Tips to Installing Wireless Access Outdoors
Try to avoid causes for signal degradation if you're looking into setting up wireless access points in your home's exterior.
March 15, 2010 by Julie Jacobson

You know you want it: the ability to sit by the pool while pretending you’re at work?

To do that, you’ll want to locate a wireless access point (WAP) outside of the home.

Nick Phillips of Pakedge, which makes outdoor networking devices, provides these quick pointers:

- Try not to mount the WAP on exterior walls, as chicken wire and other wall materials can degrade the signal.

- Using a WAP with power over Ethernet (POE) means you don’t have to run an extra wire for power. But you may not get the same range of products powered the old fashioned way.

- It may seem appealing to mount a WAP on your roof, but you might have a tough time getting to the reset button if you need it.

- The IP (International Protection) Rating tells you how weatherproof your outdoor product really is. Phillips recommends a rating of 67 for exposed WAPs.

Networking products manufacturer Cisco adds another tip: Don’t worry about the weather when you’re setting up your wireless access point. In answering the inquiry, What happens to a wireless link when it rains, Cisco’s response: “Nothing. It is a common misconception that environmental factors such as rain, sleet, or snow can bring down a wireless link. Even at torrential rainfall rates experienced in the stormiest of locations, the wireless signal is negligibly degraded at the frequencies where 802.11 wireless devices operate.”

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Julie Jacobson - Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

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