Starlink: Latency Improvements on SpaceX Broadband Network

Starlink from Elon Musk’s Space X mega constellation of ultrafast broadband satellites in Low Earth Orbit have revealed the progress they’ve made so far in improving the latency performance. 

Their goal is to deliver a service with a stable 20 millisecond median latency and minimal packet loss. 

Starlink LEO Satellites

At the moment, Starlink have a network of 5,289 LEO satellites. They orbit the Earth at an altitude of around 500km. 

SpaceX Starlink has approval to expand this number to approximately 7,500 satellites by the end of 2027. 

What is the Cost of Starlink Satellite Broadband? 

For UK customers, costs start at £75 per month. There is an additional cost for the £449 regular home kit which includes a standard dish, router and relevant kit. There is also a shipping fee of £20 on the Standard package. 

By the end of last year, Starlink had a global network of 2.3 million customers (now at 2.6m). 42,000 of those customers were based in the UK (which is up from 13,000 in 2022). Most of these UK customers are based in rural areas. 

Starlink Broadband Speed

The Standard Starlink broadband package promises download speeds of between 25 and 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 5-10 Mbps. It also offers latency times of 25-50 ms. 

What About Latency?

Satellites in a Low Earth Orbit constellation are significantly closer to earth than GEO or GSO platforms. GEO satellites usually sit about 35,000 km away, whereas the LEO satellites, like Starlink, are only 500 km away. 

This means that the signal for Starlink satellites only has to travel a relatively short distance, which is good when it comes to latency. 

What is Latency? 

Network latency is the amount of time it takes for a data packet to go from one place to another e.g. from your laptop or other device to a remote server and then back again.

The delay or time between the data packet going to the server and then back again is measured in milliseconds (1 second is equal to 1000 milliseconds). 

Broadband connections these days will usually have an average latency of between 4 ms to 40 ms.

What can affect latency? 

Latency can depend on many different factors for your individual connection, but in general terms, the faster score for latency (the shortest time) is always best. 

These latency times can be affected, amongst others, by:

  • The performance of remote internet servers
  • The connection technology being used
  • ISP network congestion
  • Routing problems
  • Network setup

Lowering latency is an important part of building a good user experience. Faster latency means:

  • Fast-paced online multiplayer games are smoother
  • Internet actions are more responsive
  • Video calls experience less sync problems
  • And much more!

What are Starlink’s Latency Improvements?

The Starlink satellite broadband network from Space X is slowly delivering improvements in terms of latency. 

The latest update from Starlink claims that users around the world will have meaningfully reduced median and worst case latency. 

Customers in the USA can benefit from a 30% reduction in median latency, going from 48.5ms to 333ms during peak times. 

Worst case latency at peak times has also been reduced from 150ms to 65ms which is a 60% improvement. 

And it’s not just the United States that are enjoying lower latency. Outside the USA, the median latency has been reduced by up to 25% and worst-case latencies have been reduced by up to 35%. 

The stats are below if you want to take a look.

How do they measure Starlink latency?

Starlink’s latency is measured by operator who collect anonymous measurements from millions of Starlink routers every 15 seconds. 

The median and worst-case latencies are calculated using these 15 second average latencies. 

They look at latency across different time periods but focus on performance at peak times.  This tends to be 6-9pm local time to the router, which is when the Starlink network is under the most load and the biggest number of people are connected. 

Starlink’s Latency in 2024

Between January and March this year, monitoring and metrics have been added across the Starlink network in order to measure the latency on every subsystem down to the microsecond. 

Their algorithms are programmed to prefer lower latency pathways, even if the difference is only small, to mitigate and remove as many sources of unnecessary latency as possible, 

Software changes, additional ground infrastructure and the launch of more satellites are all being prioritised in order to continue to improve latency over the coming weeks and months, 

2 Year Delay for Extending 4G Mobile Cover in UK Rural Areas

It’s been reported that the government has been warned by Three UK, O2 and Vodafone that the first phase of their project to extend 4G coverage (mobile broadband) is at risk of being delayed by 2 years. 

Led by the mobile industry, this £1 billion project named the Shared Rural Network aims to increase 4G mobile broadband coverage to 95% of the UK by 2025. 

What is the Shared Rural Network?

The Shared Rural Network is funded by public funding (£500 million) and the operators themselves (£532 million). The project involves sharing existing masts in certain areas as well as building and sharing new masts led by demand in other areas. 

The 95% target relates to 4G mobile broadband coverage services being available from at least one of the operators. For the same date of 2025, the prediction for the completion of the Shared Rural Network for all operators is only 84% ie. the availability of 4G from all operators in certain geographic areas. 

The aim of the Shared Rural Network is to help extend 4G coverage to reach:

  • An extra 280,000 premises in the UK 
  • An additional 16,000 km of road
  • More ‘in car’ connections on 45,000km of road 
  • 1.2 million premises with better indoor coverage

Each individual operator will aim to reach a level of 90% geographic coverage, but targets vary slightly depending on where in the UK. 

4G coverage from at least one mobile network operator:

England – 98%

Scotland 91%

Wales – 95%

Northern Ireland – 98%

4G coverage from all mobile network operators combined:

England – 90%

Scotland 74%

Wales – 80%

Northern Ireland – 85%

How do you define the minimum 4G coverage? 

Adequate 4G coverage is defined by Ofcom as having the minimum amount of signal strength to be able to achieve 95% probability of making and completing successfully a 90 second telephone call, plus a 95% chance of getting at least a 2 Mbps download speed.

What is causing the delay to the project?

The Shared Rural Network project has several targets to meet along the way of achieving the overall goal. 

