Saturday, 10 October 2015

Why do I need good WiFi coverage all over my house?

The previous post is about extending your WiFi around your house, but why do I need it?

In terms of a laptop or tablet, when your WiFi becomes weak of disappears, then your internet stops working and you soon know. However, just recently there have been some updates on mobiles phones which can catch you out!

1. Facebook has a setting which allows it to play videos while you are just scanning your timeline. This is OK in WiFi zones, but the setting default is to play these in both WiFi and 4G (or 3G) areas as well. After buying a new iPhone 6 the data usage went up dramatically, so much that it went over our limit and started charging additional sums.

So check your FACEBOOK SETTINGS (not phone settings) and make sure the video is set to WiFi only (also check after a software upgrade). It also happens on Android and Windows phone also I believe.

2. The new IOS upgrade for iPhone 6, has now a new setting called WiFi Assist. This is a feature that allows the 4G to kick in if your WiFi signal becomes too weak. For example, you may be streaming video in you house and then if you move to a weak WiFi area, then the streaming drops on to 4G without your knowledge and racks up a large data usage.

So check your iPhone settings (only on iPhone 6, not seen it on 5) for the WiFi Assist switch, it is right at the bottom of the 'MOBILE DATA' setting option in SETTINGS. See screen shot on left.

Is your WiFi not making it?

In certain circumstances that your WiFi signal may not reach parts of your house, this could be that your house is too big, or in my case, a certain part of the office was shielded by a couple of walls. 

So what is the solution? A WiFi Extender?

There are several versions and manufacturers of these. One such is made by TP-LINK, I happened to see one in 'Staples'.it was about £12.50 which seemed a good price, although it was a 150Mbps version (the 300Mbps was about £28).

Setting it up:
The instructions enclosed with the item (no searching on the net?) seemed quite straight forward with 2 methods described:

Method No 1 was to use the WPS button on your router access point. I have a Virgin Super Hub 2 and tried this button, but could not make it work!

But not to worry, the instruction described method No 2, which was connecting the extender to your computer with an Ethernet cable. However, although the instructions seem straight forward, I did have a little bit of trouble getting it set up, but works.

So if you have a WiFi black spot in your house, then the inexpensive WiFi Extender is the answer for £12 or £28 take your choice.