Many of us use our log cabins, summerhouses and sheds as a place to relax and escape the world. On the flip side, there are those of us who use our buildings as an office – finding work inspiration at the bottom of our gardens. Whether you want to catch up on Netflix or catch up on emails, there’s one vital factor: WiFi.
With apps to stream music, films, series and even books, a lot of our leisure activities rely on the internet. Also, a garden office could feel lacking without a reliable online connection. If you feel like you’re in the Stone Age when you can’t get online, take a look at our handy guide on how to bring the internet to your garden.
Boost your Signal with a WiFi Extender
First up, a quick and easy solution for buildings closer to home. A WiFi extender is a great idea, with some of the higher end signal boosters able to increase internet range up to 10,000 square feet. This is a great option to relieve frustrations of those with a wireless router located relatively close to your garden, but still too far for a decent signal.
An average WiFi router has a range of 300ft (100m) with no doors, windows or walls obstructing the signal. This range reduces significantly to around 100ft (30m) with obstacles blocking its path. Extenders give existing WiFi signals a boost for a stronger, more reliable and further-reaching connection. Although typically used for larger houses or weaker routers, many extenders are capable of reaching outside – perfect for blasting Spotify playlists in the garden.
Multiple WiFi repeaters can be used for greater distance coverage, so it could be beneficial to install one inside your house and one inside your garden office. However, if your garden building isn’t close to your home, the signal may be too weak for a good connection.
With prices starting at just £15, there are a multitude of products available all boasting different speeds, ranges and technology. Most simply plug into a socket, so installation is easy even for the technophobes among us.
Check out this article for a rundown of the best WiFi extenders, tested for performance short range, mid-range, and at the bottom of a garden.
Connect your Router and Shed with an Ethernet Cable
If you want to give your garden building a supply of electricity, you can kill two birds with one stone and get an Ethernet cable installed at the same time as a power cable. Ethernet cables connect to your internet router as network cables, and they’re ideal for garden offices. Although easier to install at the same time as electrical cables, they can be installed independently too.
Ethernet cables need to be placed protected from the elements – they’re typically installed underground. If you don’t want to bury the cable, you can also trail it above-ground. Exterior-grade Ethernet cables are water-resistant but if you’re not burying your cable, you should choose one that’s also UV resistant. UV-resistant conduit is a good option as a protective sleeve for the cable.
Once the cable has reached you garden building, it can be plugged directly into your computer or additional WiFi router. Whether you need a dependable internet connection for catching up on work or the latest season of Stranger Things, this could be the solution for you.
Though trickier to install than plug-in WiFi extenders, the connection will be stronger and more secure. If all this cable talk is getting your wires crossed, it’s a quick job for professionals and shouldn’t cost much.
Read more about running Ethernet cables outdoors here.
Although it sounds like a mix between a fitness class and a business strategy, Powerline networking is a handy way to get online outdoors. This option works with garden buildings that have their own electricity supply, and it’s pretty simple to install.
Powerline kits are quite cheap to buy – they’ll set you back around £20 – £50. The kits usually contain two (or more) adaptors, supplied with two (or more) Ethernet cables. One adaptor plugs into a socket in your home, connected to your router with one of the Ethernet cables. The second adaptor is plugged into your garden building. To get online, you can either attach the second Ethernet cable to the adaptor and your computer, or install an additional WiFi router for a wireless connection.
A Powerline network is perfect for a garden office, providing a strong connection for all your browsing needs. If you use your building as a home (not so far) away from home, it’s a handy way to ensure you can stay connected. Check out reviews of the best Powerline adapters here.
So there you have it. You can bring your shed, summerhouse or log cabin into the 21st century by surfing the web from your garden. Whether you’re a workaholic, online shopaholic, serial surfer or a binge-watcher, you never have to miss a megabyte again.
Check out Tiger Shed’s great range of garden buildings here. Many of our log cabins make excellent garden offices. You can also use our versatile buildings for storage, as a gym, summer retreat, or outdoor living room and bedroom.