One of the first targets they need to meet is by June 2024, when coverage improvements in ‘partial not-sport areas’ need to be complete. By this deadline, 88% of the UK’s landmass should be covered by 4G. 

Ofcom have also set their own deadline of 2027, by which time improvements in ‘total not-spot areas’ should be completed. 

It’s this June 2024 deadline for 4G coverage across 88% of the UK and partial not-spot areas that mobile operators have asked the government for a 2 year delay for. 

The reasons behind this delay are thought to be:

  • The Covid-19 pandemic (the 2024 target was agreed prior to the first lockdown)
  • Up to 500 day delays to gaining planning permission for new sites (there are often objections for the building of new mobile masts from residents on those areas)
  • The planned merger of Vodafone and Three UK (but this being a contributing factor to the delays is denied by both mobile operators)

EE has actually already built many new masts in rural areas, but as yet there is no agreement to share access to them. EE are focused on upgrading their existing sites, and any new masts being built will be part of the Shared Rural Network’s publicly funded new masts being built to be shared. 

What do the mobile operators have to say?

Spokesmen from Three UK, Vodafone and O2 all reiterate that they are on track to deliver 4G geographic coverage under the Shared Rural Network project by the target of January 2027. 

Three was the only operator to allude directly to a request to the government for more time, stating the difficulties encountered throughout the pandemic, causing delays impacting the June 2024 target. 

Vodafone insists that 4G has already been successfully introduced to rural areas of the UK as part of the project due to complete in January 2027 and they remain committed to their targets.

O2 are also confident that they will be meeting or come close to meeting their individual targets, remaining in contact with others in the industry as well as the government. 

Interestingly, according to the government, all mobile operators are on track to meet the targets. The progress of the Shared Rural Network is due for a review by the regulator next year, so at that stage we might see some changes to plans, targets and current timescales.

There are many factors that can interfere with plans when it comes to projects in mobile infrastructure. Sometimes they struggle to achieve the end goal at all, let alone by a certain time. Things like getting planning permission, securing new sites, getting a power supply to them and fibre backhaul (the core of a network) can all cause challenges and delays. Add in the fact that much of this particular project is based in rural areas and these become very real challenges to overcome. 

The government have tried to help with these issues by introducing new legislation, including:

  • Sharing infrastructure
  • Upgrading existing sites
  • Making masts taller

However, these are yet to be added to the Electronic Communications Code by Ofcom as they await going through a consulting process before they can be adopted into the latest update. 

Media coverage of this delay, including statements from the mobile operators, can be found on the Telegraph website here and is behind a paywall. 

4G and 5G Mobile Broadband Antennas: Frequently Asked Questions

Last week we blogged about 4G and 5G antennas – How to choose them and how to install them. If you are planning to choose and install your 4G/5G mobile broadband antenna yourself, then you might end up asking one or more of the below commonly asked questions. 

As always, if you’re feeling unsure about which antenna you need or how best to install it, then perhaps consider calling in the experts.

Otherwise, let’s have a look at some of the questions that might arise when you’re installing a new 4G/5G mobile broadband antenna. 

4G/5G Mobile Broadband Antennas – Frequently Asked Questions and Handy Hints

Q: My antenna works better on a window than it does outside – Why is this?

Unfortunately when it comes to installing 4G/5G mobile broadband antennas, the most logical solution isn’t necessarily the right one for your property. Hence why sometimes you might find that despite doing everything correctly, you find that your signal and data speed is better indoors (e.g. from your smartphone) than it is the correctly positioned external antenna. This could include getting a better signal and speed from an antenna on a window rather than the top of your property. 

If you find yourself in a situation like this, then the best course of action is to understand the signal readings and bands being used as best you can at various locations around your property. 

Remember that; 

  • Mobile signals can be affected by lots of things – Such as reflections from environmental objects and even the weather. 
  • The router you use can also mix things up by automatically switching bands which could result putting you on one with a slower speed. 

The best way to get an idea of how your antenna and router are responding to the signal is to test different locations around your property and take some measurements. 

Q: How do I know which is the best mobile service for my area? 

There are a couple of ways you could go about this. If you have a friend or colleague on a different network to you, then you can ask to borrow their smartphone and test out the broadband speed in different locations. 

For accurate results when doing this, try to ensure;

  • You test out all the available networks 
  • Use a smartphone that is as up to date as possible 
  • Use a handset on a Pay Monthly SIM (they are less likely to have data restrictions that a PAYG)

You could also consider calling an expert to carry out these tests for you. Our friendly and knowledgeable engineers can visit your property (home or business) and perform no-obligation tests to ensure that a suitable 4G signal and speed can be achieved at your property, and advise on the best equipment and hardware to attain optimum speeds. We do this with specialist signal analysers that provide printable reports showing the best setup.

Q: What is Carrier Aggregation (LTE Advanced) and does my router need it? 

Carrier Aggregation, or CA, means that the router can boost performance by combining several different radio spectrum bands at once. 

You should find that most of the latest 5G networks and urban 4G deployments support CA. 

Unfortunately it’s possible that some rural areas are not reached and so are not supported. However, it’s wise to buy kit that does support CA to ensure you are covered. You should get support for a good selection of bands and speeds from modern mobile routers.

Some things to look out for;

  • Devices that support the 3GPP release 10 standard (they also support LTE-Advanced).
  • From Release 12 and onwards, CA became much more refined.
  • 5G features tend to start from Release 14 and onwards.
  • LTE Categories – These can help you to identify the theoretical peak downlink and uplink speed of a 4G modem. The higher the category, the higher the download/ upload data handling capacity. Remember though, these are theoretical peaks and even on the best networks with optimum signal, lots of CA and capacity you might still not reach that peak.

Q: How do I know which connector I need for my 4G/5G mobile antenna? 

