to a high spot to avoid any barriers, like walls or trees.
Note that if you move your router, it may affect the other internet-connected devices in your home and affect their functionality. Only move your router if it does not impact the rest of your family.
As always, it’s important to take steps to secure your home WiFi. Be sure to password-protect your network and use a guest WiFi network for any visitors that come over. Taking steps to protect your network will also help to keep your speeds faster and your connection more reliable.
Now there’s no excuse for not getting outside. Whether you’re working from your backyard office or playing a multi-player game online from the hammock, you can enjoy the summertime by extending WiFi to your back yard. For more on life with technology and helpful how-tos, be sure to check out more articles on the CenturyLink Discover blog.