Having a garden building as an office, playroom, gym or a summer house is great, but in current times it would be almost useless if you couldn’t get a solid and reliable internet connection.
Usually garden rooms are far from the main house, so the Wi-Fi coverage from the existing house router is not enough. Signal repeaters might be a solution, but in bad weather their signal is weaker and you can’t really rely on it. This is why in the majority of cases we recommend our clients to install an armoured internet cable.
Ideally you should run the internet cable and the electric one at the same time. In addition to be much more cost effective, you will avoid having to dig your garden more than once. Because the internet cable has a metal armour around it, the internet signal will not be disturbed by the electricity.
We recommend using a CAT6 cable. Although slightly more expensive they allow internet signal to travel with the highest possible speed, giving you the same internet performance you have in your own house. Even with a distance of over 60 metres (almost 200 ft) our clients did not see a drop in download and upload speeds.
Once the cable has been installed you will have two new internet sockets: one inside your house and one inside your garden building.
Now you need to connect the internet socket in your house with your home broadband or WiFi signal, and the one in your garden building to a router.
Before you carry on reading, please remember you don’t have to buy the equipment suggested by us. We don’t receive any reward for recommending these devices. We simply have tested them and we know they work well.
How to connect your new internet socket to your home broadband or WiFi
So let’s start with your house, where we can have two options, depending if the internet socket is near or far from the router.
Option 1: Your new internet socket is close to your home router
If your new internet socket (circled in red) is near the router all you need is a network cable. Many routers and other electronic equipment come with a spare network cable, so check your ‘technical box’ before setting out to buy one. You can buy a network cable in any electrical shop. We usually buy it from Currys.
All you need to do now is to plug one end of the network cable into the router and the other end into the newly installed internet socket (unless all of the output sockets in your router are used, but this doesn’t happen often anymore).
Option 2: Your new internet socket is far from your home router
This scenario is much more common due to the fact that the majority of home routers are in the front rooms, but garden buildings are installed at the back. Running a thick cable through the house is not too practical, and if you want to hide it, it can be quite expensive.
To solve this issue in a neat, reliable and inexpensive way we recommend installing your new internet socket somewhere on the back wall of your house, close to an existing electrical socket.
Now you will need a WiFi signal repeater, which will connect to your existing WiFi making the signal stronger. We have been testing a few of them and at the moment the one which seems to perform the best is TP-LINK RE45 from Currys. It has an external output socket to send the signal through a cable, which is exactly what you need.
Once you have it, plug the repeater into your electrical socket and connect it to your existing WiFi network. Usually that will require a few simple steps explained in the manual that comes with your repeater. Remember to test it to make sure it works.
Once you have configured your repeater you have to connect the output socket in the repeater with your new internet socket using a network cable.
When this step is completed you are ready to connect the new router in your garden room. Once again, the choice of routers out there is massive, and can actually be a bit daunting. We use TP-LINK TL-WR940N from Currys, which is cheap, works perfectly fine and is ready to use in seconds.
Installing a router in your garden building
All you need to do is to plug your router into the electric socket and connect your internet socket with the router IN socket. This is usually a different colour and in the case of the router we use is blue.
After around a minute your router light should turn blue and your internet is available. On the bottom of the router you can see the name of your WiFi and password. Simply connect your mobile phone to check that it works.
What if I have more than one internet socket in my garden room?
There is nothing to worry about. The procedure is exactly the same, as there is only one socket connected to your long, armoured internet cable. This is where you connect your new router. All other sockets are just an extension of the internet signal which you want to use to plug your computer, console or other equipment. But if that is the case and you have requested it, you probably know exactly what to do with your new network.
What if you would like us to connect it all?
At A Room in the Garden, for a small additional fee, we offer to our clients the possibility to connect to the internet in their new garden room. If you are not confident enough to do it yourself, discuss it with the company who is making the garden room and they should be able to help you.
As with everything you do in life, if it is something you have never done before it might seem complicated. But trust us, it is not. It will probably take you around 30 minutes and everything will work. All you need is your phone or tablet (maybe more convenient if you have to configure WiFi repeater) and a little bit of patience.
After that time you should be enjoying very reliable internet connection in your garden building, and quite solid WiFi signal throughout your garden too.