Wouldn’t it be simple if all mobile routers and antennas came with the same external port type? Unfortunately, they don’t – In fact, some routers don’t even allow external antennas! 

Before buying your kit, make sure that both the router and the antenna are compatible with each other in terms of connectors and sockets. 

Types of connector you are likely to come across are:

  • SMA (most common)
  • TS-9
  • CRC9
  • RP-SMA
  • TNC
  • BNC
  • N-Type
  • MMCX
  • FME
  • U.FL.

Already bought the kit and found that the connectors don’t match up? Don’t panic – You should be able to buy an adaptor cable to convert two different types of connector. 

Q: What is a CELL ID and how can I use it to fix performance issues? 

A CELL_ID is the number your device will show for the mast or tower that it’s getting it’s signal from. So where you might not be able to see what band is being used (some devices and apps won’t show you this information) you can still see what the CELL_ID is and whether it changes. 

If the CELL_ID number changes, this means that the signal is coming from a different source. This could indicate that the band has also changed. Monitoring this information can help you work out any issues with performance. 

Q: I’ve got bad signal with good speed, and bad speed with good signal – What is happening?

Unfortunately, a good signal doesn’t automatically mean good speed. We know, it doesn’t seem fair does it?

The reason this can happen is that you could be receiving an excellent signal, but the band you are connected to is congested with lots of users. 

You could also have great signal, but little capacity to carry data through not enough spectrum frequency. 

It also works the other way – You could have a poor signal but find you’ve got decent speeds. Yes we know it seems bonkers. Mobile signals can be affected by various factors so the best thing to do is to keep on testing until you work it out! Or call in the experts and let us do the hard work for you. 

Q: I can see I’ve got good mobile signal from the antenna, but I’m still having connection problems – Why? 

Remember that your connection is only as good as your router. You could receive a strong, fast signal to your correctly located antenna, but the Wi-Fi (ie. the signal from your router to your device) is poor, resulting in connection problems. 

Your mobile broadband router needs to be able to take the signal from your antenna and transfer it to your device. You can find more tips on how to fix common Wi-Fi problems (like your router location) on our blog

How do you know whether it’s the antenna that’s the problem or the Wi-Fi? The easiest way to test where the issue is, is to plug your device into the router through a LAN port. If the signal and connection is still poor, then it’s your antenna. If the signal and connection is strong, then the problem lies with the Wi-Fi. 

Hopefully this blog has helped iron out some of the commonly asked questions when it comes to installing a 4G/5G mobile broadband antenna and some of the issues you might run into. 

If you are still feeling unsure about whether 4G/5G mobile broadband could be the right option for you, or you would like some expert help with choosing and installing the kit, please get in touch with our Wi-Fi experts today

Wi-Fi 7 – World’s First Router Released

It feels like we’ve only recently been talking about Wi-Fi 6 being new on the internet scene, when up pops Wi-Fi 7! But actually, you might not know that the Wi-Fi 7 chipset infrastructure has actually already been available for a few months. 

Not only that, but last month we also saw the release of the world’s first Wi-Fi 7 router. Powered by Qualcomm, this router is the H3C Magic BE18000 Tri-band Wi-Fi 7 router. 

There’s not a great deal of information available yet as it’s so new, but look out for more from the China-based network technology vendor H3C for more announcements. 

This new Wi-Fi 7 router can purportedly deliver 18.443 Gbps peak data rate (which explains the BE 18000 in the name..) on 3 bands. 

What features will this new Wi-Fi 7 router support?

Due to it being powered by Qualcomm’s Networking Pro 1220 platform, the H3C Wi-Fi 7 router can support all the Wi-Fi 7 features you would expect it to, including:

  • 320 MHz channels
  • 4kQAM modulation
  • MLO

As the unit is tri-band, it is configured for 4×4 MU-MIMO on each of the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands.

When will we see Wi-Fi 7 devices available on the market?

During May, Qualcomm as well as another 2 major chipset vendors introduced their offering of Wi-Fi 7 chipsets for both the device side and network side. 

As the prevalence of Wi-Fi 7 platforms increases, we’re likely to then start seeing Wi-Fi 7 devices appear on the market. We could be seeing Wi-Fi 7 enabled phones and laptops as early as the end of this year or early next year! 

We wouldn’t be surprised if the most influential technology event in the world, CES, will see the launch of the first Wi-Fi 7 device in 2023. 

Is Wi-Fi 7 certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance?

Before we get too carried away with all things Wi-Fi 7, it’s important to note that there is not currently any Wi-Fi 7 certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance. This means that even though the H3C Wi-Fi 7 router has been revealed, it cannot yet be certified as Wi-Fi 7. 

So technically, it’s more accurate for us to say that the H3C Wi-Fi 7 router has been designed in line with the standard IEEE 802.11be. 

But being the Wi-Fi geeks that we are – We are still pretty excited at the prospect of Wi-Fi 7 and a router that likely meets the upcoming features and specifications. 

Watch this space! 

Image from

What’s the Latest on Starlink?

Last March we wrote about Elon Musk and his SpaceX Starlink enterprise for a satellite broadband internet system. 


Thought to be a low latency option ideal for rural areas, consisting of a constellation of small satellites in a low earth orbit, working with transceivers on the ground. 


Roughly this time last year, it hit the UK press for providing ground stations across Britain in association with telecoms mast company Arqiva.  


Now Musk boasts of shipping more than 100,000 Starlink satellite internet terminals to customers in over 14 countries. This sees the expansion of preorders to even more potential customers plus the release of a second generation home internet satellite dish. The possibility of Starlink providing in-flight Wi-Fi for air passengers is even being explored. 


