How WFO Savvy Are You? Tips for Optimizing Your Outdoor Wi-Fi

2 minutes read

With summer upon us, it’s no wonder we’re feeling the urge to expand our work-from-home (WFH) office to the great outdoors – or at least to our backyards (WFO = Working from Outside). But are you equipped to do that seamlessly and securely?  

Maintaining productivity and professionalism is an important part of being successful when working from home. When venturing outsidethe Wi-Fi signal will often start breaking up the further we roam from the routerIs there a way to have reliable Wi-Fi in your backyard? 

Path Forward’s IT AV team is ready with answers to this and more.  Our experts design, install and serve the AV needs for residential, commercial and construction projectsHere are answers to the questions we are asked most frequently. 

I have great Wi-Fi in my house but why doesn’t it work well in my backyard?

Sometimes strong Wi-Fi indoors does not translate well when going outside.  When you walk outside your wireless device is trying to communicate back to your Wi-Fi router through brick, wood, and drywall. These walls are barriers that will derogate your signal.  The best way to fix this issue is to install an Outdoor Access Point (APs).   

How is an Outdoor Access Point different from adding extenders between my router and my yard?

First, let’s establish a common definition of extenders. Extenders, or repeatersessentially boost the range of your signal by establishing a new wireless connection away from your router. The upside is that extenders are simple to install and there are many choices of products, representing a broad range of price points. The downside is the loss in signal strength – sometimes with as much as a 50% reduction bandwidth. There’s also a higher probability of interference with other devices.  

Most of the Outdoor APs we install are to customers who initially tried using extenders but got frustrated by the inferior signal strength. Bandwidth is a hot commodity for most households now, with so many competing priorities – streaming music, videosconference call meetings and more. 

Outdoor APs are hardwired so they provide a signal strength and bandwidth equivalent to standing indoors, right next to your router. A professional AV installer uses Cat6 wire to directly connect your router to the Outdoor Access Point  

Path Forward IT outdoor APs include a 3×3 antenna array and Fast Roaming which can allow you to enjoy Wi-Fi up to 200 feet away from your home. We are also careful to install all outdoor APs on an unobtrusive exterior wall that is not in plain view.   

Will my Wi-Fi still be secure outside?

Our outdoor Wi-Fi still includes WPA2 security which is the most secure Wi-Fi encryption to date.  If needed, Path Forward  data-contrast=”auto”>can program Access Points with schedules for when outdoor Wi-Fi will be turned on or off. 

Why should I use a Path Forward IT Access Point instead of one I find online?

All networking equipment installed by Path Forward IT is remotely monitored by Path Forward IT.  If there are issues with the network equipment Path Forward will receive notifications and can respond accordingly. Also, as new Firmware is released (which improves things like security, reliability, etc.) Path Forward will be notified that there is new Firmware available for your device and will remotely update it for you. 

Ready to improve your outdoor Wi-Fi?

Set up a consultation with a Path Forward IT AV expert today!