BT’s Modern Families Report has found that 52% of families in the UK would be put off of living in a home with poor wifi. Unreliable reception, blackspots, and weak signal could therefore knock thousands of pounds off the value of your home when you come to sell it.
As anthropologist Amber Case said, “we’re all cyborgs now” and you can see the evidence of that in your own home every day. We’re all connected to our electronic devices and they become increasingly integral to our lives the longer we spend with them. Our dependent relationship becomes immediately and painfully evident if you ever have a wifi outage. It’s a viscerally unpleasant feeling to know you can’t just check on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Twitter. And if you’re heavily reliant on IoT connected devices, Smart TV and Netflix, that unpleasant feeling is multiplied.
Banning Unreliable WiFi
If you live in a home with patchy or unreliable wifi you’ll have experience of walking from one room to another and your devices fading out, becoming unusable in certain spots. You’ll be familiar with seeing your loved ones wave their phone or tablet around like they’re trying to send semaphore rather than a tweet.
The survey also found that one in five households now includes a child over 18 still living with their parents. And what they save on rent they spend on connectivity, being the most connected and data consuming demographic. And as they grow up and move out the homes they buy will consequently require vast amounts of uninterrupted data. Fail to provide it and your property will be behind the curve, market price wise.
But poor reception isn’t something that you just have to throw your hands up and accept like traffic noise or a haunting. There are any number of practical steps that you can take to improve your weak and black spots, which is good for you and your target buyers if and when you come to sell your home.
It probably won’t even occur to most people that you don’t have to stick with the wifi router your ISP give you for free. You can either ask them for an upgrade, which will come free if you’ve had your contract for a while, or at a nominal cost for new customers. Or you can go to the market and buy one of your own. The price of these can come as a surprise if you’re used to the free ones your ISP give you, but the money you stand to make back improving your wifi far outstrips the outlay cost.
If you have an old router which you don’t use any more it’s actually possible, and eye-openingly simple, to connect it to your current one. All you need do is use an ethernet cable to connect the two routers. If you’re happy drilling through walls or floors you can then locate your additional router in another room or on another floor, improving the reception for all the devices nearby.
Your Existing Power Cable
Powerline adapters work by actually using the cable that powers your home to carry signal to nodes which then convert it back into wireless signal. Simply plug them in and synch them up and you’re away! The only drawback appears to be that some, but not all units take up a power-point, which can be a bit annoying if you’ve already got a plethora of other devices which all need a power supply. Adaptors which do let you plug in further devices have options of three pin or USB ports, so choose wisely when making your purchase.
Change Your Provider
The problem might lie with your ISP rather than the building, furniture or other environmental considerations. There can be a huge disparity in the broadband speeds your ISP gives you compared to the others out there. Shop around, tell them about the problems you are having and remember that you can cancel your contract within 14 days thanks to the mandated ‘cooling off period’ and some providers allow longer, so check the small print.
Location Location Location
We’re used to radio signals being ubiquitous, so we expect wifi routers to work in the same way a radio would. The reality is wifi signals are very easily interrupted or blocked by heavy furniture, thick walls and floors, even our own bodies as we move between the router and the device using it. If you place your router in a position where there are the fewest objects between it and your computer, tablet, home hub, etc you could see immediate improvements.
If you decide you need to improve your home network, but think it will be a bigger job than fine tuning the service you already receive then get in touch with us. Briant Communications has over 30 years’ experience installing data and communications hardware and cabling. Click the link at the top of the page to request a free, no obligation quote.