Caution: This post may short-circuit your brain!
This post contains quite a bit of information. Before you tell me it’s “over your head,” 😁 may I suggest that you take your time perusing what I’ve written and maybe even read it twice? I try to always “Speak English Not Geek” but sometimes I just have to get a little technical!
In my post, “Wired vs Wireless,” I spelled out some of the pros and cons of wired and of wireless connections to the Internet. Under the “Con” column for Wireless, I listed “Your connection is limited to the range of your Wi-Fi network.” I want to take a minute or two and explore this issue with a little more detail and then offer you a solution with several options.
In our homes and businesses, the wireless signal strength can be affected by numerous objects. For one, the walls of the structure can interfere with us getting a strong enough wireless signal. Depending on the material in the walls and the number of walls between our wireless modem/router and our computing devices, we could lose Wi-Fi signal altogether or it could be too weak for us to use. There’s also the distance involved. Some homes are so wide that the Wi-Fi network can’t make it from one end to the other.
One solution would be to install wireless extenders like this one:
Extenders can be placed somewhere between your modem/router and your computing devices to boost the wireless signal. However, do you remember this statement from my “Wired vs Wireless” post: “Internet download speeds are always faster when a device is connected with an Ethernet cord.”? That means, even though an extender might boost your Wi-Fi signal, it’s still not wired.
I have another solution to a weak or lost wireless signal. I hope this won’t shock you…(pun intended) but you can use the electrical wires in your home or office as Internet extension cords! Yes, the technology is called “Powerline Internet.” Here’s the one I normally use:
It works this way: you buy a kit which has two adaptors. The first one plugs into an electrical outlet near your modem/router. An Ethernet cord runs from the modem/router to this adaptor. The second adaptor plugs into an electrical outlet near your computing device and an Ethernet cord runs from it to your machine. (Note: adaptors cannot be plugged into surge protectors – they must be plugged directly into a wall outlet.) Just like that, you have a totally wired Internet connection! For those of you that believe a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s how it hooks up:
Oh, I know what you might be thinking. You’re remembering another statement I made in the “Wired vs Wireless” post: “Of course, it is true that many new laptops don’t have an Ethernet port.” Actually, it isn’t just laptops that don’t have an Ethernet port – it’s tablets, smartphones, smartwatches and some smart TVs. So, how can you take advantage of your building’s electrical wiring with these devices?
If your device is a laptop without an Ethernet port BUT it has a USB-C port (Don’t know what that is? Read my post HERE.), you can use an adaptor like this one:
This adaptor – which can also be used on Macs – allows you to plug into your laptop and have an Ethernet port, SD and TF card readers, an HDMI port, a USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports and a charging port for another device. With this adaptor, you’d be 100% wired with Powerline Internet!
For tablets, phones, smartwatches, etc., you can still use your home or office electrical wiring by simply purchasing a different Powerline adaptor kit. In this case, you’d get one like this:
This kit has one adaptor that plugs into your modem/router with an Ethernet cord but the adaptor on the other end is a wireless extender. This allows you to take advantage of using electrical wiring to extend your signal but still have a strong Wi-Fi signal on the other end.
There you have it – an electrifying way to have strong Internet throughout your home or business!