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How To Boost Your Wi-Fi Outdoors in 2023

There’s nothing quite as peaceful as immersing yourself in a thrilling e-book while swaying gently in a hammock or hosting summer movie nights on a projector by the pool. That is, until buffering, lag and weak Wi-Fi signal replace your relaxation with frustration and force you to go back inside. But don’t worry — there are several ways you can boost outdoor Wi-Fi range and signal strength so you can connect with nature and the metaverse at the same time.

In general, home Wi-Fi routers do an excellent job of providing indoor coverage throughout your home. However, it’s much harder for your router to send your Wi-Fi outside, since physical obstructions, such as exterior walls, and other kinds of interference, like your neighbors’ Wi-Fi, can negatively impact the strength of your signal.

In this guide, we’ll cover a variety of solutions that can improve your Wi-Fi signal by the pool, in your backyard treehouse or on the patio swing. Check out the options below to discover the best solution for your home’s size, layout, technology and budget.

1. Move your router to reach the outdoors

Although routers can be an eyesore, hiding them in a cabinet or behind your TV is an easy way to get a weak, short-reaching Wi-Fi signal both inside and outside of your home. That’s why it’s essential to put careful consideration into where you place your Wi-Fi router.

The ideal Wi-Fi router location should be:

● Up high

● Near the center of your home

● Away from large electronics, thick concrete or brick walls or other physical obstructions

● Nowhere near your microwave oven

boost wifi outdoors

2. Get an outdoor Wi-Fi extender


Some manufacturers make Wi-Fi extenders (i.e. wireless access points or wireless repeaters) that are weatherproof and designed to survive the elements year-round. One downside of this option is that they can be expensive and have a limited price range since outdoor models are less common than indoor ones and extra materials are required to weatherproof the device (source).

If you can find one in your price range, an outdoor Wi-Fi extender may be the easiest, most straight-forward option to accommodate outdoor connectivity. These devices receive signals from your primary Wi-Fi router and extend their reach. They perform even better if you connect them to your primary router using an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi.

Another drawback is that some Wi-Fi extenders work by creating an entirely new Wi-Fi network out of your primary network. This new network often has a weaker signal and much slower internet speeds. Plus, the extra network may cause your devices to jump from router to router depending on which network has a stronger signal. Some outdoor Wi-Fi extenders can simply extend your network instead of creating a new one, but these tend to be a bit pricier.

If you want to learn more, here’s an article from Hello Tech that outlines the differences between outdoor Wi-Fi extenders and outdoor Wi-Fi repeaters. Tip: In case it helps you with your search, Netgear, Ubiquiti, EnGenius and Hawking all make outdoor Wi-Fi extenders.

3. Upgrade your router for faster Wi-Fi speeds outdoors

If you’ve followed the tips in Step 1 to place your router in an ideal location, but your Wi-Fi signal is still weak or nonexistent in your outdoor spaces, a new, higher-quality router may be enough to extend your Wi-Fi coverage outside — especially if your home and outdoor space are on the smaller side.

The more powerful the router, the more you can expect a strong Wi-Fi signal with more reach and faster speeds to power all your devices at once — so it’s important to shop around and find the best Wi-Fi router available that fits your budget.

If you have Gig-speed internet, we highly recommend looking for a router with Wi-Fi 6 technology, since without it, most routers are unable to deliver Gig speeds wirelessly, making Ethernet cables necessary for bandwidth-intensive devices like gaming computers and consoles. If you need help finding a Wi-Fi router, check out this list of 2023 router recommendations from PC Mag.

boost your wifi

Many households get their Wi-Fi service through their internet service provider. If you subscribe to a monthly Wi-Fi service and are unable to get a strong signal outside your home, you may be able to contact your provider and ask for help extending your network to outdoor areas. Or, ask if any upgrades are available for the Wi-Fi router that comes with your service.

4. Get a mesh router system for a stronger signal outside

Another option that may help improve outdoor Wi-Fi connectivity is a mesh router system. If you’re experiencing a weak Wi-Fi signal (or “dead zones”) inside your home as well, this solution could solve both issues at once.

Mesh routers are similar to Wi-Fi extenders in that they can help increase the range and signal strength of your Wi-Fi network; however, mesh systems come with intelligent mesh points, or “hubs,” that are strategically placed around your home. These hubs communicate with each other to create one large Wi-Fi network in every corner of your home. The best part is that you can always increase the reach of your Wi-Fi network by purchasing additional hubs.

Plus, since the hubs work together to create one large network, you don’t have to worry about your devices constantly switching from one network to another. Another benefit is that many mesh systems come with Wi-Fi 6 technology that allows them to deliver Gig speeds to gig-compatible devices.

To extend your Wi-Fi signal outside, simply plug the hubs into the outlets positioned closest to your outdoor spaces while considering the location tips in Step 1 of this article. According to this guide from CNET, it may be possible to get up to 5,000 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage using a mesh system! Compare that to a traditional Wi-Fi router’s average of 150 square feet of coverage.

