Regardless of what you intend to use your garden room for, you will likely want internet access there. However, don’t expect that because your garden room is located on your property, you will easily be able to access your home WIFI from this space, as this isn’t always the case. If your internet is not reliable from your garden room, there are several cost-effective solutions available. Read on to discover how to connect your garden room to the internet.
A WIFI extender – sometimes referred to as a booster – is a simple device that connects to your existing WIFI network and extends or boosts the signal. This allows you to enjoy the same quality of internet speed and service in harder to reach areas of your property, including a garden room.
To use a WIFI extender to gain reliable internet access in your garden room, simply plug the extender into a socket in your main property in a location that is closer in proximity to your garden room than the main router is. This will bounce the signal, creating an additional network that you can connect to from within your garden room.
WIFI extenders are suitable for garden rooms located within a short range of the main home, no more than 30 metres away. You may find that you need multiple repeaters, perhaps one in the main home and one in the garden room itself, for them to be effective. The further the signal has to reach, the more it deteriorates. This may not be the best solution if your garden room is far away from your home.
The upside to using a WIFI extender is that it’s a cheap option, costing somewhere between £10 and £50, and relies on your existing network. Along with the limited range, another downside is that, because it relies on your existing home broadband connection, if there are issues with this, then internet access in your garden room will also be affected. This is something to bear in mind if you are using your garden room as a home office.
Powerline networking uses the electric cable that runs between your home and garden room. It works with your existing WIFI connection and is relatively simple to install, so shouldn’t require a professional.
Powerline networking requires you to purchase a special kit that contains two adapters that each have their own ethernet cable. You plug one adapter into your home’s electricity and then in to the router, while the other is plugged into the garden room.
With a powerline networking system, you can either choose to connect the cable directly to the second adapter or attach a separate WIFI router for your garden office room devices. While this option is affordable, costing around £20 to £50, it does require your garden room to have an electrical connection and be wired to the same distribution box (there may be more than one meter in older properties).
The most secure and reliable way to connect your garden room to the internet is by running an ethernet cable from your home. If you are using your garden room for business or work, this may be the most suitable option to ensure a secure and reliable connection.
If you are yet to connect electricity to your garden room, arrange for an Ethernet cable to be laid at the same time as your power cables. If you want to do this retrospectively, it will incur additional work and costs.
Once the Ethernet cable is in the garden room, you will simply be able to plug it into a WIFI router or device that has an ethernet port, such as a laptop or PC.
While Ethernet cables are relatively cheap, costing up to £20, the downside of this method is that it requires professional installation and shielding from the elements. This may cost an additional £100 to £200.
WIFI PTP stands for WIFI Point-to-Point and is similar to a WIFI extender. It requires two units to be installed, one in your garden room and one in your main property. Both units require an electrical supply to run, so your garden room will need an electrical connection for this option to work. You may also need to hire a professional for this type of connection, depending on your own technical knowledge and expertise, as some configuration will be required.
The WIFI PTP unit on your home will transmit a signal to the unit in your garden room. You will, therefore, need to have a clear line of sight between the two units. Anything standing in between the two units may interfere with the signal. This could include things such as trees, shrubs, garden ornaments, fencing or sheds.
Compared to a WIFI extender, a benefit of this option is that the range can be much better. It may therefore be a good option if your garden room is located some distance from your main property or if ethernet cables are not an option.
However, this method is more complex than a WIFI extender and is, therefore, costlier, perhaps costing somewhere between £150 to £200.
Another option is to use mobile broadband. This will provide you with an internet connection that is completely separate from that in your main property. The upside to this is that you have your mobile broadband as a backup if anything goes wrong with your main internet connection.
However, with mobile broadband, your connection depends on the network just as it does on your mobile phone data. You should therefore check the connection and speeds in your area before investing.
Mobile broadband might be a good option if you don’t have an electricity connection in your garden room and you don’t need to use the internet much. However, it may not be cost-effective if you use the internet a lot in your garden room, such as for those using the space as a home office or entertainment room.
Prices for mobile broadband vary between providers and depend on the package you choose. You can pay-as-you-go or choose or pay monthly package, which may cost somewhere between £10 and £50 per month.
The best option for connecting your garden room to the internet will depend on what you are using your garden room for, where it is located and whether you have an electrical connection.