Improving Your Home's Wi-Fi

Sometimes a single router isn't enough.

For many people, setting up a home network is as simple as connecting the modem to the router and the router to the computer. In the case of a hybrid or wireless network, the router needs to have Wi-Fi capability. But, if you happen to live in a larger home, or are setting up a wireless network for a small office, a single router may not be sufficient.

One solution to this problem is to purchase additional equipment, such as a wireless range extender. Fahmida Y. Rashid of PCMag outlines some steps you can take to help improve your wireless signal. But, if these suggestions aren't cutting it, you may want to consider setting up a mesh network instead. This article from Daniel Falconer of Tested provides some background on wireless networks and explains the concepts of mesh networking. He also takes a look at some of the current devices on the market and discusses the pros and cons of using a mesh network.

Supporting Web Links

Discussion Topics/Activities
  1. This article provides a good opportunity to discuss other types of home networks. Most students are probably familiar with wired Ethernet networks and Wi-Fi options, but may not be aware that other options are available. The “What is Mesh WiFi, and Should You Use it?” video in the Supporting Web Links section provides a nice overview of mesh networks for the home.
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Each group should research one of the home networking options (i.e. Ethernet, Wi-Fi, mesh, powerline, etc.) and create a brief presentation showcasing its advantages and disadvantages. At a minimum, students should consider factors such as performance, bandwidth, expense, and security. Each group should present their findings to the class. At the conclusion of all the presentations, the class should determine which networking alternative seems most viable.
  3. As an individual project, ask students to research one of the systems used to create mesh networks in the home, such as Google Wifi, Netgear Orbi, Ubiquiti AmpliFi, etc. Students should discuss the features of the system, its pros and cons, and its cost. Students should write a brief report detailing their findings.


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