5. Optimize your router settings to improve Wi-Fi performance

How long has it been since you updated your router’s firmware? Check the router manufacturer's website, or the app that came with your router. You should be able to find instructions that explain how to update your firmware step-by-step. It’s also a good idea to set your router to update its firmware automatically so you don’t have to remember to do it manually.

You could also try to configure and optimize your router settings by following these steps:

boost outdoor wifi

  1. Log into your router’s accompanying app or website.
  2. Look for a “wireless output” setting and make sure it’s set to 100%. Many routers automatically set the signal strength below 100% to prevent people outside of your home from accessing your network. However, this may be shortening your Wi-Fi range, so bumping it up to 100% could help.
  3. If you can manage to find it, check to see which protocols your connected devices are using. The best options are: 801.11n, 802.11ac or 802.11ax. Both 802.11ac and 802.11ax protocols offer the best performance and speeds.
  4. See if your router’s app or website has any “entertainment settings” or presets that give bandwidth priority to certain online activities, such as gaming or streaming.

To learn more about optimizing your Wi-Fi network, check out this blog guide.

6. Choose a different Wi-Fi channel to avoid interference outdoors

Next time you’re home, open the menu on your device that shows your available Wi-Fi networks. Do you have two networks or one? If you have one network labeled “5GHz” and another labeled “2.4GHz” try connecting to the 2.4GHz network in your outdoor space and see if it improves your connection.

Some Wi-Fi routers create two network “channels” that can be used for different purposes:

● The 5GHz channel is faster but has shorter coverage. Connect to this channel if you’re in a room near your router and need faster speeds for bandwidth-intensive activities, like gaming, video calling, downloading large files or streaming in HD.

● The 2.4GHz channel is slower, but it can reach much farther. Anytime you experience Wi-Fi slowdowns or an unreliable connection in a room, basement or outdoor space located far away from your router, try switching to the 2.4GHz network and see if it improves.

7. Angle your Wi-Fi antenna to reach outside

If your router has antennas, point at least one vertically toward the ceiling and one horizontally toward the wall. Doing this allows the vertical antenna to help the signal pass through the ceiling, while the horizontal antenna helps the signal pass through walls. Avoid pointing the antennas at an angle relative to any walls, as this can weaken your Wi-Fi signal (source).

8. Use weather-resistant devices outdoors

You can also get creative by using weather-resistant equipment to extend your Wi-Fi signal outside. For example, if you can have a mesh network, you may be able to find a weather-proof hub that’s designed for outdoor outlets and is compatible with your mesh network. You also could also install a weather-resistant outlet cover to seal off and protect your Wi-Fi repeaters, extenders, access points or mesh network hubs. Or, you could install a weather-proof covered patio or other type of shelter to protect your Wi-Fi equipment.

9. Consider a powerline adapter to extend your Wi-Fi signal

If the previous options are out of reach for your budget, an affordable way to improve your outdoor Wi-Fi coverage is to use a powerline adapter as a last resort. These devices use the electrical wiring inside of your walls to extend your signal.

You may be able to plug them into outdoor electrical sockets on an as-needed basis, but only when the skies are clear and the weather is cool, since most affordable powerline adapters are not water- or weather-resistant. It’s also important to avoid plugging an indoor powerline adapter into a covered outdoor outlet in warmer weather, as these devices can situationally overheat (source).

how to boost wifi outdoors

Use These Tips to Boost Your Wi-Fi Outdoors

Although there are many ways to improve your Wi-Fi signal outside, the best, easiest solution is a mesh router system with multiple hubs. Just be sure to place at least one of the hubs near your outdoor space to extend the signal. This can be costly, but if it’s in your price range, it will provide the best coverage with the least amount of effort.

If installing a mesh network won’t work for you, an outdoor Wi-Fi extender is your second-best bet; however, this method can also be pricey. As a last resort, you can plug indoor extenders into an outdoor outlet (but only if the weather is nice!) or try using a powerline adapter. However, these options may not work as well and can only work temporarily, depending on the weather.

Skip the Hassle and Let the Experts Do It for You

If you’d prefer to skip the effort of extending your Wi-Fi network outside, let our EPB Tech Pros do it for you by ordering EPB Smart Net Plus. Combined with EPB Fi-Speed Internet, Smart Net Plus uses a mesh router system with Wi-Fi 6 technology to power all your devices flawlessly at once in every corner of your home — including your outdoor spaces!

During your free installation, tell your EPB Tech Pro which outdoor spaces need a strong Wi-Fi signal and they’ll take care of it for you. Learn more about extending your Wi-Fi signal outdoors with EPB Smart Net Plus for just $17.99 per month or $14.99 per month if you have the Gig.

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