The list of countries receiving Starlink internet terminals includes Ukraine, with more on the way despite the Russian invasion. 


Is Starlink available globally?


This would appear to suggest that Starlink has gone global. But is that the case? It is still unclear whether it has global scope, but it does seem to be well on its way. 


Last June, Musk spoke at the Mobile World Congress where he told the audience that with the exception of the North and South Poles, Starlink satellite internet would be available worldwide. 


This was due to begin last August, subject to regulatory approval, therefore availability would differ region to region. 


Then, in September, via Twitter Musk announced that Starlink satellite internet would finish its beta phase in the October. Further confirming that his satellite broadband service was ever expanding. 


Are customers using Starlink satellite internet?


Starlink seems still to be facing a backlog of prospective customers waiting for their equipment in order to start using the service. 


Is there anything not to like about Starlink satellite internet? 


Not everyone is pleased with the development of Starlink and its constellation of orbiting satellites. 


Many of those in the scientific community are concerned about how these low-orbiting satellites could negatively impact the visibility of the night sky. 


Who are Starlink’s competitors?


Starlink aren’t the only one trying to offer low latency satellite broadband. Despite the apparent momentum of Starlink, they are in competition with Viasat, HughesNet and of course Amazon’s Project Kuiper. 


These competitors have not shied away from trying to slow Starlink down with regulatory challenges. 


What’s next for Starlink?


Here at Geekabit we’ll be sure to make you aware of any further news regarding Starlink and their satellite broadband service. 


For a bit more background information on SpaceX Starlink, head to our previous blog


Can Starlink satellite broadband help with my rural Wi-Fi woes? 


We see our fair share of clients struggling with rural broadband. We’d love to see Starlink offering a long-term solution to people struggling to connect in more rural areas. 


If you’re struggling with rural Wi-Fi now and want a more immediate resolution, then get in touch with our Wi-Fi experts. We have a brilliant 4G solution to rural Wi-Fi problems. 


If you need reliable internet now, and a slow Openreach connection just isn’t cutting it, get in touch about our 4G broadband option today. You can read more about how we’ve helped rural clients in Hampshire get a reliable 4G broadband connection here.


Locations for BLE Beacons

If you’re in the business of Wi-Fi and other wireless technology – Particularly designing and installing networks – Then you’ll likely know how common it is for architects and interior designers to go on at us about placement of wireless devices.

Sure, they realise it’s necessary to have light switches and fire alarms – But wireless access points and the like don’t get the same concessions. Here at Geekabit we firmly believe that network infrastructure is very much a necessity in any building – particularly business premises but homes too.

Bluetooth low energy beacons (or BLE beacons) broadcast to nearby portable electronic devices, enabling smartphones tablets and other similar devices to perform certain actions whilst in close proximity to the beacon.

For these to be successful, they need to be placed in certain places. And whilst we do try to keep everything looking aesthetically pleasing, we do believe that a reliable and consistent network is as important to a building as the design.

Where can BLE beacons be placed?

We’re going to look at a few different potential locations for BLE beacons and how they effect their functionality (and the design aesthetic of the premises).

Near to the Floor

In some buildings, the design means that using any kind of adhesive or screw fitting on the wall would be abhorrent! This is particularly true if the material is fabric, glass or metal. Whilst you will be mounting the BLE beacon near to the floor, you will need some kind od baseboard and will also need to take into consideration any floor cleaning processes. You don’t want the device to get damaged!

Another reason why the floor is a good option, is that it helps inhibit the BLE beacon from being seen from one floor to another. If you have floor holes, like an atrium or stairwell, the map can get easily confused. The floor then acts as a shadow for these types of areas.

Every ‘portal’ (for example, doors from stairways, lifts and lobbies) needs to have a BLE beacon. This is so the app knows to switch maps when navigating a change of floor.

On the Wall

The easiest way of placing your BLE beacon as close to your users as possible, is to place it on the wall.

Wherever a user goes in the building, they should be within 3 or 4 metres of a BLE beacon. The closer they are to the BLE beacon, the better the accuracy. The more BLE beacons you have, the the better any latency will be reduced. It is however worth noting that it takes approximately 2 to 5 seconds for the app to link to the nearest beacon due to it listening out for all the beacons in the vicinity.

On the Ceiling

It’s not ideal, but it will work if you have no other option. As we said above, your users need to be as close to the BLE beacons as possible. Thus, placing the beacon on a ceiling means that at best, the user is always about 2 metres away from it – Even when standing directly underneath it.

The Complicated Bit

That was all quite straightforward, but here’s the geeky bit to explain the why!

The wireless engineering reason behind how these placements work comes down to free space path loss.

FSPL is the ‘attenuation (the reduction of the amplitude of a signal) of radio energy between the feedpoints of two antennas, that results from the combination of the receiving antenna’s capture area plus the obstacle-free, line of sight path through free space.’

In the locations outlined above, we are making constructive use out of FSPL.

Due to the inverse square law of RF propagation, measurement of the power present in a received radio signal in the BLE beacon based on determining the exact location of a radio transmitter is optimal within about 0 to 4 metres.

The typical calibrated output of a BLE beacon is 0dBm (1mW). They operate in the 2.4GHz band on a 2MHz advertisement channel tucked between Wi-Fi channels 1 and 6, as well as one just past channel 11, and another one just below channel 1.)

There can also be some variability between receiver devices in terms of their sensitivity and even based on internal antenna configuration and how the device is held/oriented. For this reason, we assume a +/- 3dB for the purposes of this example.

Based on the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI), when a receiving device sees a BLE beacon, it determines its distance from that beacon, using the beacon’s ID to correlate it with the device’s placement on the map.

