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How much will fast, reliable WiFi cost for your home or small business?
When it comes to WiFi cost, it’s a bit of a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. As with any purchase these days, a quick Google search will showcase a multitude of choices. And with choice comes a wide range of prices.
If, like most people, you’re not a tech guru, how do you know what’s going to work for you? And how can you be sure you’re getting value for money from your WiFi investment?
How to find the right WiFi for your budget
Here we cover some of the questions you need to ask and pitfalls to avoid. Great WiFi doesn’t have to cost the earth. But then again, your circumstances may mean the cheapest options won’t provide what you need.
Firstly, what do you want your WiFi to do?
Before you look at WiFi costs, it’s firstly a good idea to think about what you need your WiFi to do:
- Do you need a wireless connection in every room, office or workspace?
- How many connections are you typically going to have at the same time?
- What will you do with your WiFi? Stream video content, films and TV programmes? Download and/or upload large files? Video conferencing?
- Do you need to segregate your network? Will you need separate guest and staff WiFi, for example?
The answers to all of these questions will impact what type of WiFi setup will work best for you. This in turn will influence the cost.
When looking at WiFi cost, what are your options?
There’s broadly two routes you can take. Firstly, a DIY approach using off-the-shelf wireless network products. And secondly, calling in outside help from a professional to do the job for you. Below are a few of the pros and cons of each (or see our dedicated WiFi comparison page for more detailed info).
DIY WiFi system
- Can be relatively cheap
- Usually plug-and-play
- Lack of capacity and poor signal
- You don’t know if it will work until you install it – just because it works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you
- Devices often create their own separate WiFi networks, causing interference and signal drop-outs
Professional WiFi installation
- Will transmit your full broadband speed and allow many more connections without loss of performance
- Guaranteed to work and you’ll have someone local to advise on any issues (not a call centre)
- Creates a single, seamless WiFi network with no drop-outs
- Relatively more expensive
- Technical knowledge required to install and maintain
Think about WiFi cost in terms of what you value
When you’re thinking about WiFi cost, it’s important to look at it in context. As with the smart devices they enable, the more you spend on your WiFi transmitting equipment, the better the components will be.
A laptop bought for £200 will not be as fast, robust and future-proof as £1,000+ machine. Similarly, a sub-hundred pound wireless booster will not perform at the same level as an off-the-shelf ‘mesh’ WiFi system costing several hundred, which in turn will not give the same results as a potentially more costly professional network installation.
As a rule of thumb, the cost of your WiFi system should reflect the price point of your wireless devices. If you have high end devices – smart phone, tablet, business laptop – it would be logical for your choice of WiFi solution to reflect this. You wouldn’t buy an expensive car and fill it with sub-standard fuel, nor would you have budget tyres fitted. It’s the same principle with WiFi.
Don’t forget the potential cost of getting it wrong
What you may not have considered when looking at WiFi prices is the potential cost of bad WiFi:
- For businesses, bad reviews and the resulting loss of revenue
- Security and hacking issues
- Reduced productivity
- Loss of property value – according to a BT study, 52% of people are put off living in or buying a house with WiFi black spots
- Arguments and stress – 1 in 8 families argue about WiFi
- Life limitations – 20% of people are put off setting up a home office because of unreliable WiFi
Top 3 WiFi pitfalls to avoid
There’s a lot of reasonably priced WiFi options on the market. It’s therefore very easy to buy cheap and end up paying twice, or even three or four times.
These are the top three WiFi traps we most commonly hear about from our customers:
- Buying a different boosting device from another brand if the first one you try doesn’t work. If one WiFi broadcast device won’t get a signal to a particular area, the chances are no device will without the aid of cabling.
- Throwing multiple WiFi broadcast devices at a problem area to try to blast it with WiFi. This will most likely make the problem worse, not better. This is because each device will add to the ‘ground noise’ so they effectively end up drowning each other out. A bit like trying to make yourself heard in a crowded room. When it comes to WiFi, less is usually more.
- Getting WiFi tips from an unqualified person – perhaps an electrician or TV aerial installer. It’s a bit like asking a plumber for legal advice. When it comes to WiFi, ask an IT networking professional for advice because they have the relevant knowledge and experience.
Get a WiFi installation price for your Bristol & Bath area home or business
If you’re looking into professional WiFi installation prices, we can help.
We offer a free survey and WiFi cost quotation for homes and businesses in the Bristol & Bath area.
Contact us today to start your journey to better WiFi.