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Extend broadband network to a garage or shed

Dealing with HomePlug adaptor problems

You have an office in the garden that you want to connect to your broadband. Running a cable isn't an option, so what do you do? Our Helproom Editor explains.

QUESTION I've recently built an extension on my kitchen and a home office at the bottom of the garden. My Wi-Fi signal doesn't reach the garden office, even with a wireless extender. I tried using HomePlug, but it seems that the office is on a different mains circuit to my router. (If you are new to the idea of HomePlug adaptors - an easy way to extend any network - read: How to set up powerline networking adaptors.)

Can you help me get an internet connection to my office with the minimum expense? I don't want to have to dig up the garden to run cables.

HELPROOM ANSWER If there's no cost-effective way of running an additional cable between the house and the garden office, you may have to resort to using outdoor antennae. You will also need to buy a wireless router that supports interchangeable antennae.

Before going down this route, check that there aren't any other plug sockets in the house that operate on the same circuit as your office. A socket in your new extension would be the most likely candidate.

Leave your HomePlug adaptor set up in the garden office, then try the other adaptor in various sockets in your house. If the connection changes from red to green, signifying communication between the two devices, you will have found an alternative location in your house from which your network connection can be shared.

The next step is to get the connection from your broadband router over to the socket you've just located. It may be a simple matter of moving the router from its current location or running an ethernet cable between the router and adaptor.

If you'd rather avoid setting up your router in your new kitchen, you can create a wireless connection between the two using a wireless extender. A wireless extender will convert the HomePlug adaptor's wired ethernet port to a wireless one, allowing it to communicate with your router and send the signal to the office.

Edimax Wireless Router

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.

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