Recommendations for improving home wifi


We’ve recently had a new internet connection fitted because the previous connection was hideously slow. The new setup delivers around 100mbps but because of the way the house was wired up the router is installed in an upstairs room.

This means that on the lower floor we typically get <=50mbps in most locations and we’re keep to improve coverage. If we could extend coverage to the garden and an outbuilding (a garage) then that would be even better.

The property is only 34m from the front perimeter to the rear boundary.

I was originally looking at a mesh network setup but i’m wondering if a Ubiquiti Unifi Long Range AP might be a better solution?

The current router is around 14m from the front perimeter of the property which means it’s almost perfectly in the center of the property. Is it likely that a single AP would give sufficient coverage?

Grateful for any feedback people might have. The aim is to try to get the throughput improved on the lower floor so we can get as close to the max of 100mbps as possible.


Unifi distributed APs. Two AP AC LITEs shoudl do it. The Unifi software has a coverage map tool. Import your floorplan as a bitmap, add a scale lenght then trace over the walls with the relevant material. Then drop APs into place to see the coverage:

Thanks. If I end up with multiple AP’s then does each need to be hard wired into the network, or can they communicate with each other over wifi? Placement of the AP’s might be an issue for me as the wife is averse to me mounting anything in sight so I need to try to hide them away. I notice these AP’s are designed to be ceiling or wall mounted, but do they absolutely need to be positioned in that way? Any reason why I couldn’t hide them away behind furniture?

Wired is preferred. Especially as you get PoE and thus no need for a local power supply.

Up high is preferred for coverage.

Do you have ceiling height cupboards you could put them in or on?

As you can see above, one of my APs is hidden in a walk in wardrobe.

If networking is the question, ubiquiti is a good option.

I have one of mine on top of the kitchen cupboards. Invisible unless you are 6 foot 6. The other one is in the study on the desk, so not really obvious or offensive.

Are you using wired backhaul or wireless?

Cabling up for me might be an issue for the moment, but in future i’m looking at installing a PoE switch anyway. So the plan might be to run it wifi initially and then switch to wired at a later date.

When using the mapping tool are you able to explain the coloring on the heatmap a little? I presume a white area is an area with no coverage? Red and yellow are good coverage areas with a green/blue being reasonable coverage?

I am using wired.

Red is maximum power. Each change in colour is a 1dB drop in power. So every 3 colour steps is a halving of power.

What did you use to generate that map?

Ok, well here is what my house looks like using two AP Lites.

Of course the issue for me is that this map only shows things on a horizontal plane. Is that coverage likely to be reflected on the ground floor?

The Map page of the Unifi software.


It’s really only an indicative guide. e.g. I can still get wifi reception in the bottom right corner of Bedroom 1.

Concrete or wooden floors?

Wooden I believe.

Edit: Having thought about it a wired backhaul to an AP outside in the garage might be an option. We have a car port canopy that runs from outside Bedroom 3 (top right of the map). So I could take a cable directly from the router (which is where that AP is shown) and run it along the top of the carport and then through the roofspace in the garage to the back.

Hmmm, i’m tempted to get a single AP to start off with and then I can build the network from there. I presume in additional to the AP I need to either run the controller software somewhere (PC or Pi?).

It looks like you have drawn the internal walls with brick. Replace them with wood and it will give you a indication of the power drop from room to room that would be equivalent from upper to lower floor.

I need to double check but i’m pretty sure the interior walls are brick. It’s quite an old house and i’m based in the UK. It’s not unusual for older houses to have this kind of construction.

Yes that’s fine, but what I am saying is, just for a test only, replace them with wood. This will show you how much wood attenuates the signal. You can reasonably expect this sort of drop from upper to lower floor if your floors are wood.

Sorry, I understand you now :slight_smile:

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll take a look at it.

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Out of interest, I presume that if I wanted to experiment with this a little then all I need to buy is one of the Unifi AP models?

I can run the controller on a PC or Raspberry Pi right? So at the very least I could do some testing with placement to see how it performs? Because it’s an Access Point the existing wifi advertised by the current router can stay and the AP will simply advertise an alternative configured SSID which I can then measure to see how it compares to the in-built wifi? (I’d presume it can only be better as the antenna in the Ubiquiti AP will likely be much better).

Yes to all.

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Thanks for your help Tom. :slight_smile: I will certainly look into this.