A garden room office is the perfect place to work from home. Using a WiFi extender can provide internet access for a fast and reliable connection.
Over the last few years, more of us than ever before have started working from home. While working from the home is great, remaining inside the house can be a challenge. Frequent distractions can make it difficult to focus on work and stay motivated. A garden office can overcome these challenges and provide the perfect environment to get work completed without any interference.
Working from a garden office provides plenty of benefits, including a peaceful sanctuary to stay focused and a dedicated set-up for work equipment. Another benefit is the separation to the house, providing the ability to unplug at the end of the day and keep work & home life separate.
A garden office does require some initial work to get everything up and running. A common question is how to get internet from the house into a garden room. Lots of options are available including a wired connection or even a mobile data connection. One of the easiest ways is to use one of the best WiFi extenders to provide a stable and fast internet connection. For home workers, the connection needs to be reliable enough to complete video calls and access lots of data at once.
Why use a WiFi extender?
With all of the different types of internet connections available for a garden room, a WiFi extender includes its own benefits and drawbacks. WiFi extenders are one of the lowest cost options to improve the range of a wireless network and most can be purchased for less than £50.
Another benefit is that WiFi extenders are one of the easiest solutions to set up. The installation process involves plugging the extender in and syncing it to the current wireless network. The process takes around 10 minutes and the wireless signal is immediately improved. For those with little technical expertise, the extender can often be a simple fix for an unreliable wireless connection.
A challenge with WiFi extenders for a garden building is getting them into a position to provide the best results. As they relay the signal from the router, the best location is in the middle of the router and the garden room. Too near to the router and they may not be able to extend the signal far enough. However, too close to the garden room, and they may not be able to pick up a strong enough signal for a reliable connection.
High-quality WiFi extenders often use several antennas and the latest wireless standards to provide a solid connection across an extended range.
Best WiFi extenders for a garden office
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With lots of choices available, we need to find the best WiFi extender to provide a fast and stable internet connection in a garden office. Let’s take a look at our recommendations.
TP-Link RE605X (Amazon)
When the very best wireless performance is required, it’s time to consider devices featuring the wireless AX standard. This is the latest version of WiFi and allows for increased throughput and faster speeds compared to before. This model from TP-Link provides connection speeds of up to 1.5Gbps. The clever TP-Link OneMesh system allows the device to connect with a compatible router to create a whole home network connection.
The design features two antennas to maximise the signal performance and extend the range. Front lighting provides clear information including the current signal strength. To streamline installation, the Tether app allows for easy set-up and linking to a router by using a smartphone.
Netgear EX6120 (Amazon)
The Netgear brand is well known for producing a full range of wireless networking products. This wireless extender is small and practical, without standing out too much. The squared design features two small antennas to provide a strong signal when extending out into the garden. Green lights on the front give a clear indication that the extender is connected and providing a wireless signal.
Fast AC connection speeds of up to 1200Mbps are provided using dual-band technology. The extender is suitable for up to 20 devices, allowing everything that could be required in a garden office to get connected. An ethernet port on the bottom allows for a device without Wi-Fi to be connected. Set-up is fast and the Netgear Wi-fi analyser app can be used to determine the optimal location for positioning the device.
TP-Link RE220 (Amazon)
This wireless extender from TP-Link is ideal for providing a low-cost option for improving connection speed and range. The patterned design looks smart and can be positioned in any suitable plug socket without getting in the way. Clear status lights on the front provide all of the essential information at just a quick glance. it’s easy to see whether the extender is currently active and which networks are functioning.
The AC wireless technology allows for quick speeds of up to 750Mbps and a maximum of 32 devices connected. For most users, this is ideal for a laptop and mobile-connected in a garden office. The additional ethernet port on the bottom of the extender allows for devices such as a TV or desktop PC to be connected, even if they don’t support wireless. Installation is quick and can be completed within minutes.
Netgear EX6410 (Amazon)
While smaller WiFi extenders are great, sometimes they just don’t provide the performance needed for internet in a garden office. The EX6410 from Netgear provides much-increased performance over their smaller models and is a good choice where lots of bandwidth is required. The advertised range is up to 2100 sq ft and is suitable for connecting up to 35 devices at once. This WiFi extender could also be used for connecting external cameras, as well internet in a garden room. The large white design gives a clear indication on the front of the status of the wireless network.
The smart roaming technology means the signal provided by the WiFi extender will use the same wireless SSID as the original router. This allows for devices to seamlessly switch between the closest network as they move around the property. Using dual-band technology, the maximum speed provided is 1900Mbps for a super-fast wireless connection. Set-up is fast using the WPS button on the extender when connecting to a router.
TP-Link RE550 (Amazon)
The latest generation of Wi-Fi extenders from TP-Link focuses on providing great results and still remain good value. This model features a huge range of up to 12,000 sq ft to ensure the signal is boosted far enough to work at the other side of the garden. This is helped by the triple antenna design to increase signal strength and range. The design also features clear blue lights on the front which look smart, without being too bright. The side also features an ethernet port for connecting a wired device easily.
Dual-band AC technology ensures a solid connection, with a maximum speed of 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band. The initial set-up can be completed using the cleaver Teather mobile application from TP-Link. A 3-year warranty is included to provide peace of mind that the device is designed to last.
