How to get Wifi in your Garden
Below is the complete answer to ‘ How to get Wifi in your Garden ‘ or ‘how to get internet in your garden’. Indeed, there is a lot to take in. if you don’t need all the backgrounds and the technical information, scroll down to installation. Enough intro, let’s get into how to install wifi in your garden.
Case study of one installation
Each person’s needs and wifi solutions are of course, different. But In this instance, the best way to get wifi in your garden was with a TP-Link N300 Wireless Outdoor Access Point. Indeed, they are extremely easy to set up using your web browser. Just create a new login for the access point and choose your wireless network name and password for it and away you go!
There is a video for it all below which I made about how to do it. It really is spectacularly easy to get wifi in your garden, to be sure. I will also do a written guide below the how to install wifi in your garden video
How to get wi-fi in your garden Youtube video
Unpack the box and make sure everything is there. You should have a fixing plate, screws and ancillaries, 2 aerials, a POE injector white box, a power lead for it, and the white Access point itself. Indeed, everything should be there.
Set up the hardware temporarily indoors
It runs from ethernet so before running an ethernet cable outside and putting it all in position, I recommend setting it up indoors at first. That way if you don’t get it right first time, being in the same room helps you plug everything in again. Also when it is working correctly, you may want to move it around the garden to see the best spot for it.
Setting up the TP-link EAP 110 outdoor software
There are 2 ways to do this, via an app (of course!) or using your web browser. I already have too many useless apps on my phone so I opted for the web browser option. Realistically, once your garden wifi is up and running, how often will you need to change it? With this in mind, open your web browser and in the address bar type http://tplinkeap.net and press enter or return. that will take you to the login page of the device.
The default username and password are, imaginatively, admin and admin. Yes, that is insecure but on the next page, it gets you to change them. Set up your ‘account’ and by account, they mean the details you use to log in to the device instead of using admin and admin.
On the next page choose your SSID – the network name and then choose the password needed to join the network.
That’s it. The router will then apply the settings and it will be up and running. There are lots of other pages in the web interface but the average person and the average wifi in the garden set-up does not need them. Also, if you are a bit sad like me, make multiple SSIDS. Anyway, now is the time to move it around the garden to see where you get the best signal.
Now is the time to set up the hardware for wifi outside in your garden. Firstly, the below diagram is from the downloadable set-up instructions. They are good and are very easy to follow. Search google for 91ZLJsQylPS.pdf to go straight to them
Secondly, the 1 fixed part of the setup is the POE injector is that you need to have an ethernet cable from the router to the POE and from The POE to the EAP 110, as illustrated below. The non-fixed part is the length of the required ethernet cables.
Thirdly, this bit is very much an individual circumstance thing. You could temporarily run an ethernet cable through the house, out the window and into the EAP 110. If it works from just being outside the house and covers the garden sufficiently then all is well and good. You could use powerline adapters to save the cable running through the house but at some point, the ethernet cable needs to go outside. Work out where the signal is best and get an outdoor ethernet cable the correct length.
You may have to run a longer cable through the wall and out into the garden, maybe halfway down the garden, and see if the device will have the required coverage to bathe your garden in glorious wifi! However, the EAP 110 outdoor seems to have a good range, in my real-world tests, if your garden is less than 100 metres, you could just fix the EAP to the outside of your house and it should have the range to cover the whole lot. But, as I say, experiment!
If it helps, you can download an app on android called wifi analyzer. It shows you the strength of wifi signals and can be a great help working out where to place your EAP 110.
Once you know where all the hardware is going, you can start screwing it in place. Using the fixing plate, secure the 110 to the wall and job done, you have just installed garden internet!
It all depends on how big your garden is and whether there are trees or structures in the way. The 2.4 GHz signal can be interrupted and blocked by some things so you may need to move it around a bit for best results. If you want to know why and are currently screaming at your screen that I should have used 5 GHz, check out the science below
The science behind it all.
Frequency and Speed
It was decided that a 2.4 GHz access point was better in this situation. 2.4ghz has more range than 5 ghz but does not get as much speed. However, that is relative. As an example, it is said that the minimum speed you need to stream in standard definition is at least 1.5 Mbps on the BBC IPlayer and 3 Mbps for Netflix. For HD quality, minimum speeds are said to be 2.8 Mbps for IPlayer and 5Mbps for Netflix. So rounding up for safety sake, let us say we need 6 Mbps for TV.
That, therefore, was the absolute minimum we needed in the whole of the garden.
Difference between 2.4ghz and 5ghz
The above tests were carried out at 3 metres from the router under ideal conditions using 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Also, as you can see by the above speedtest 2.4ghz can carry more than enough. While getting the best possible download speed is good, it really does depend on what you are using it for as to whether it’s worth paying extra for a 5ghz access point.
The differences between the frequencies are
For a full description see What is the difference between 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz wireless frequencies?
Other Options Rather than the EAP-110
The best option will always be an ethernet cable
Wifi does have its limits and the most reliable option is to plug into an ethernet cable. The pros of an ethernet cable are – very little speed loss, even on longer runs. Also, it is relatively cheap to buy a cable. It must be outdoor cable so it doesn’t split or crack in the weather. The cons – it’s a cable. Also, you cannot plug your phone into it.
Moving router position
Moving the router position may help if you have a small garden. If your router is at the front of the house, it may be that moving it to the back of the house may help.
Additional Wireless access point with home plugs
Using powerline home plugs and an additional access point is a possible solution if you have a small to medium size garden. This is the current solution at the property but as the garden is quite large, it has required 2 access points, one at the top of the garden and one at the bottom of the garden in the shed. This is sub-optimal as devices disconnect and reconnect at the halfway point in the garden.
Why wifi extenders are not the best.
Using powerline home plugs and an additional access point is a possible solution and certainly better than Wifi extenders. Wifi extenders can extend the range, but not the speed. The further you move away from your router, the slower your wifi speed will be. People buy them cheaply and expect them just to make everything work. Yeah, it doesn’t work like that. They can be good in certain situations but they do have severe limitations.
If you’d like some more information about setting up wifi indoors, additional access points and tips see Wireless Set up and networking
how to install wifi in your garden
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