When a device sees a beacon at -35dBm, it knows it’s under a metre away. If it sees it at -55dBm, that could be anywhere between 4 and 8 metres away.

The further away you get from the beacon, the wider the margin of error.

You also need to take into account any potential barriers. For example, any walls that get between can also add 3dB or more of attenuation depending on the materials used. This is just the same as when we’ve blogged about the effects of walls and similar barriers on Wi-Fi signal.

Below 1 metre, every time you halve the distance you gain 6dB – so 50cm would be -34dB, 25cm would be -28dB, 12.5cm would be -22dB, and now we’re getting really close to the beacon, and it’s already lost 99% of the transmitted power.

Remember that if you mount them on a metal surface, you gain a little bit back. If your surface is less than one wavelength (~12cm) wide, the maths behind it gets a bit tricky!

What does all this mean for BLE beacon placement?

The main takeaway from all this is that when placing BLE beacons, you should try to get them as close to the receiver as possible which is usually within 4m.

If you are mounting the BLE beacon on a wall, then you need to aim for a height of 1-2 metres maximum. You should also consider the height of traffic going past it – Like the hips, shoulders or trolleys of passing people. You don’t want to damage the beacon or rip it off! (You also don’t want to regularly injure people from bumping into it…)

We mentioned ceilings earlier. BLE beacons can be placed there, but in office buildings that generally means that the receiver is always going to be at least 2m away from it – Even if they were to stand directly underneath. Placing beacons near the floor are approximately a metre closer to the receiver device than one mounted on the ceiling.

What about aesthetic concerns?

Ahh yes. Aesthetics. If you are trying to place BLE beacons in locations where there are particular aesthetic concerns, then you could consider painting the beacons and the mounts to match the surrounding design.

If you are planning to do this, you must make sure that the paint doesn’t contain any metallic materials (lead, aluminium powder, gold leaf, iron oxide etc).

Alternatively, you could also use a vinyl skin to make the beacon more aesthetically pleasing. These can also be used on access points.

If you are planning to do either of these, always check with the vendor to make sure that painting or vinyl skins won’t void the warranty (it does in quite a few cases).

Paintable covers that can snap on to indoor AP’s are also an option which would save you having the paint the beacon directly.

Designing your beacon deployment

As with any radio frequency (RF) planning, you should try and model the BLE access points and beacons.

Make sure you set your BLE coverage requirements to the Received Signal Strength Indicator required for the maximum distance you want to be from the beacon (-52dBm).

You also need to make sure that you are always able to hear at least 3 beacons.

Hopefully this article will have helped you when it comes to the placement of BLE beacons – And how to keep those architects and interior designers off your back!

Which is the Best Long-Range Router for My Wi-Fi Network?

During the years 2020 and 2021, we’ve never needed good Wi-Fi more. Our lives (personal and professional) have depended upon online communication. It’s never been more vital to have a reliable connection in order to stay connected – With colleagues as well as loved ones.

Many of our more local clients live in larger properties where having a long-range router is a necessity. Plus, more people than ever have created an outdoor office at the bottom of the garden to try and draw a line between work and home life (as well as to get some peace and quiet for those Zoom conference calls!).

But what good is an outside office if your router doesn’t provide it with reliable coverage? No one wants to be that person on the 2pm Teams call.

So whether you’ve got a large property to cover, or an office at the bottom of the garden, how do you get rid of those dreaded Wi-Fi dead zones?

Here’s a few long-range routers that could be just the solution you’re looking for to your patchy Wi-Fi, covering various categories. Which is most important to you?

Best All-Rounder: Asus RT-AX88U AX6000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router

4.7 Stars

The Pros:

  • Advanced Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Excellent performance
  • Eight LAN ports

The Cons:

  • A bit pricey

The Asus’ RT-AX88U is equipped for handling large and busy homes. This model is the upgrade to the popular RT-AC88U, retaining the advanced versatility of features and configurability whilst also taking it to the next level.

Most Asus routers enjoy a sleek, no-fuss look that makes it easy to streamline into your home and this one is no difference. Don’t be fooled by its size though – It still packs a punch with four powerful beamforming antennas. These give it the range to cover a 5,000 square foot living area.

Whilst being compatible with 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 devices, it can also provide your home with Wi-Fi 6 speeds of up to 6Gbps across both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. So even if you don’t have many Wi-Fi 6 devices yet, you’re future-proofing your home network.

Like to keep things wired? The Asus RT-AX88U has 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports at the back for any wired devices you like to keep plugged in.

It also comes with built in AiProtection as well as AiMesh 2.0 just in case you need to join it up with other Asus routers to get even stronger coverage across your home network.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ax | Security: AiProtection, WPA3, Guest Wi-Fi Secure Access | Standard/Speed: AX6000 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 8

The Best for your Budget: TP-Link Archer C80 AC1900 Wireless MU-MIMO Wi-Fi 5 Router

3.8 Stars

The Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Strong Wi-Fi signal
  • Easy setup

The Cons:

  • Limited positioning options

You might be thinking that there are many affordable routers on the market – Why pick this one for the budget choice? Well, while there are many to choose from at affordable prices, not all of them also deliver such a good range. The TP-Link’s Archer not only doesn’t break the bank, but it also delivers outstanding range across a reasonably large home.

It has four beamforming antennas which are backed up by a front-end module (FEM) – A high power FEM than what you’ll find in most other routers around this price range. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised at the power of the signal around your home with this router. Its dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 support delivers up to 1.9Gbps of throughput across the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. What does this mean in real terms? Apart from the very busiest of families, it will give you enough coverage for 4K video streaming and video calls.

