You may have noticed it over the past year or so. The big internet service providers (ISPs) are going all out to persuade us that they’ve got WiFi sorted. No doubt this is in response to endless customer complaints about poor WiFi. It’s also an opportunity to sell us something else as part of a broadband package. So if your ISP has your WiFi covered (and possibly even guaranteed), why would you need the help of an independent WiFi expert? Perhaps because all may not be as rosy as the ISPs would have us believe.
Ultra-fast broadband needs ultra-fast WiFi
In the age of super-fast and ultra-fast broadband, our expectations of internet speeds have increased significantly. Even rural communities are getting ultra-fast 200Mbps connections. This is thanks to companies like Truespeed rolling out new infrastructure in the villages surrounding urban centres such as Bristol and Bath.
Consumers’ tendency to see internet and WiFi as one and the same is resulting in pressure on the ISPs to deliver these faster broadband speeds via WiFi. Up until now they’ve got away with providing a cheap router with integrated WiFi. But now we want to connect our TVs wirelessly and stream content to them. Or have our wireless multi-room music players and smart speakers connected and ready to go at the sound of our voice. Routers are getting better, but their wireless range will always be limited.
Can a WiFi guarantee really deliver?
The latest bid to solve the broadband-WiFi speed gap is BT’s complete WiFi guarantee. On the face of it it’s a strong offering to rid homes of annoying wireless black spots and maximise broadband speed via WiFi. It’s based on similar tech to their standalone whole home mesh WiFi equipment and can be added to certain broadband packages for an additional monthly charge.
But can this type of system really guarantee good WiFi?
In short, no. There’s always a caveat.
In the same way that ‘up to’ speeds for broadband provide a get out of jail free card, the BT guarantee stipulates £20 back if your complete WiFi isn’t as complete as you’d like. That this ‘backstop’ position exists seems like an admission that in the real world, one size does not fit all.
Comparing your WiFi options
We know from experience that with so many products on the market aimed at boosting home WiFi, consumers are likely to start with a DIY approach. Boosters, extenders, repeaters, whole home mesh systems and now mesh-based add-ons from the ISPs. There’s a lot to choose from and some will undoubtedly work fine for many homes.
We’ve put together this WiFi comparison table to give an at-a-glance overview of the main options.
You might have tried these. You might even have got your £20 consolation prize for the guarantee that wasn’t quite that. But if you’re still in a WiFi dead zone, buffering content, making a cup of tea whilst a page loads hell, then what?
When to call in a WiFi expert
Some buildings just aren’t very WiFi-friendly. Thick walls, underfloor heating, metal joists are all wireless blockers. If that’s your lot then the DIY, off-the-shelf, plug-and-play wireless solutions probably won’t work.
That’s where someone with specialist WiFi expertise comes in. This person is not an electrician, a telecoms engineer or an AV installer. They will probably come from the IT world and have knowledge of computer systems and networking.
They will survey your premises and be able to advise on a tailored wireless network solution that will fit your needs.
Best of all, a properly experienced WiFi expert will be able to find a wireless solution that will work for you. Guaranteed. With no catches.
It won’t be the cheapest solution, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. (How much did you pay for your Macbook, iPhone, smart TV?)
Your local WiFi expert in Bristol & Bath
If you’ve exhausted your DIY WiFi options and just want someone to get it sorted for you, we can help.
Contact us today for expert WiFi advice and a free survey and quote for your ideal WiFi solution.