Wednesday, 23 September 2015

WiFi to Cabins

Nerdy stuff warning!

To get Internet around the house in those areas where the WiFi has difficulty penetrating (like No.1 Son's bedroom), I use those Powerline Plugs which turn your ring main into a LAN, and very successful they have been too. He gets better bandwidth on the Powerline than I do on WiFi.

In getting Internet to the new cabin I decided to use the same Poweline plugs, as the house supplies the cabin. However, what I didn't realise was that Poweline has a problem negotiating RCBs, and of course the cabin has its own fusebox and circuit breakers, so the result was very dodgy and kept failing.

Had I my wits about me at the time, I would have laid a length of LAN cable alongside the main power cable to the cabin anyway, but it was a bit of horse-before-cart as I wasn't aware the Powerlines would have a problem. However, on second thoughts, it would have been more sensible as a backup, wouldn't have cost more than £20, and it most certainly would have worked.

Anyway, I now have the problem of extending Internet to the cabin via WiFi, which poses its own problems due to most solutions halving the speed available (I want to avail the cabin of streaming for NetFlix, saucy videos of Kim Kardashian, etc.). The majority of the kit on the market is only suitable for indoors, not 100m across a garden, and some of the claims made are just plain lies for what are inherently weak antenna signal strengths - it's like buying a VW.

MIMO antennas are the usual solution, but they're expensive and overkill for just 100m. Decided to buy two 17 dBi dual band flat panel antennas (one for the house and the other for the cabin) and some TP Link routers. Fingers crossed, although at 17 dBi  I should be able to provide anyone within 1km line of sight with Internet. If I ensure everyone in the house is on the 5GHz band, that leaves the deeper penetration 2.4GHz frequency clear for the cabin.

Fingers crossed - delivery in a week.

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