Worried that you and your devices will be slowing each other down by trying to use them all at the same time? Within this price range, the Archer C80 is one of the few routers that offers full 3×3 MU-MIMO. This means each ofyour devices gets the best possible speeds – Without slowing each other down. For those of you that like to keep things wired in, it also has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. So devices like PC’s or games consoles, you can plug them in round the back for maximum speeds.

Watch a lot on your smart TV? The QoS features enable you to prioritise certain devices. So you can rank your smart TV at the top so make sure you always get the best streaming quality.

And if you’ve got teenagers that are attached to their screens around the clock, you’re going to love the parental controls. These let you filter internet access to certain devices according to the time of day. No more secret Netflix binges at midnight before school the next day!

Sound a bit complicated to set up? Nope! The TP-Link’s Tether App makes it all super quick and easy to get set up. This is a great choice if you’re conscious of your budget, but have a fairly large home and want to get rid of those Wi-Fi dead zones.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ac | Security: WPA2, Guest Wi-Fi Secure Access | Standard/Speed: AC1900 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 4

Best for a Spending Spree on Mesh: Netgear Orbi AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh System

4.7 Stars

The Pros:

  • Super fast performance
  • Excellent range
  • 5Gbps WAN port

The Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Lacks some advanced features
  • No USB ports

If you’re wanting to get the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology in a mesh system then the Netgear Orbi is one of the best you can buy. Using two units, you can cover an area of 5,000 square feet with consistent Wi-Fi coverage with fast speeds. If you need to extend your range even further, you can simply add in more of the satellite units.

This router is a tri-band system (like it’s Wi-Fi 5 older brother) and dedicates the extra 5GHz band to be used as a backhaul channel.  It offers unparalleled  performance compared to other mesh Wi-Fi systems, hence the big price tag. The Netgear Orbi offers Wi-Fi 6 speeds of up to 6Gbps.If you’re in range of one of the satellites, it doesn’t matter how far you are from the main router – You’ll get the same super fast speeds throughout the entire home network.

What about the wired connections? Each satellite unit has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back. Between each satellite unit is a 2.4Gbps channel, delivering powerful Gigabit speeds – Ideal for a PC, game console or smart TV wired into the unit.  Not only that, but it also has a 2.5Gbps WAN port, meaning it’s ready to plug into an internet service of multiple gigabits.

If you have a moderately sized house, just the one base station will do you. For a larger area of coverage, simply add in as many satellites as needed to increase the speed and range throughout the network.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ax | Security: NETGEAR Armor, WPA3, Guest Wi-Fi Secure Access | Standard/Speed: AX6000 | Bands: Tri-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 4 (per unit)

Best Design: Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 12-Stream AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router

4 Stars

The Pros:

  • Wi-Fi 6 Support
  • 12 streams with Tri-Band Wi-Fi
  • Advanced wireless features

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • There are only few devices can currently take advantage of it

With the Netgear’s Nighthawk RAX120 Wi-Fi 6 router, think a black, high-tech box with antennas – But sleek. It has 8 high-performance beamforming antennas concealed by hawk-like wings.

It’s appearance emulates speed with the technical capabilities to match – To AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices, it can deliver up to 6Gbps. For older, Wi-Fi 5 devices, it delivers up to 4.8Gbps on the 5GHz band and 1.2 Gbps on the 2.4GHz band.

For those wanting a connection reliable enough for video streaming, gaming and video calling throughout your home, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll have more than enough bandwidth to handle it. The Nighthawk aso has 8-stream MU-MIMO support, which means a good amount of your devices will enjoy the maximum available throughput, but without slowing each other down

Round the back of the unit you’ll find a set of four Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as a special multi-gig Ethernet port. This additional port can either work simply as a 5th Gigabit port, or can also handle 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps connections. As well as the Gigabit Ethernet ports, there are also 2 USB 3.0 ports which means it can deliver top speeds from faster storage devices attached to the network.

It’s worth noting, as with all routers, that it’s wise to consider it’s placement as to avoid any outdoor walls or appliances that could cause an obstruction to the signal and slow it down.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ax | Security: NETGEAR Armor, WPA3, Guest Wi-Fi Secure Access | Standard/Speed: AX6000 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 5

Best Coverage: Ubiquiti Amplifi HD Mesh Wi-Fi System


The Pros:

  • Outstanding coverage
  • Very easy setup

The Cons:

  • Not ideal for busier households
  • Slower speeds at extreme ranges

Got a large property that requires wireless coverage over every inch? It may not be the fast, but it can get a basic level of Wi-Fi coverage to 20,000 square foot of space. The Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD is an advanced mesh Wi-Fi system with a 4 inch swuare box as the main router plus a pair of mesh points that you can drop further out to extend the coverage. This helps you to reach the outer edges of your property.

We said it’s not the fastest – The dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 is only rated at AC1750 speeds, with 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band and 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz frequencies. However, it does have 3×3 MU-MIMO support which means it can deliver its best speeds over a much larger range than most of the competing AC1750 routers.

The reach that this system offers is unrivalled by its competitors. If it’s all about the range for you and your property and less about the speed then this could be the router for you. For devices in range of 5,000 square feet you’ll get the top speeds (as with other long range routers), however you will still manage to connect (albeit at a slower speed) at a range of up to 4 times that distance. So if you just need Wi-Fi to power a camera or smart home device, or for checking email and basic internet use across all the edges of your large property, this the AmpliFi HD may be the router for you.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ac | Security: WPA2, Guest Wi-Fi Secure Access | Standard/Speed: AC1750 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 4


We hope this gives you a bit of a guide as to which long range routers might be the best for you and your Wi-Fi network needs.

If you need Wi-Fi advice for your home or business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Wi-Fi experts.



