Considering the weather outside, January may not be the best time to write this post. However, if you are lucky enough to have a nice garden, there is a good chance you will want to be able to enjoy your time outside while still being able to connect your you’re the Wi-Fi of your home. For me, that’s normally just allowing me to connect to a Sonos speaker when I have a BBQ. I have also used various Wi-Fi surveillance cameras, and a lot of people want to extend Wi-Fi for cars like a Tesla and its corresponding wall charger.
There are a lot of solutions, varying in price and difficulty of installation. You will also need to consider the range and how good you want the Wi-Fi to be. If you have a smallish garden, it could be as simple as placing a Wi-Fi extender or mesh satellite in the room adjoining your garden. If you have a 1-acre plot of land, that is unlikely to be sufficient.
You will also need to consider how exposed the device will be, there are a few solutions that have basic IP protection, but I wouldn’t really want them fully exposed to the UK weather. However, under roof eaves or some other sheltered location would work.
All my suggestions are access points, and they will all require power, and almost all of them use PoE. Many of the access points are mesh enabled, so they don’t technically need to be wired into a network, they will extend your existing network.
All of these will typically work best when using the same system for your main Wi-Fi, allowing you to roam around your home without disconnections. So for me, I am currently using Netgear Insight, and therefore the Netgear Insight WAX610Y would be the best option for me. But you don’t have to do this; you could have a separate outdoor SSID Wi-Fi name with the access point working in standalone mode.
|TP-Link AC1200 MU-MIMO Wireless Gigabit Indoor/Outdoor...||£77.81||Buy on Amazon|
|TP-Link EAP610-OUTDOOR||£147.10||Buy on Amazon|
I will assume that most people landing on this post wants something relatively affordable. The TP-Link EAP225-Outdoor seems to be the best-reviewed solution on Amazon, and it has a good specification for the price.
This can be optionally integrated with the free-to-use TP-Link Omada cloud-based management system. I have not tried this yet, but it is a competitive solution vs Ubiquiti, Zyxel Nebula and Netgear Insight.
There is a more affordable EAP110-Outdoor, but it is very old and limited to 2.4GHz, so I’d not personally recommend it.
Alternatively, there is the newer TP-Link EAP610-Outdoor for around £140, which is Wi-Fi 6 and it has a very impressive IP67 rating. The TP-Link EAP610-Outdoor is probably the best option I have found if you want an affordable high-performance solution.
|Zyxel True WiFi6 AX1800 Outdoor Access Point (802.11ax Dual...||£135.00||Buy on Amazon|
Based on the specification alone, the TP-Link EAP610-Outdoor is probably a better solution if you want a standalone outdoor access point. It is a fiver more but has a better IP rating.
The Zyxel NWA55AXE is a close second and will complement an existing Zyxel Nebula system well.
Either option will be fantastic for high-performance outdoor Wi-Fi.
This is a Wi-Fi 6 access point that can work as a standalone device or cloud managed and has mesh functionality. It is IP55 rated, which matches up with most of the other dedicated outdoor access points.
|WAVLINK AC1200 Long Range Outdoor Weatherproof Wireless...||£99.44||Buy on Amazon|
|WAVLINK AC600 Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Access Point, Outdoor...||£69.99||Buy on Amazon|
These two WAVLINK access points should be suitable for most people. They are both cheap and will work well as standalone access points. They all have an excellent IP rating of IP65, meaning you don’t have to worry too much about the location.
These will all work in access point mode, where they are directly connected to your network, or they can work as an extender.
If you are not an existing Ubiquiti user, I probably wouldn’t recommend any of the Ubiquiti options unless you are planning on going all in on Ubiquiti in your home. My justification for this statement is that the Ubiquiti U6-Mesh-EU is priced at €218.40, or around £195. Therefore the TP-Link EAP610 or Zyxel NWA55AXE is a better buy for general buyers.
However, Ubiquiti is one of the best cloud-managed networking solutions for home users and small businesses, and the U6-Mesh is the best option they have for an outdoor access point.
As the name suggests, this can work in mesh or access point mode. With mesh, you just need to power it via POE, and it can extend your network with a wireless backhaul.
It is worth noting that the excellent Ubiquiti U6-LR is also IP54 rated, in theory, it should be fine outside, but I’d probably locate it in a sheltered position.
|NETGEAR Wireless Access Point (WAX610Y) | Outdoor WiFi...||£236.99||Buy on Amazon|
I have reviewed the Netgear WAX610Y and can personally vouch for it. This is a Wi-Fi 6 access point and has a 2.5GbE POE port. It will work best when integrated with other Netgear Insight access points, and it can be used in mesh mode, forming a wireless backhaul with other WAX610, WAX610Y, WAC540 or WC564 units.
This is IP55 rated, which again makes it quite durable against the elements.
It is an expensive solution for home users, but I’d certainly recommend it for business users.
If I wanted a standalone option that provided good Wi-Fi speeds, then the TP-Link EAP610-Outdoor is what I’d choose. Or the EAP225 if you are happy with Wi-Fi 5 and want something more affordable.
There are plenty of other brands offering IP-rated access points, such as EnGenius and Draytek, but they are quite expensive, and I’d only recommend them for businesses and people already committed to those ecosystems.
Last update on 2023-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API