WiFi Signal Strength Query

One for all you networking gurus out there. Will the strength of a Wi-Fi signal across a property improve if you increase the speed of the fibre broadband delivered to the property?

Our property has many WiFi unfriendly features such as very thick internal stone walls and whilst I can get coverage across the property via mesh networking, it is quite limited in certain places.

So assuming that all these environmental features remain the same, and the networking equipment is unchanged, should I theoretically see a WiFi speed bump across the all of the property? If so, would this be proportionate to the speed increase to the door? So if I double the speed delivered to the property should I see a doubling of the WiFi speeds achieved at the various locations across the property?

I’m contemplating upgrading my fibre broadband speed to something way more than I actually need, but only want to do this if it delivers much faster WiFi.

(I can’t run Ethernet internally).

You shouldn’t see a difference unless you can achieve your current broadband speed in a speed test on WiFi. There may be some minor bump in a situation where the speed varies wildly due to the brief highs being higher, but I’m unsure of the math on that. It wouldn’t be close to double.

I’ve got 300 coming in at the door now but I end up with 50 in my now WFH office. I can upgrade to 900 down. Now if I could get 3x (150) in my office I would be very happy.

Since you are not reaching your door speeds, you won’t see any improvement by getting more speed to the door (as I understand the theory, experts feel free to correct me).

You’d be better off looking at your wifi I think. What mesh wifi do you have, and is it possible to add more satellites?

I also wonder if power line networking would fit, though you might not have the quality cabling I seem to recall that needing if it’s an old building.

And just throwing this out there, you can’t run internally, but can you run externally? If so, you might be able to run a cable round the back to a satellite to boost the speed.

Hi. Yeah the long term solution is for me to get the provider to move the fibre modem. In hindsight it’s in the worst location possible, but I guess I didn’t realise that 3 years ago.

I’ve also considered running a long external Ethernet cable to the office but that’s from one corner of the property to the other and from the ground floor to the first floor. The im comfortable using the huge drill that it would need etc.

I’ve tried power line and they were unreliable as we have two properties knocked into one and so the electrics are a little bit unusual.

Just wondering if a short term fix would be to up the speed to the door.

The speed will be split in 3 parts:

  1. from your ISP to your door
  2. From your door to your WIFI router (max speed of the router)
  3. From your wifi router to your device (device max speed)

If, and only IF, your wifi router speed is below your current ISP speed you would see an improvement. And because that is extremely unlikely nowadays I would agree with @GraemeS that increasing speed to the door will do nothing through the door.

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The user experience in a particular location (can vary by the foot!) is depended on the signal strength and the interference of other radio signals. Also while you might receive a decent signal your relatively weak iPhone transmitter will have trouble sending data back to the nearest WiFi access point causing pages to load slowly and sending large files to fail.

Survey the house using an app like WiFi explorer to see how strong the signal is and if it’s on an as clear as possible channel. You might have to go into the WiFi access points (router) and adjust the channels for the best possible scenario.
Make sure you measure neat the WiFi access point (router) and where you will be using the WiFi. You need to find a clear frequency for both sides…

Bandwidth:
20/40/80/160 MHz The higher the number the faster the connection. However wider the wider options also receive more interference. A specially in the 2.4Ghz hand where is can cover 2 channels at once. You might want to limit the speed to the lower options. You better have a steady connection than an intermittent fast one…

Repeaters / Mesh network devices:
They must receive a strong signal before they can rebroadcast it.

Daisy changing Wifi repeaters:
Mesh networks benefit from links between multiple devices like a spider web.
If you place mesh or extenders in a daisy chain you will cut the speed in half per link!

You mentioned that you cannot run an ethernet. If there is TV Coax available in the various parts of the house you might want to use a MOCA device to create a stable wired connection from where you can set up a new WiFi access point to prevent the scenario mentioned above.

Avoid roaming issues by using a centralized (mesh) wifi system like Eero so you create a uniform WiFi network. Where you can “jump floors” or avoid daisy chaining by adding a wired connection to these harder to reach location.

Only after you have verified a solid well working LAN (WiFi) network you can start looking at upgrading the ISP to a faster speed. Otherwise only the devices that are in line of sight with the router or are connected via ethernet will benefit from the additional speed.

Side note:
Some routers manage the speed to the connected devices depending on their need or preferences set in the admin panel. This will keep you from seeing the maximum speed because the router might limit you to keep a reserve for other users…

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To me it sounds like your wifi network needs to be improved. Can you add more mesh devices?

Also, I second @MacExpert’s advice to check for interference.

Also: look at the wifi channels you use!

Channels 1, 6 and 11 are best as they don’t overlap with other channels, and so give the least interference.

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You didn’t mention which mesh system you’re using. Make sure it uses different bands for backhaul than for WiFi. The Eero does this. A repeater loses speed because it uses the same frequencies so each hop cuts speed.

I have yet to see a house that I couldn’t run Ethernet cables between different parts of the house. In some cases it takes some creativity and understanding of how the house is constructed. In one case I ran cable from an upstairs bedroom to the attic, across to a closet then down to the closet below and into the basement then across the basement and back up into the family room. In some cases you can’t get from A to C but you can go from A to B, install a switch, then go to C.

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