For the average person, setting up a network access point outdoors can be challenging. This will involve issues such as product selection, performance planning, software configuration, weather conditions, and more.
Selecting an appropriate wireless router
First and foremost, it’s important to note that not all wireless routers are suitable for outdoor use. Therefore, before making a purchase, research should be done to ensure that the wireless router you choose is designed for outdoor use. Specifically, routers that are waterproof, shock-resistant, UV-resistant, and can withstand wide temperature changes should be selected.
As smart devices become more advanced, our wireless routers also need to keep up with the times. Older wireless routers are mostly 2.4G products with a speed of 300M, while most of the smartphones, tablets, and wireless network cards currently on the market support 5G, commonly known as WiFi5.
So what’s popular now? AC1200, AC1600, AC1800, or AC3000? These are all 5G WiFi standards, and they are sufficient for occasions that don’t have high requirements. Most of the WiFi5 products sold in the market fall into this category.
In fact, with the popularity of 5G smartphones, the scalability of the WiFi6 standard (AX) will be even stronger. We may change our phones every year, but we can’t change our wireless router that frequently. WiFi6 starts from AX1800 and goes all the way up to AX6000, including AX2000, AX2200, and AX3000. Different levels also often mean there will be significant differences in sales prices.
Configuring the wireless router
Before using a wireless router, it must be properly configured. This includes setting the SSID and password, enabling WPA2 encryption, and configuring other network settings. Make sure that your router is configured properly and place it in a location with good signal coverage that is far away from your devices.
Outdoor routers generally use POE power supply, which means you need to run an Ethernet cable to the location where the outdoor router is placed and make waterproofing for the crystal head. This usually involves running a slightly longer cable, making a small loop, so that rainwater does not flow down the wire into the weak electric cabinet. I’m trying to find a picture to illustrate what this loop looks like.
Finding the best location
In outdoor environments, wireless signals are easily interfered with. Therefore, finding the best location is crucial. The router should be placed in a position that is not higher than people’s height, as this can affect signal coverage. The surrounding environment should also be taken into consideration to avoid signal obstruction from other electronic devices or objects.
Generally, places with power poles are not ideal, and neither are locations similar to radar antennas, satellite receivers, or mobile signal base stations.
An outdoor router can be placed under the eaves of a house, but this is not the best location. The best location is in an open area in your yard or garden. If conditions permit, a separate pole can be erected in the open area to attach the outdoor router.
Most outdoor routers on the market are POE powered, so when erecting poles in open areas, pre-buried cables are needed. Only a gigabit Ethernet cable is required. It is recommended to purchase the best gigabit Ethernet cable available locally, generally a blue sheathed cable with a copper wire diameter of around 0.52mm will be better, and it could last for many years without needing to replace the cable.
If you need a wider signal coverage, antennas can be used. Antennas typically have different gains and directionality, so they should be selected based on your needs. For example, in your own yard, you can use a 360-degree omnidirectional antenna; while for connecting two houses that are far apart, a directional antenna may be needed to project the signal to a specific area.
Some antennas are replaceable, and although I do not recommend modifying them, there are examples of antennas being modified to transmit signals over longer distances. Enthusiasts can try to learn more about this knowledge.
Considering purchasing an outdoor router
If you often travel to places without WiFi signals, considering purchasing a 3G or 4G router is also a good option. This type of router uses mobile networks to provide internet connectivity without the need for WiFi signal coverage.
In most cases, we do not need to establish a WiFi base station on a mountain. We only need to cover wireless networks near our residence, so we don’t need to consider whether to use a 3G or 4G router. Instead, we should consider factors such as antenna power, extension range, waterproof properties, and heat dissipation effects.
Finally, as a brand recommendation, WAVLINK offers a range of wireless outdoor routers from entry-level to high-end products. Keywords:outdoor WiFi Signal Booster