Top Features of WiFi extenders
WiFi extenders have a huge range of features that can improve performance and provide a great connection. Recognising these features and their benefits can make it easier to find a suitable extender for use in a garden room office.
Wireless standard – The biggest difference that will affect performance between different WiFi extenders is the wireless standard being used. As WiFi has evolved over years, new standards have been released and the most common standards are N, AC & AX.
Wireless N is the oldest standard and provides a maximum connection speed of 450Mbps. This is usually found in budget WiFi extenders and will provide the slowest connection compared with other options. The wireless AC standard is our recommended choice and provides a significantly increased maximum speed of 1300Mbps. Within the last year, some new devices have started to support the AX standard which increases the maximum speed up to 2400Mbps for superior performance.
To take advantage of the speed boost from each wireless standard, the device (.e.g a laptop or phone) connecting to the extender must be able to support that standard. If they don’t they will use the speed of the fastest wireless standard that they both support. The advertised speeds are also the maximum data rates possible and in a real-life scenario will be slower than those advertised due to influences such as distance and obstacles in the way.
Brand – A huge number of brands produce Wi-Fi extenders. We recommend choosing a large brand such as TP-Link or Netgear for the best results. Using the same brand as the router in the house is a smart choice to ensure compatibility and the best performance between devices, although all brands should work with each other’s products. Some manufacturers will offer extended support and documentation online, as well as a longer warranty period to provide peace of mind.
Antennas – Wireless devices pick up radio waves to communicate with each other. To send and receive the data, the devices use antennas. A WiFi extender with better antennas is able to provide increased performance by extending the range of the network further and also improving the wireless speed. Low-cost extenders will usually have small antennas built into the body of the device and not use an external set-up. WiFi extenders focused on performance will have several antennas on the exterior to maximise the throughput of the device.
Alternatives to WiFi extenders
Wifi extenders make a great choice as an easy to use solution to improve the strength of a wireless signal. We recommend using WiFi extenders first before trying any other solution as they are low cost and quick to install.
Sometimes, WiFi extenders may not provide a strong enough signal for a reliable connection. This is particularly true for a garden office positioned far away from the house such as at the bottom of a garden. The WiFi extender being positioned in the house will not be able to boost the signal far enough to be picked up inside the garden room.
If the fastest and most reliable connection is needed, a wired internet connection is recommended. For work that involves frequent video calls and downloading of large files, wired internet will allow for higher bandwidth and less interference. The speeds achieved are usually the same as in the house when stood next to the router, as a wired internet connection can go for 100m without degradation in performance.
To install a wired internet connection, a Cat6 ethernet cable is used. In the house, the cable will connect directly into the back of the router. A trench can then be used in the garden to bury the cable underground out of the way. The ethernet cable comes into the garden room and then can be connected directly into a device or into an Access Point. The Access Point allows a separate wireless connection to be created and allow multiple devices to connect wirelessly back to the router through the ethernet cable.
Powerline networking has been around for a long time and is a great option if the garden office already has electricity installed. Unlike wired internet, Powerline uses the existing electricity cabling to send the internet connection over. The garden rooms electric cable now has a dual purpose of sending data for the internet connection as well.
The installation of a Powerline set-up is also very easy and just as quick as a WiFi extender. Two adapters are used, with one installed into the router and the other in the garden office. An Access Point or a laptop can then be connected into the Powerline adapter to get internet connection.
The performance of Powerline connections is faster than WiFi as there’s less interference to get in the way of the signal. The price also makes it an affordable solution and a set of adapters costs around £50. One challenge can be if the garden office electricity is on a separate circuit. As powerline networking takes advantage of electricity cables, they need to be on the same circuit for the data to travel between them.
The WiFi extender is not the only factor that goes into providing a fast and reliable internet connection. Many extra considerations can affect performance and speed, particularly on a busy network.
Internet speed from ISP
The biggest factor affecting the internet speed received on a device is usually the speed coming into the house, which is supplied by the internet service provider. This initial speed is the maximum that will be achievable in a garden office, if nothing else degrades the wireless signal, such as obstacles or distance.
Most users working from home will take advantage of a fibre internet connection with at least 40MB/s speed. A higher speed coming into the property allows for increased signal loss before performance is affected. With a slow initial speed into the house, there is little headroom before the connection can become unreliable. The maximum capable speed of the internet at a property can be measured by plugging a device into the router using an ethernet cable and running a speed test.
The speed advertised on wireless extenders is the speed at which they can transmit the signal between the router and client device.
The amount of wireless bandwidth can vary depending on how the network is being used. The number of devices is an important factor when choosing the best solution. Lots of devices will use more bandwidth and mean an increased workload for the WiFi extender. With too many devices connected, the wireless network could become unstable and begin to drop the connection.
How the internet is used can also affect bandwidth use. High bandwidth activities such as gaming, video calls and steaming can use a lot of data. Tasks such as checking email and viewing web pages will use a lot less. When very high bandwidth is required frequently, a wired internet connection is often recommended.
Overall, WiFi extenders are ideal for extending the range of a wireless network to a garden office. With a fast internet connection, working from a garden room creates the perfect separation from home life. Lots of factors can affect the overall speed of the wireless connection including the initial speed provided by the internet service provider.
Our favourite choice for the best WiFi extenders for garden offices includes those from brands such as TP-Link and Netgear. Be sure to look out for a device with the AC wireless standard for fast performance.