Image is the Netgear Orbi AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 from

How Do I Choose The Right Ubiquiti UniFi Access Point?

There are a few reliable staples in our Wi-Fi toolkit and one of them is the range of them is the range of kit by Ubiquiti UniFi. Their selection of access points are straightforward to match to our clients requirements due to their varying functionality and design.

We’re confident that their thoughtfully designed models will meet the needs of our clients and your end users. It couldn’t be easier to match specific user environments with optimal performance through the Ubiquiti UniFi range of access points and other pieces of Wi-Fi kit.

Our expert engineers can utilise the Ubiquiti UniFi range to make sure our clients are offered the ideal solution.

What does your business prioritise – Performance, design, aesthetics or network simplicity? Maybe one of these really stands out for you, or maybe your business needs a blend of them all.

Whatever your network needs, there is likely to be an Ubiquiti UniFi access point to match, each unique in what they can offer.


Hello Wi-Fi 6

UniFi have introduced Wi-Fi 6 technology through their range of UniFi 6 access points. You might like to check out the U6 Lite and U6 Long-Range if this peaks your interest.

These models (and the future U6 range) can support 300 devices on your network simultaneously, offering each of your end users a smooth, reliable wireless experience.

The UniFi 6 range use OFDMA technology, which means they can transfer high volumes of data across multiple devices more strategically, improving upload and download speeds.


Not fussed by the Wi-Fi 6 hype?

Don’t worry. Ubiquiti UniFi U6 access points might be the future, but their tried and tested models are still popular. Models like the UniFi HD and nanoHD still offer fantastic speed and range as well as consistently providing a strong signal to a large number of devices.

In the digital world that we find ourselves in, this is more important now than ever before.

The UniFi HD and nanoHD utilise integrated, directional antenna which increase coverage whilst only using minimal power. You can widen their coverage even further by mounting them to the ceiling, ensuring fast and stable connections, even in the busiest environments.


Want the tech but not the ugly design?

Ubiquiti UniFi are pros in combining technical prowess with designs that you will no longer want to hide in a cupboard.

If you have a bit of flair for design, or simply wish to align your Wi-Fi kit with the style of your space then the UniFi U6 access points could be a great choice for you. Not only can you change the exterior of certain models with varying skins (think wood effects, fabric and even camouflage) but you can also alter the colour of your U6 access point’s LED ring.

The perfect way to keep your Wi-Fi kit on-brand with your business.


Connect to more people by extending your Wi-Fi

The UniFi Mesh access point could be just what you’re looking for if you need to easily extend your WI-Fi signal to reach a larger area.

If you your aim is to enhance the reach of your signal or try to avoid dead zones, then all of the Ubiquiti UniFi access points can link to other access points in your office (or home). However, the Mesh access points are specifically designed to do just this.

If your business is a high traffic area, such as a hotel or museum, the Mesh access points are probably the solution you’ve been looking for.

If you’re imagining cumbersome equipment then think again! Many of UniFi’s mesh access points are compact as well as being easy to deploy. You can mount them to a wall, ceiling, place them on a tabletop or even mount them outside the property on a pole to improve the quality of the connection throughout your premises.


Plug and Play Wi-Fi Extenders 

We’re a generation of ‘plug and play’ – We just want something simple and easy that will just work. Ubiquiti UniFi’s Wi-Fi Extenders are just this, if you wanting to double the coverage in your area and improve the reach. All you have to do is plug them in and your Wi-Fi experience will be instantly improved.

If you’re wanting to extend your network with minimal extra power consumption, then these devices could be what you’re looking for, whilstalso supporting hundreds of simultaneous connections.


Connect to the crowds

It’s hard to imagine right now – Watching a football match, going to a gig, attending a festival. But these events will be making a comeback this summer, and with it the need to provide high-speed internet to A LOT of people.

Odds are that these audience members are going to want to livestream being back at such a big event – Hundreds of thousands of people all using their mobile devices at the same time.

What you need in this scenario is a hugely powerfully, high-capacity access point. The Ubiquiti UniFi WiFi Basestation XG is one of the world-leading Wi-Fi installations for large venues. It has the ability to support up to 1,500 device connections at a time. It also dynamically filters and evenly distributes traffic to avoid any channel congestion. With its directional beamforming antenna, it can maximise coverage.


Got more than one location?

If your business consists of more than one property over multiple premises, then you might be needing to bridge the networks between these buildings.

A large networking project such as this requires a Point-to-Point Bridge. These create multi-gigabit wireless links between 2 locations, up to 500 metres apart.

These devices are highly adaptive to your specific layout, using directional antennas to connect buildings with a strong link that go unobstructed.

Regardless of the building positioning, UniFi’s Point-to-Point Bridges could be your ideal solution if you’re wanting to connect a network over multiple properties within the conditions above.


So how do I choose the right Ubiquiti UniFi access point?

As this article has shown, whatever the scenario, there is a UniFi access point to match. These devices can ensure that your large network has enhanced wireless connectivity and your end user devices are supported.

U6 Lite and U6 Long Range – For when you want to utilise Wi-Fi 6

UniFi HD and nanoHD – The tried and tested models before the future of Wi-Fi 6 takes over

UniFi U6 – For those that have a flair for design and want to customise your Wi-Fi kit

UniFi Mesh – Extend your Wi-Fi and connect to more people

UniFi Wi-Fi Extender – Extend your network with a ‘plug and play’ bit of kit with minimal power consumption

UniFi WiFI Basestation XG – High powered for large venues and big crowds

UniFI Point to Point Bridge – Connecting multiple premises within 500m of each other

To see how Ubiquiti Unifi access points could improve your wireless experience, get in touch with us today.

