Improving Wi-Fi connectivity in the home


Image: By BiztechAfrica
Improving Wi-Fi connectivity in the home

By Ross Griffiths, Product Manager at Nology

The connected home is the home of the future, as video streaming, Internet television and increasing numbers of connected devices become a reality in South Africa. However, while Wi-Fi is often the most convenient method for home users to distribute connectivity through a home, there are several issues that are commonly experienced when using wireless that can prove frustrating if they are not correctly addressed.

Dead spots are a frequent issue, where certain places in homes experience very poor or no wireless reception at all. This happens for a number of reasons, mainly related to the format and layout of the home itself. Areas that are too distant from the wireless router may experience poor reception, as may areas that are located around corners and behind walls.

Double story home configurations also present problems, as obtaining connectivity on both floors can prove challenging.

These configuration issues are caused by inherent limitations in wireless technology itself, in that Wi-Fi penetrates mainly horizontally instead of vertically and is usually unable to penetrate more than six bricks. Homes with concrete floors between levels will experience the problem of dead spots to a greater degree, because of the same limitations.

General interference from wiring within the house and common electrical appliances such as microwaves and other electro-magnetic devices may also cause interruptions in signal which can affect the speed and quality of wireless connectivity.

It is also useful to bear in mind that even when dead spots do not occur, the signal will become weaker the further away from the wireless router the user is.  As the signal penetrates through the house, transfer speeds will drop and connectivity might become unstable.

Placing the router carefully to ensure maximum penetration and coverage is one option, but this is not always practical, since the placement of routers is often dependent on the location of the fixed line entry point into the home. Although problems are still common, even with the Wireless-N technology having greatly improved the Wi-Fi penetration distance, Wi-Fi remains the most convenient option, as it allows mobility and does not involve the huge cost associated with laying Ethernet cables throughout an
existing building.

To remedy this many people turn to stronger antennae and tools such as boosters and repeaters to improve the strength of signal, but this will not always help with penetration and transfer speeds. However, solving the wireless dilemma in the home does not involve a lot of complicated equipment or huge cost. It is in fact a simple task which can be dealt with quickly, easily and cost effectively.

Ethernet over power adapters enable the user to create a broadband network using existing electrical wiring, which allows Internet access to all the rooms, since electrical wiring typically runs throughout the entire house.

Ethernet over power adaptors have several advantages, including maintaining constant speeds due to more stable connectivity and eliminating dead spots, since additional devices can be easily added wherever they are required.

This technology also eliminates the problems that occur in multi-story buildings, since the electrical wiring runs between floors.

Installation takes a matter of minutes, since the adapter simply needs to be plugged into a power outlet and connected to the master device with the push of a button, creating an instant network connection between the two. This is a far more cost effective solution than running Ethernet cables through the house, while providing the same benefits as this fixed connectivity would with all of the advantages of wireless.

Ethernet over power devices are also completely portable, requiring no fixed installation, and so can be easily removed should people wish to move homes or rooms. They also provide more functionality than a standard access point, because they allow both wired and wireless connectivity, using Wi-Fi or by plugging devices such as Internet televisions and set top boxes, that typically need a stable connection, straight into the Ethernet port on the device.

Who would have thought that your electrical wiring could provide the ideal 'conduit' for Ethernet networks, extending and enhancing your home network?

Harnessing the potential of your existing power lines in your home through an Ethernet over Power device is an innovative way of ensuring your network speeds are not degraded, dead zones are never a problem and connectivity is as close as your nearest wall power socket. 

Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus


Time for CIOs to change strategy in the fight against consumer technology

Shadow IT is simply not going away, says Sumash Singh, Country Manager at CommVault South Africa. Read More

Virtualisation in the age of smart data

Actifio solution strategist Gareth Donald discusses virtualisation in the age of smart data: the next frontier on the march to the cloud. Read More

SATA confers on customer service and billing

The Southern African Telecommunications Association (SATA) held a Customer Service, Quality of Service (Qos) and Billing Conference.  Read More

Study: Payments industry in flux

A new study indicates that cards will account for 273 billion transactions at a combined value of some US$30 trillion by 2018, but as mPOS grows, new forms of payment will flourish.  Read More

Nissan parades ‘ICT built’ brand in Malawi

Nissan has paraded its brand new 2015 y62 Patrol Ti series in Malawi, which is said to have taken advantage of ongoing ICT innovations and features built-in navigation and digital entertainment. Read More

Digital fuels growth in Africa’s entertainment and media industry: PwC report

African entertainment and media industry has entered a new landscape – one where the media is no longer divided into distinct traditional and digital spheres, according to a report from PwC. Read More

Deloitte unveils Tech Trends 2015

The sixth annual Deloitte Tech Trends report examining disruptive technologies with the best potential to impact businesses within the next 18 to 24 months, will be released in Johannesburg today. Read More

Microsoft promotes Africa’s innovators through DEMO Africa 2015

Using the Demo Africa platform as a veritable vehicle for the development of African innovators, Microsoft, under the 4Afrika Initiative, has confirmed its support for the upcoming DEMO Africa event in Lagos.  Read More

NITDA affirms confidence in DEMO Africa 2015

Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has affirmed its confidence in the ability of the DEMO Africa forum to become the continent’s rallying ground to discover technology leaders and entrepreneurs. Read More

Alcatel-Lucent VP calls for collaboration to achieve Data Revolution in Africa

The Vice president of Alcatel-Lucent Africa, Daniel Jaeger, has reiterated the need for African stakeholders to work together to address challenges in the way of ICT development in Africa.  Read More


Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika


Connectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chiefConnectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chief

Connectivity is vital for any country to fully optimise the huge potential of cyberspace, SES Sales Manager for West Africa Joy Nma Emenike tells Kokumo Goodie.


High tech homes: Just press playHigh tech homes: Just press play

High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.