What would be the best way to boost a router signal?

  Graphicool1 17:03 31 Aug 2014

Hi Guy's

I have an EE (Orange) Router situated in my loft. My desktop, laptop and tablet pick up an excellent signal (all bars full). This also applies to my wife's laptop.

However, I've just had a 'Sanctuary' studio/shed built in the garden, which stands about 15 feet from my bungalow. I've just finished insulating it with 60mm thick or (2.3/8" in old money) rigid insulation boards, that are sheathed in silver foil. When I was putting them in I thought that there might be trouble brewing.

The studio will permanently house my desktop PC etc. I took my laptop into the studio and although it could get on line it was extremely slow and was only showing 1 bar. My tablet said it was on line, but couldn't bring up any sites. However when I stepped outside the studio it went straight to the Google app store.

I also have solar panels which are no doubt doing their bit to block wireless signals. Before I started insulating it had first fix electrics done, the second will be after I add the hardboard to cover the insulation. Thing is I can't off hand remember whether he said it was a spur or a separate ring main? What I do know is that it's being independently earthed via a rod. If it is a spur or independent of the house electrics I'm guessing I wont be able to use a wireless repeater?

  john bunyan 17:14 31 Aug 2014

If possible I would try to run a long Ethernet cable from your loft to the studio. It may be possible to use a homeplug / wireless extender but ideally they should be on the same circuit. I would give it a try asap - they are not too expensive. Maybe someone will suggest some way of having an "aerial" outside the studio that somehow could get the signal in, but I don't know if that is possible.

  Graphicool1 17:27 31 Aug 2014


Thanx for your response, as it happens you're ethernet suggestion was my own solution, it would seem we're on the same wave length. However, I'm hoping that someone might suggest something a little simpler and easier to apply, as you added an external aerial.

  Ian in Northampton 17:39 31 Aug 2014

Assuming that your sanctuary is on the same electrical circuit as your house, might PowerLine be a solution? With a wifi extender for your tablet?

  Ian in Northampton 17:48 31 Aug 2014

ßeta: LOL - I stand corrected. At the risk of hijacking Graphicool's thread - the reason we never went PowerLine, but used external Ethernet cable, was because our (old, long) house has two completely separate power supplies. It seems I may have erred - but how would I tell if both were on the same phase?

  spuds 17:57 31 Aug 2014

Off subject slightly, but in the early days of CB radio here in the UK 'rigid insulation boards, that are sheathed in silver foil' or rolls of tin foil, where used by some people who were trying to hide their activities!.

  Ian in Northampton 18:02 31 Aug 2014

ßeta, thanks. Yes, we have two separate electric meters - two separate feeds coming from the cable under the road. (Our house was originally a row of three cottages which we knocked together, but never unified the electricity supply. We have two separate gas supplies too...)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:13 31 Aug 2014

its the silver foil blocking the signal as you surmised.

can you get above it i.e. in the roof space of the shed?

if you use a wireless dongle (connected to the PC/ laptop on the desk in the shed) in the end of a USB extension cable you should be able to raise it above the insulated walls'

could even make a mesh antenna round it to enhance its received signal.

  bumpkin 18:28 31 Aug 2014

Use an ethernet cable unless you want to be faffing around for evermore.

  Graphicool1 19:48 31 Aug 2014

I'm responding to your responses from the top down, starting with...

'Ian in Northampton'.

I think it might be a spur from the mainboard, as they have run a cable to the mainboard, which as yet isn't connected. Is PowerLine a Repeater or a makers name of repeaters?


My property is definitely 'Single Phase'. Perhaps I should be aiming the question I put to Ian in Nottingham to you also. Is PowerLine a Repeater or a makers name of repeaters?


Very interesting, however in my case I just want a good signal and quite likely my on line activities might be considered boring to many.

Fruit Bat /\0/\

"its the silver foil blocking the signal as you surmised.

can you get above it i.e. in the roof space of the shed?"

Unfortunately no, as the insulation is in the roof space.


As I said to John Bunyon at the start of this question 'an ethernet lead was my first thought also'. But If I can just plug a repeater or something similar into a socket in the studio, then I'll go with that, from what I've seen the price is very similar. Otherwise it will be an ethernet cable. However, if I use that method it will require of me to use the electricians tension wire to run the cable to the studio and if that's the case I may as well let him do it.

  Ian in Northampton 20:11 31 Aug 2014

PowerLine is a brand name for a technology that allows your electrical wiring to act as a network cable. You simply plug a PowerLine socket into the wall, and attach your router to it. Then, wherever you want a PC, you plug another PowerLine adapter into an electrical socket - and the router and PC are connected. You can do that as many times/places as you like. You can either attach to a PowerLine socket via cable, or there are versions that convert the wired signal into wifi - which is perhaps what you'd want, given that your tablet can't be plugged into the network.

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