I am not a tech but I have learned a lot by being in this field for years now. I intend to pass on my wisdom in terms I hope all can understand. All my info will also include ‘terms’ you can use to speak the lingo.
Let’s talk Wifi. We all love it, we all need it, and in this day and age we should all know how it works.
Here is a story for you…..Mr Smith is building his dream home, he picks the perfect plan, picks out all the floors, cabinets, light fixtures, windows, the list goes on and on. Fast forward to the day he moves in, Smart TVs installed, computers set up and here comes the issue of no wifi signal to certain areas. Mr Smith has paid for great internet service from his provider but the modem is located in the back corner of his house and he now wants his Smart TV to work on the other side and upstairs…..whoops
First I will explain wifi a bit, there is no wifi without first a “plug” in internet. To start you need sufficient internet from a provider, that is the modem, from there you can take that internet and turn it to a signal called wifi with the use of a router. Now even if you have an amazing router there are limitations with walls, floors space etc so in order to ‘extend’ this signal you can use wifi extenders which act like extension cords, they increase coverage of wifi but not the available bandwidth, which means the speed of original router is let’s say 20Mbps, the signal from the wifi extender will be 50% of this with only 10Mbps, a significant loss of strength.
Access points on the other hand take the signal and then project it to a designated area, access points also allow you to manage your users easily, think -turn off wifi at a certain time only in one area of house for child’s bedroom areas, they also allow you move from room to room and switch over without even realizing you are switching signals since it is one wireless named internet across entire place.
Now here is the kicker that most people do not understand, in order to have the BEST wifi in your home you need WIRE. Let that sink in a bit….you need wire. So Mr. Smith who built his dream home put in no networking wire anywhere in home besides the room the internet comes in. When building, or renovating put in some cat6 cable anywhere you can think of, a wired smart tv preforms way better than one relying on wifi signal, those fancy access point I was talking about require a wired connection, video surveillance for your yard, garage works way better wired in to the system and in almost all cases only needs cat 6 cable as there is a neat thing called POE now, power over ethernet, so all those access points, cameras, etc need is the cat 6 cable no need to run a power cord anywhere. So just like a house runs electrical wire everywhere run that cat 6 everywhere too.
POE- power over ethernet- means no need to ‘plug’ in for power it gets the power it needs from the cat6 wire only
Access Point- device which creates a wireless local area network also known as WLAN. Takes your internet signal and projects it to certain areas
Wifi extenders- aka range extenders- the take existing wifi signal and increase the range. Think multiple extension cords plugged in to run something from a long ways away….works but not the best idea.