These days, it isn’t just our phones that need a Wi-Fi connection to function properly. The ever-growing internet of things has led to a plethora of new products, all of which have Wi-Fi capabilities.
Many of these items can work using the routers in our home, but what happens when we need to connect to the internet outside.
If you have ever tried using your phone in your garden, you may have noticed that the signal strength from your router just isn’t up to the job. For many this isn’t a problem as they can simply go inside when they need to connect.
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However, certain Wi-Fi enabled devices like outdoor security cameras or sprinkler systems will need to have a strong internet connection to function properly. This is why many people with high-tech gadgets invest in outdoor Wi-Fi extenders.
These compact and portable devices are not to be mistaken with a second router. Rather than creating their own Wi-Fi signal for electronic devices to receive, they greatly extend the range of your existing router.
This means that you can run outdoor, Wi-Fi dependent appliances, or browse the internet from the comfort of your garden, without constantly losing connection.
In this article, we will be taking you through 5 of the best outdoor Wi-Fi extenders you can buy.
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Wavlink is a trusted brand when it comes to high-quality routers and extenders, and the AC1200 shows that this reputation is well-earned.
This model is simple to install and can be set up to work wirelessly or using an Ethernet cable for a stronger connection.
There are four omnidirectional antennas, so you can direct your signal where you need it without worrying about dead zones.
The AC1200 is a dual-band repeater, meaning it provides both a 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz signal.
When using the 2.4Ghz, you can expect an average speed of 300 Mbps, which is more than enough for simple tasks like sending emails and syncing up to appliances that require a Wi-Fi connection.
The 5Ghz band has a higher speed of 867Mbps and is suitable for more intensive tasks like streaming and online gaming.
With a weatherproof rating of IP65, this unit can be safely placed in your garden without being damaged by adverse weather conditions.
This extender has about 1000mW of power, which is enough to provide roughly 300 yards of coverage. As well as working as an extender, the AC1200 can also be set up as its own wireless access point, so you can repurpose it as a second router.
TP-Link EAP110-Outdoor V3 – Runner-up
If you are on a tight budget, then this extender made by TP-link offers up to 200 meters of coverage at an affordable price point.
Instead of a standard DC adapter, this unit has a power over Ethernet (PoE) port on the bottom, so you can run it off a single Ethernet cable.
This makes installing the EAP110 much easier as all you need to do is plug in one cable and turn it on. To make installation even more simple, this device comes with two different types of bracket for mounting to a pole or wall.
It comes with 2 omnidirectional antennas, which can easily be swapped out and replaced as needed. Each antenna is 3Dbi, which provides decent coverage, although you may have some trouble connecting from the outer limits of the extenders range.
This model is capable of providing 300mbps at the 2.4Ghz frequency range, which is more than enough for browsing the internet on your phone outside.
You can manage the EAP110 along with your other internet access points from the Omada app. While there is no 5ghz connection, you shouldn’t need it unless you plan on streaming HD videos outside in your garden.
This sleek and compact extender is fully weatherproof and built to withstand anything from rain, to wind to snow.
The Meraki Go is an excellent option for small businesses to offer free Wi-Fi to their customers without giving them access to their private business network.
While they are not visible, there are two integrated omnidirectional antennas in this device that offer effective coverage for up to 230ft.
As with our last extender, you can power this unit via an Ethernet cable, or with the AC adapter included in the box.
If you don’t want to connect this unit to your router through a cable, then it is capable of syncing up wirelessly. However, if you want to connect multiple devices into a mesh network, you will find that this unit may start to struggle.
Overall, the best way to use the Meraki Go is by plugging it into your router via an Ethernet cable.
This product has app support, and the Meraki app is very useful for monitoring your connection speed, blocking certain sites from being visited, and setting up a guest Wi-Fi.
This unit can be submerged underwater for up to 30 minutes thanks to it’s IP67 rated weatherproof construction, which ensures it will be perfectly safe outside in your garden.
These access points can be bought in pairs, so you can maximize Wi-Fi coverage throughout your house and garden. One of the units acts as the primary access point which is plugged into your router.
The other device works as the client bridge, which is placed in the remote location that you want to include in your extended coverage.
As the name suggests, the ENH500 is very easy to install, since both of the units in the box come with a PoE injector box and a power adaptor.
There are also pole clamps as well as all the brackets and screws you will need to set up your wireless bridge. These sleek and compact extenders are designed to function in any weather conditions without their performance being hindered.
Both units are capable of, offering 867mbps over the 5Ghz frequency. This makes them suitable for online gaming, or streaming HD security camera footage.
With a 16dbi, omnidirectional antenna in both of the access points, you increase your coverage by up to five miles. This package is great if you want to set up Wi-Fi in a guest house or shed located in your garden.
Our final product is a versatile device that can act as a router or repeater, depending on what you want to use it for. The 5dbi antenna makes it a formidable extender that can boost your internet coverage by up to 300 feet.
If you buy two of these units, you can set them up as a bridge to boost the signal from your router and send it to a remote location, such as a guest house or even another building across the street.
This is a dual-band transmitter capable of providing both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies.
The device will even automatically choose the correct frequency channel for your browsing needs, so it can offer seamless internet connection to anywhere within range.
