Singapore is a high-tech place, but you can still have internet connection problems from time to time. Wi-Fi black spots, intermittent service and buffering are fairly common issues, according to SARAH and BO from Tekkie Help. This is partly due, they say, to the dense structure of the concrete and reinforced steel buildings here. Fortunately, there are techniques you can implement to ensure seamless internet and wi-fi coverage throughout your home. Here’s what the pair recommends:
#1 “The best option is to have hard-wired Wi-Fi access points in strategic locations.
This can be achieved using existing data points or old cable coaxial points. If those aren’t available, we can usually convert telephone sockets into data points. Computers and televisions can also be hard-wired into data points for maximum internet performance. If your home doesn’t have any sockets, an option is to lay new cables and position data points where required.”
#2 “Another option is to implement a mesh network, such as Google WiFi.
In the right situations, this can be very effective. However, it’s essential that the mesh ‘nodes’ are within good Wi-Fi range of each other so they can piggyback the signal. Concrete walls can hinder this, so it may be necessary to install additional nodes in corridors and stairwells to bridge the signal between rooms or floors. It can be tricky finding a place with power, though, and costs can increase considerably by adding nodes.
#3 “As a last resort, wireless repeaters or extenders can be installed.
These don’t produce great results as repeaters use half the bandwidth to receive signal and half to transmit, and extenders often use the building power cables to convey the signals. Also, this technique can’t handle high-speed data.”
As you can see, Wi-Fi optimisation can be complex – there’s no universal solution. One way to reduce the pain of troublesome internet (and costs) is by considering your internet coverage during your property search and before you move in to your new place. So, what are some of the questions you should ask?
Is it fibre-ready?
“Fibre optic broadband is the latest internet standard. It delivers ultra-high speeds (1Gbps+) through an islandwide fibre network directly into your home, ensuring a richer broadband experience. However, not all properties are kitted out yet to have a fibre service, so it’s worth checking if yours has an existing NetLink Trust termination point.”
Are there data points (and phone sockets)?
“Look out for data points, coaxial points or phone sockets in each room as we can utilise the cabling to get excellent wi-fi coverage – far more reliable and effective than retail wireless extender and repeater equipment.”
Is there budget for cabling?
“Some properties don’t have data cabling, meaning it can be tricky to get good, stable wireless throughout – especially large black-and-white houses. It’s worth getting a quote for wiring and asking the landlord to cover the costs before you sign a contract (as it is adding value!).”
Do you have renovation plans?
“If you’re renovating, it’s the ideal time to plan your Wi-Fi – don’t leave it for later! Tekkie Help works with architects and interior designers from the building planning stage to ensure that the necessary cabling is installed in the most efficient and aesthetically pleasing way.”
Tekkie Help took out the Gold category for IT Support in the Expat Living Readers’ Choice Awards 2020. Contact them if you need help with your home Wi-Fi.
Special offer: EL readers can enjoy a free Wi-Fi assessment including a site survey and recommendations for how to get seamless connectivity. To book, call 8113 8682 and quote “Expat Living”.