Today I’m going to share something we just bought that will help you boost your wifi signal at home if you need to.
**So, I always feel that I should justify our internet usage as a family whenever I share a post like this. Please don’t feel you need to message me to let me know that my children won’t develop real-life social skills or that they’ll be damaged because I let them on the internet as often as they are. Their online time is very balanced with everything else they do and they’re amazing young people. **
**I should also say that this isn’t a sponsored post or a review – we did some research and bought this little gadget ourselves**
As a family, we’re very reliant on a good broadband connection for various reasons and we pay for the best connection that’s available in our area. In theory, the package that we have should be more than sufficient for a family’s needs but it doesn’t always cut it.
To give you an idea of how much the internet might be used, let me tell you about last Friday night and share with you who was doing what…
Mr Frugal finished work at 6 pm and after doing the pots (his job as he won’t let me have a dishwasher :-)) he set his PS4 up in the living room and sat down and played a good hour and a half of Call of Duty which is something that he enjoys doing to relax while I’m doing all my bloggy admin work.
I went and sat upstairs with my laptop and uploaded some photos to my laptop, did lots of editing and uploaded them to my blog. I had Youtube playing in the background as it blocks out the noise of whatever everyone else is getting up to. At the same time, I had numerous conversations on Facebook Messenger on my phone.
Miss Frugal was on Facetime with her friend who lives a couple of towns over from us. They were doing a school project and Miss Frugal had been due to sleep over at her house so they could do it but she’s been unwell this week and I really wanted her to have a good weekend of sleep so I asked her to cancel it. She wasn’t too happy but understood and it’s not the first time they’ve done homework together over Facetime. She’s as easily distracted as I am so she was no doubt also having conversations on Snapchat and Instagram with her friends too.
Master Frugal was having his usual Friday night Xbox session with his friends playing whatever the ‘in’ game is at the moment. One of his friends has a broken headset at the moment so as well as playing with this friend online via the Xbox, he was also connected to him via Facetime so he could speak to him at the same time as playing online.
So that was the situation in my house last Friday night, not a typical night admittedly but weekends do often involve more internet usage than normal for our family and that’s absolutely OK for us. (More justification – we’ll also play board games, get outside and spend lots of time together)
Whilst it may be OK for us, it’s a little much for our poor hardworking router which is situated downstairs in the living room.
When we’re all online, some using multiple devices, at least one of the main devices in use suffers and it’s usually poor Master Frugal’s XBox. I’m going to try and explain what happens but I don’t really get it myself so bear with me… Basically, when he’s playing with his friends online he will be seeing what’s going on a good couple of seconds behinds his friends so, on Fifa for example, he’ll see his opponents shooting for goal a couple of seconds later than they’re actually doing it so he has much less time to react which usually results in him losing and getting very frustrated. On some occasions, Xbox automatically removes him from the groups (called parties) because of how slow the Xbox is running.
I hope that made sense, basically he gets lag which is bad!
It doesn’t happen most of the time because it’s not that often that we’re all online with more than one device but when it does happen, it can be really frustrating for him because he wants to play with his friends and being unable to do that isn’t great.
We decided to see what we could do to fix it which led to Mr Frugal sitting engrossed in his phone researching different products and reading numerous reviews.
He ruled out a wifi extender because the wifi on the Xbox itself is OK about 90% of the time – it’s literally just when there are lots of devices using the wifi that it struggles.
He settled on a wifi booster device, in particular, the tp-link TL-PA7010 KIT which was coming up at around £40 in most stores but was £36.95 on Amazon – I know prices fluctuate on Amazon though so even though it’s still that price now, it could well go up or down but if it helps, we also found it in Tesco and Argos for £39.99.
This particular model is great for consoles or laptops or a TV that you use to stream, basically, any device that stays in the same place and runs of wifi.
It comes with the two plug devices you see in the box and you simply plug one into a mains plug near your wifi router and connect it using an Ethernet cable to the router. The second plug then needs to be plugged in somewhere near the device you want to improve the connection with another ethernet cable connecting the plug and the device.
They’re very easy (so Mr Frugal tells me) to sync together and not only has the lag issue gone away completely, the Xbox itself is running even faster than it was before. Download speeds are much quicker and the overall gaming experience is even better due to the fact that the performance is so much better according to Master Frugal.
Somehow, the plug attached to the router downstairs is transmitting the wifi signal upstairs to the plug that the Xbox is connected to and the Xbox now shows as being a wired connection and not a wifi connection. I should point out that it says in big letters on the box that the plugs you’re using need to be on the same electric circuit for this to work properly.
It really has worked so much better than we thought which is why I thought I’d mention it to you guys today in case you wanted to know how to boost your wifi signal too.
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