Just to clarify, the keyword in this particular title is ‘decent’. Not picking up half a bar and bearing the burden of buffering, having settled for a questionable connection to your home’s main router.
These days, a practical living space really is not practical at all without good WiFi. Something often overlooked by those setting up and installing garden rooms, which are typically positioned a fair way from the home’s main WiFi source.
Switching to cellular while enjoying your garden room is an option, but is far from the only choice available. The combination of a mobile hotspot and SIM card with a good data package is also a popular choice but inevitably means paying an extra monthly subscription fee.
Hence, it is usually a preferable (and certainly more cost-effective) option to extend your existing WiFi coverage to your garden room. But which is the best of bringing WiFi into your garden room, without it becoming a costly project?
Do Garden Rooms Come with WiFi Connectivity as Standard?
The short answer is no – most garden rooms do not come with WiFi connectivity as standard. It may be available as an optional extra upon request but is rarely included as standard.
Instead, there are four ways your home’s current WiFi can be extended to your garden room. Each ensures a strong and reliable connection as in any other room of the home, as follows:
1. Hard Wired Ethernet Cable
This is an option that involves running an armoured CAT6 cable all the way from your garden room to an ethernet socket in your home. At which point, you can either connect your devices directly to the ethernet connection in your garden room or set up a separate WiFi router for wireless connectivity.
The benefit of this approach is that there will be little to no loss of download speeds or general performance like loading page speed, due to the use of a physical cable. However fast your home’s broadband is, you will enjoy the same speeds in your garden room. On the downside, you will need to carry out the work needed to run the cable safely from your home to your garden room.
If preferred, discuss the possibility of including a hard-wired ethernet cable connection in your garden room installation package with your provider.
2. Transmission Through Power Network
Assuming your garden room is connected to the same power network as your home, it can be used to send your broadband connection outdoors. This simple yet ingenious solution is compatible with around 95% of homes and can be set up for less than £100.
Two plugs are used to send and receive the broadband signal. The first is plugged into a mains outlet close to your WiFi router and connected to the route with a short cable. The second plug is then plugged into a mains socket in your garden room, and connected to a separate router. Your main WiFi router’s signal will then automatically be channelled through the power network, enabling it to be accessed in your garden room.
While there may be a small decrease in download speeds due to electrical interference, the reduction is usually negligible and no real cause for concern.
3. Mesh Network
A ‘mesh’ network is created when multiple connected devices are set up around the home. Known as ‘nodes’, these devices can be used to amplify and extend the range of your home’s WiFi network.
This can be a useful and viable option to consider if your garden room is positioned in close proximity to your home. But as these devices often have a somewhat limited range, the mesh network option is not suitable for more remote garden rooms, and the quality of the signal can be compromised by a variety of factors.
4. Portable 4G/5G Routers
Aside from the above, there is also the option of contacting your current service provider and requesting a portable best router that supports 4G or 5G. A decent rechargeable mobile hotspot can be picked up for as little as £25, which can be used to transform a cellular signal into WiFi for your garden room.
This is by far the quickest and easiest way to bring WiFi into your garden room. You pick up a mobile hotspot, you place the SIM card in the slot and you’re good to go.
However, you may need to pay for an additional monthly data package, which with a mobile hotspot will always have a data limit. On the plus side, a mobile hotspot can be taken with you anywhere you go – great for ensuring a good WiFi connection when travelling.
Contact your current mobile phone and/or Internet service provider to discuss the options available.