The Brains & Brawn To Extend Your Wi-Fi Signal

Whether it’s a poor wireless signal in the basement, or an intermittent signal when working upstairs, we all want one thing: seamless wireless Internet connections throughout our entire home. You just want things to work. The problem is that for many, especially those living in larger homes, the signal may work great in one spot, okay in another, and spotty at best most everywhere else.

Thankfully, Magnolia has solutions to make your entire home one truly amazing “hot spot.” With brands like Luxul and Ruckus, your Wi-Fi signal will be stronger than ever, giving you better signal strength, no delays, and a stronger Wi-Fi connection throughout your home.

Why doesn’t it work the same everywhere?

For an average home, the average wireless network has plenty of power to get to every room and every corner. However, as your home size grows, and you add in metal building materials, large block fireplaces, and copper in the kitchen, your wireless signal loses intensity, becomes spotty, and in some areas, will disappear altogether. As David Barnett, Senior Manager of Technical Services for Magnolia, told us, “Wi-Fi was designed as a best-effort technology. It’s like a straw that gets thinner and thinner the further away you get from the access point. Your bandwidth gets smaller, all the way to the point where it’s unusable, and the device disconnects.”

You can have the finest high-performance A/V components, but if they’re riding on top of a less-than-robust network, the performance of those components suffers. It’s not the component’s fault; it’s the network. So the end goal is to get your wireless network to work the same as a wired cable, in which case, it just works.

“Needing a fast responsive network is essential – the key term is latency. You press the button and it doesn’t do anything. People hate delay. These systems keep delay to a minimum.”

Extending your reach

Magnolia offers two solutions for bringing complete Wi-Fi coverage to your home. The first is Luxul. Perfect for homes that stretch beyond the “average” size, Luxul uses a single access point you place in the center of your home and super-sizes the signal by adding a more powerful amplifier, boosting the signal up to the FCC legal limit. This increases the coverage footprint, so you have continuous, always-on, seamless roaming.

If Luxul gives your network brawn, Ruckus gives it brains. Ruckus uses what it calls a “smart” antenna, and it was the first to aim the RF energy directly at the client device. Until they came to market, it was a single antenna with energy going in all directions. But with Ruckus, you have multiple antennas pointing in an array of directions. The antennas can sense where the component is that it’s having a conversation with, then sends the transmission using only the antennas pointed in that direction.

“Ruckus is continually optimizing its performance in real time, all the time,” David told us. “So every time it sends data, it thinks, ‘Is there a better way to send this?’ and that might mean bouncing energy off a wall instead of beaming it directly to you.” This becomes important when you have certain dense building materials affecting the signal transmission.

In larger homes that require multiple access points, Ruckus applies intelligence through the use of a “manager” called a ZoneDirector, which continually looks at the devices that are connected. If you’re moving through your home while using a device, it shifts between access points to give you the strongest possible signal, all in a way that appears seamless. Also, if Ruckus sees there’s a lot of tasking happening on one access point, and there’s another access point adjacent to it, it will convince the portable devices to connect to the other access point. So everyone gets the optimized experience in his or her network. How smart is that?

Finally, these two brands deliver higher grade networking capabilities than products in the consumer space because, as Magnolia discovered, these large homes are more like businesses than single-family dwellings. The Luxul products Magnolia uses are all business-class products and the Ruckus solutions are all enterprise-class solutions, targeted directly at integrators that specialize in performance halls, large corporate campuses and educational spaces. Their circuitry is built to last, and their features are designed to avoid interference. As David told us, “To say that a 5,000, 7,000 or 10,000 - square-foot home is a house is a disservice to the term ‘house.’ Most people live in a 1,500 to 2,000 - square-foot stick-frame home. From a size and building materials standpoint, these homes are equal to an office building and are oftentimes even more challenging, and that is the core reason why we use business and enterprise-grade solutions.”

David Barnett
Sr. Manager of Technical Services, Magnolia

Get the speed and connection you desire, all the time

The next time your home automation system is running slow, or you feel like your computer or tablet is lagging, there’s a good chance your problem isn’t with your components or your devices, but with your home network. Let Magnolia take a look at your system and give it the boost it needs to eliminate these problems. We even have solutions to upgrade your signal to all parts of your yard. So no matter where you are, inside or out, you can have a robust Wi-Fi signal.

Up next