Solutions For Weak Wi-Fi in Garage

Trying to use Wi-Fi in garages can lead to problems with a weak or unreliable signal, particularly when the garage is a detached building some way from the main house. What options are there for solving this problem of weak Wi-Fi in a garage?

Garages are often the favourite place for “man caves” and play-dens to be set up, where the man of the house can watch TV, stream movies and play video games online. Otherwise some guys like to be able to watch TV or movies while they work on their latest project in the garage. The same principles also apply to any other detached building; for example some people convert detached buildings into work studies

Here are some quick tips to reduce weak Wi-Fi problems in a garage:

  • Run a long ethernet cable into your garage.
  • Use a repeater to extend the router’s Wi-Fi signal
  • Switch to a powerline adapter instead of Wi-Fi if your wiring allows it.
  • Wi-Fi Mesh may work in some cases, depending on distance.

If the garage is wired together with the rest of the house, then powerline adapters are an excellent home networking solution which can deliver a strong, wired internet connection out to your garage for higher bandwidth activities like streaming.

If the wiring of the garage does not allow for this then an advanced Wi-Fi extender such as a Mesh system can be an alternative which may deliver an enhanced wireless signal good enough for what you need, depending on the distances involved.

For things like streaming and gaming, the internet connection to these places needs to be strong, and there are devices which can help you with that, even in detached buildings. Let’s look now at some of the home networking solutions that can be used in a garage or any other detached building separate from the main house.

Solution #1 – Wi-Fi Extenders

If the garage is reasonably close to the main house, your first potential option is to use a Wi-Fi extender/booster/repeater to expand the existing signal from your router, expanding coverage to also reach your garage.

Extenders are just single plug adapters that you install in a wall socket between the router and Wi-Fi “dead-zone” that capture and forward on the router’s signal so it can spread to a wider area. They can be ideal for garages closer to the home where the router signal is weak and you want a stronger and more reliable reception.

Here’s how you set up extenders:

  1. Install the extender preferably about halfway between your router and garage. Both devices in the garage and your router must be within range of the extender.
  2. Connect a device to the extender’s default open network.
  3. Perform some easy setup to connect the extender to your router and set up a new network.
  4. Once configured, your extender feeds off the router’s signal but also broadcasts it’s own network that devices in the garage can connect to if it’s stronger than the host router’s network.

Wireless technology in general can be quite fickle and variable though, so there’s no guarantee extenders will work in all cases, especially in detached buildings like garages where there’s often more distance involved.

However, entry level models are available cheaply so it needn’t be expensive to test them out.

Solution #2 – Powerline Adapters

Powerline adapters are another excellent solution to look into if trying to deliver a stronger internet connection to the garage. Powerline adapters consist of a pair of adapter plugs, one of which is plugged in and connected to the router, the other of which is plugged in in the room it is to be used in.

The two adapters then communicate through the existing electrical wiring of the house, delivering a much stronger, more reliable connection than Wi-Fi to the room, allowing for devices to effectively have a wired connection directly to the router. The adapters are just using the copper wiring of the house instead of having a long ethernet cable running through the house.

See the video below for a good demo of how these adapters work

The TP Link Nano TL-PA4010 Kit model is an entry level, best selling no nonsense powerline adapter model with just one ethernet port and no passthrough. View on our Powerline Adapters page plus links to more advanced models.

If your house circuitry allows then they are an excellent home networking solution, allowing for high bandwidth connections in any room of the house, even at distance from the router.

Standard powerline adapters only allow for a wired connection; if you also want to connect portable devices like tablets wirelessly in the garage, then a Wireless Powerline Adapter model which also produces a cloned Wi-Fi access point at the receiving end, is the product of choice.

When Will a Powerline Adapter Not Work in a Garage?

An important caveat to this is that the electrical wiring of your house needs to be able to allow a connection between where your router is plugged in and the plugs in your garage. The adapters need to be able to “talk” to each other through the wiring and this may not be possible in some cases, depending on how power is wired to the garage.

As a general rule of thumb, if the garage is wired on the same general circuit and off the same meter or feed as the rest of the house, then powerline adapters should work in the vast majority of cases, delivering a strong or decent internet connection. If the garage is wired separately in some way or runs off a different meter, then you may not be able to get the plugs to communicate.

See our full article on whether powerline adapters will work in garages. Looking through forums on this, we came to the conclusion that in most cases they will work. Any problems with signal quality seemed to be limited to the older models of powerline adapters which not so good at filtering out electrical “noise” or interference.

The newer models we feature on this site are vastly improved and are much more reliable across all types of circuitry, even to detached buildings. In some cases throughput, or data transfer, may be reduced compared to if you were using them in the house, though the connection will still be usable and in many cases more reliable than wifi.

This is usually due to the quality of the wiring to the garage and devices like circuit breakers which can interrupt the signal.

Other Solutions For Garage Connectivity

If you do find that an extender or powerline adapter is not an option in your garage, as it is not on the same mains as the rest of the house where the router is plugged in or due to other obstructions or faults to the circuitry, then there are two other options available. Let’s look at them in turn now.

Option 1 – Wire an Ethernet Cable Directly to Your Garage

This is the most difficult option, requiring some DIY and possibly some digging, but will deliver the strongest possible signal to your garage providing you can get the cable to reach from your house.

Depending on how far your garage is from your router, you may need quite a long ethernet cable – cables anything from 5 or 10 meters to 50 or 100 meters are also available on Amazon. It is best to wire the cables in such a way as they are protected from the elements.

Various guides are available online on creating wired home networks; see here and here for two excellent ones which will list all the tools you need to do this. Be aware though there you ideally need to run your ethernet cables to the garage away from any electrical wires, since the current from the electrical wiring will interfere with that of the network cables if they are too close together.

Option 2 – Use a Wi-Fi Mesh System

A possible solution requiring less DIY but possibly more expense is to use a Wi-Fi Mesh System to carry out a stronger wireless signal to the garage. These are more advanced versions of Wi-Fi extenders but basically use the same principle – amplifying wireless coverage over a larger area.

Mesh kits usually consist of two or three pods or cubes which are placed strategically around the home to pick up and amplify or boost the existing Wi-Fi signal from the main router to make it reach all parts of the home.

These can be very effective if you cannot run a wired internet connection to your garage by any means, though it does depend on distance and even the best kits may not be able to reach your garage if it is too far away from the main building. They may however be an option for reasonably close detached garages.

The more basic single plug Wi-Fi extender models may not work well in most cases for outdoor buildings, but may in some cases offer a limited signal boost. For detached buildings, Wi-Fi Mesh may offer the best chance, but as we said even this will deliver varying results in many cases.

Wi-Fi boosting technology does tend to work better indoors within the same building rather than from indoors to outdoors, but can help in some cases. It’s just difficult to tell beforehand how well it will work in garages.

Netgear Orbi 2 Pod Mesh System



The Netgear Orbi RBK40 Mesh System is an entry level kit which will spread reliable wireless coverage for an average 4 bed, 2 floor property up to 3000 sq ft. In some cases it may be able to extend coverage to a close by outdoor garage. Click here to view the model on Amazon (paid affiliate link).


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