You can find out more on their website:


Wi-Fi Predictive Surveys, Heatmaps and Why It’s Important

What is a Wi-Fi Survey and why do you need one?

Well, the simple answer is that it is the foundation for any professional and effective Wi-Fi installation. It takes an expert in the Wi-Fi field to get it right, and it acts as the start of any wireless LAN design.

If you’re thinking that a Wi-Fi predictive survey is something we have saved and just fire out by email to all of our prospective clients, you would be wrong.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all, and is very much tailored to each unique client and their environment.

So where do we start?

The first stage in Wi-Fi design is a predictive survey.

At this stage, the walls are drawn in on the maps and the AP’s (access points) are placed.

A prediction is then made via a Wi-Fi heatmap that shows the projected coverage based on the walls of your premises and the placement of the AP’s. This can then be communicated to you in a report.


What’s a Wi-Fi heatmap? 

A Wi-Fi Heatmap is a visual representation of the way radio frequency (RF) power is broadcasted.

The ‘hottest’ areas, where the Wi-Fi strength is the strongest, is seen on the map in blue. It gradually bleeds out into light green.

Wi-Fi heatmaps demonstrate how our model will allow consistent levels of RF power from each AP to the end users. There are no grey areas on the map – Any areas identified as ‘grey’ and therefore not receiving a consistent level of RF power would be rectified prior to presentation to the client.

One of the main outputs from a predictive survey is a Wi-Fi Heatmaps – They are an excellent tool for illustrating how successful our Wi-Fi design and model will be.

Once this stage is completed, you would be provided with a custom report on your individual environment, including any Wi-Fi heatmaps as well as analysis of any possible issues we might encounter.


How can we be confident that a computer model is accurate?

A pre-install survey also complements this stage by carrying out onsite tests with an AP. This enables us as the Wi-Fi designer to test the building fabric and check that our model of your environment (in the predictive survey) is going to work. If any adjustments need to be made, e.g. if some walls are thicker than others, these can then be made in the predictive model.

After both these surveys have been carried out, we can then be confident that the model is ready for installation and any cabling can be put in.


Why carry out a Wi-Fi survey with Geekabit?

Here at Geekabit, our Wi-Fi experts and engineers have the experience and knowledge to identify the needs of your wireless network and design the best option to meet them.

  • Every network and environment is different – Knowledge, expertise and experience is necessary to identify any issues on site and design a wireless network that will be reliable and effective.
  • We are meticulous and methodical in our approach, ensuring that our design and model will meet your needs and satisfy end users.
  • We don’t advertise our services and rely on word of mouth. This means we will always go above and beyond to make sure our clients are happy.

If your Wi-Fi isn’t currently up to scratch then a Wi-Fi survey might be your best option and prove a worthy investment. The only way to ensure a reliable wireless network that supports your business operations is to design it to your unique specification.

You might be wondering why you can’t just get a copy of the design software and design it yourself. If you have the knowledge and expertise that might well be an option, however as you’ve landed on this blog asking why you need a Wi-Fi site survey then it may be a fair estimate that you’d be better off leaving it to the experts.

It’s not just about inputting information into a computer and getting the perfect model out. A we said above, the predictive survey is best done alongside the pre-install survey where this model is tested and if needed, refined. These surveys together ensure that a computer model will work in the real world.

Want to call in the experts for your Wi-Fi survey?

You’ve come to the right place. Here at Geekabit our Wi-Fi experts have the knowledge and experience to help you to design your Wi-Fi network for the best coverage possible.

Don’t put up with sub-par Wi-Fi any longer and get in touch today.


New Remote Support Service and Cloud Hosted Ubiquiti Controller

Looking for a remote support service for your Wi-Fi needs? Interested in the benefits of a Ubiquiti UniFi Controller but don’t want the on-premise device?

Here at Geekabit we are pleased to announce some new services to our Wi-Fi repertoire. We are now offering remote support options as well as Geekabit-Cloud hosted Ubiquiti UniFi Controllers. Remote support will be provided both through a reactive service and a proactive monthly plan. We also offer cloud hosted Ubiquiti UniFi Controllers to negate the requirement for a Cloud Key or constantly connected on-premise device.

For more information on both of these services, read on.


Remote Support

When you have a hosted Ubiquiti Controller, or can provide access via remote desktop, we can diagnose many issues with your network without having to visit your business or home.

This enables quicker diagnostics, as well as potentially quicker resolution depending on the issue.


Geekabit-Cloud Hosted Ubiquiti UniFi Controller

 Use the Geekabit-Cloud to host your Ubiquiti UniFi Controller and you can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • There is no need to have an on-premise device attached
  • There is no need to invest in, and maintain, a legacy Ubiquiti Cloud Key or Cloud Key Gen2
  • It will be automatically upgraded with the latest controller software
  • It is a fully managed and automated server with https SSL certificate
  • You will have full remote access to the Ubiquiti UniFi Controller from anywhere
  • We charge a small amount per month as opposed to the initial large investment in hardware


Proactive Monthly Plan

 As part of our monthly plan, you can enjoy the following services:

  • We constantly monitor your Ubiquiti UniFi devices for downtime, current data usage, traffic usage and latency issues
  • We check for access points and other UniFi devices dropping out or disappearing
  • We check for created alarms
  • We check for number of connected clients on each AP and whether this is too many for optimum performance
  • We check for when there is an update to the firmware available on devices
  • We check the number of guests attached to the network
  • All of the above actions produce a notification which can then be sent via email or Slack to your defined administrators
  • You can then choose to have daily, weekly or monthly PDF reports sent you via email

If you would like more information on our monthly plan and the above new services of Remote Support and a Geekabit-Cloud Hosted Ubiquiti UniFi Controller, get in touch with us today.