5 Best Ways To Get WiFi Into a Metal Shed
Shed. Barn. Workshop.
When it’s time to go to work or “work,” getting reliable WiFi signal inside your mancave can be difficult.
Especially for small buildings and guest homes made or lined with metal, because metal is the #1 cause for disrupted WiFi and cellular service. WiFi signal literally bounces off or gets stiff-armed by metal.
Today we look at the best solutions for getting WiFi signal inside your metal shed without needing to purchase a second internet service.
1. The No Apologies aka The Best
Depending on how far your shed is, its build construction, and the priority of your WiFi speed, you may need the best of the best. The PiFi Long Range WiFi Range Extender is a beast.
It’s a point-to-point WiFi repeater. Meaning it’ll reach to a WiFi source up to 1 mile away, pull it in, and presto, WiFi service inside the shed.
- The most powerful solution without needing to get a SECOND internet connection.
- Long reach for rural areas, up to 1 mile.
- Easy installation.
- Point to point means it delivers WiFi service directly into the shed and nothing in between. There’s another solution if you want outside internet.
- Requires a second router for your shed.
2. The Obi-Wan aka The Very Good
Another option is to get a directional antenna (also known as a yagi antenna) and point to the shed.
If you have a router with external antennas like a Netgear Nighthawk, you can remove one of the broadcasting antennas and attach it to a directional antenna.
So what’s a good directional antenna?
A grid parabolic antenna is the big, bad wolf capable of broadcasting 2.4 GHz WiFi signal up to 8 miles. But again, if you have a very robust metal shed or shop, it’ll still stop WiFi service from getting through, so going with the PiFi Long Range WiFi Range Extender would be a better choice.
For tiny buildings a bit closer like 100 meters away (about 300 ft) in the backyard or a little bit offsite, going with a yagi antenna is definitely more manageable and just as effective.
- Simple upgrade to your existing router antenna.
- Grid or yagi antenna has good reach for rural areas.
- If the shed is robust with thick walls, it may not work.
- Will need to install and point external antenna to shed.
3. The 2% Milk aka The OK
The first two options have been about either pulling or pushing WiFi service from the source. How about beefing up the WiFi reception ability inside the shed?
Using a wireless card can help extend the WiFi range of your notebook up to 5X. Granted, this is a bit of a longshot, because if WiFi signal isn’t coming in, then it likely isn’t coming out.
However, if you are able to get spotty reception inside, a wireless card should help. For smartphone users, you’re SOL unless you tether to the laptop.
- Power up your laptop or notebook WiFi range.
- If you got the Fort Knox of sheds, it probably won’t work.
- Works for computers and laptops, not for smartphones unless tethered to the notebook.
4. The Don’t Judge Me aka The Desperate
It’s not recommended but doable. You could run an ethernet cable from your router inside the shed.
CAT5e and CAT6 cable runs up to 100 meters (328 ft), so that’s one thing to remember. You’ll also have to shield the cable from the elements and perhaps bury it unless you want it exposed to children, dogs, and lawnmowers.
- Something better than nothing.
- We’re in the 2020s, it’s wireless technology, why are we talking wires?
5. The Van Gogh aka The Experimental
Powerline adapters use your home’s electrical wiring to deliver internet. If your shed also shares electricity with your home where the WiFi modem is installed, it may deliver WiFi service in your shed.
It’s not the most effective (aka spotty), but it’s definitely the easiest to install. And it does come with some caveats such as directly installing into the outlet (no surges) and not sharing outlet with high-powered devices.
- Easy to install.
- Must share same electrical wiring.
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