With this feature, you can easily sync up any devices in your garden that are capable of connecting to Wi-Fi as well as browse the internet at your leisure and even play online games.
The Joowin is completely weatherproof and capable of surviving in any conditions.
It can support up to 64 devices at the same time, which means you should have no problem providing fast internet connection for everybody in your home.
There is a PoE adaptor and cord included in this kit, so you can power this device using an Ethernet cable.
Finding the right device for extending your Wi-Fi coverage isn’t easy. You are likely to encounter a lot of technical jargon while shopping for a new extender, and this can make it very confusing to find the right product for you.
This section will give you some crucial things to look out for when shopping for an outdoor Wi-Fi extender.
Sometimes referred to as the RF power (radio frequency power), this denotes how much power your extender has for transmitting a Wi-Fi signal. This is often measured in decibel milliwatts (DBm) or mill watts (mW).
The higher either of these values is for a given device, the better that device will be at boosting your Wi-Fi signal.
Ideally for extending your connection outside your house into a garden, you will want an extender with no less than 15DBm or 250mW.
Even the most powerful repeater can’t boost your Wi-Fi signal without some decent antenna.
Antenna come in two different types, either omnidirectional units which focus a signal in a particular direction, and multidirectional units which transmit a signal in all directions.
If all you want is a general boost to your coverage, then an extender with a multidirectional antenna will work fine.
However, if you want to provide internet access to a specific area in your house or garden, then you should choose a model with an omnidirectional antenna which can be aimed towards your target location.
The effectiveness of an antenna is measured in dbi (Decibels relative to Isotropic). To put it simply, the higher the dbi of an antenna, then the longer the distance it will be able to transmit a signal over.
If for instance you wanted to extend your Wi-Fi coverage to a guesthouse in your garden, you would want an antenna with a much higher dbi than you would for providing internet to a security camera just outside your house.
5Ghz vs 2.4Ghz
Wi-Fi is transmitted over two primary radio frequency bands, which include the 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz frequencies.
2.4Ghz connection has a longer range but is generally slower than the 5Ghz variety, which makes it unsuitable for activities that require a lot of bandwidth, such as streaming HD videos or online gaming.
Many extenders you can buy are dual-band, which means they can provide Wi-Fi on both of these frequencies.
These units are typically more expensive, so if you only need an extender for streaming footage from a security camera, it may be better to choose a dedicated 2.4Ghz extender over a dual-band one.
PoE or power over Ethernet is a function built into most modern extenders that allows them to share data and draw power from a single Ethernet cable.
This is a useful feature to have if you don’t want to have lots of cables running between your extender and router.
Often to place an extender outside, you will need to dig a trench for running the cables to and from the device.
PoE means you only need to do this with one cable, but if you do pick this option, make sure you buy a buriable Ethernet cable that is long enough to reach your extender.
Any device that is going to me mounted outside and exposed to the elements needs to be suitably durable. Always check the weatherproof rating on your extender to see what kind of conditions it can function in.
You will want to pick a device that has a rating of IP65 or more to ensure your repeater can handle rain, strong winds and heavy snow during the winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Wi-Fi Extender?
A Wi-Fi extender is a device that receives the Wi-Fi signal from your router and boosts it to cover a larger area.
They are used to provide internet access to areas of a house with bad reception or other remote locations, such as a garden or guesthouse.
Extenders often consist of two units, one of which is plugged into your router, with the other placed in the location where you want to receive a better connection.
Since the extender communicates with the router over Wi-Fi, you are likely to experience some loss of speed.
The wiring used between the two devices and the distance between them will also affect speed and if you find your connection is too slow then you may need to buy a repeater instead.
What Is The Difference Between A Wi-Fi Extender, Repeater, And Bridge?
While shopping for an extender you will find many multi-functional devices that can act as an extender, bridge or repeater.
All of these devices serve similar functions, which is why they are commonly all condensed into a single product.
We have already covered extenders and how they work above, so next we will briefly cover repeaters and bridges to explain how they work differently.
A repeater is a type of extender that has two routers built into it. The first router is designed to pick up the network signal that you want to boost.
This signal is passed on to the second router, which then amplifies it to be transmitted over a large distance. These products can offer better speed and coverage than regular extenders, and are often just as easy to set up.
A Wi-Fi bridge is a pair of devices that are used to connect two separate Wi-Fi networks. They are typically used to boost a signal over a much longer distance than repeaters or extenders.
These devices can also be used to connect non-wireless devices to a network via an Ethernet cable.
Does PoE Reduce Internet Speed?
PoE offers an easy way to power and send data to your Wi-Fi extender with the same cable. Generally, this method of powering your extender or repeater shouldn’t have any effect on your internet speed.
However, low quality PoE devices will split the cable’s 8 available pins so that 4 are dedicated to providing power and the other 4 are focussed on sending and receiving data.
This system is only suitable for running devices that use 1000mbps or less, such as security cameras or other Wi-Fi devices.
Better quality PoE will use all 8 pins for both data and power, which will allow you to set up multiple access points or repeaters with no speed problems whatsoever.
I have over 15 years of knowledge in the technology field. Studied IT systems administration and now installing security cameras and smart home devices into user’s homes and offices.