Do you run out of WiFi coverage in any area of your home ? This quite common problem can be solved with devices that collect and extend the signal to reach the last corner of the home. These devices can be purchased and installed on your own from brands like Devolo or TP-Link, to name a few. Or, if you are a Vodafone customer, it can be contracted as a monthly service called Super Wifi . In exchange for a monthly fee, the operator installs the equipment in the client's home and takes care of its management automatically. Do they work well? Do they really speed up? At tuexperto.com we have decided to try it for ourselves.
This is how Vodafone Super Wifi works
The first thing you should know is that Vodafone Super Wifi is a service. One of those extras for which the operator charges a fixed monthly amount in exchange for a useful function for its customers. In this case we are talking about a free service if the customer already has fiber contracted with a speed of 1 Gbps. For all other cases, you have to add 6 euros per month for two extenders. And if any more is needed, each additional extender means another 3 euros more in monthly expense.
The service advantage is twofold. On the one hand, when a Vodafone installer comes to your home, you don't have to worry about how it is installed or have technical knowledge to handle it. On the other hand, these devices automatically and constantly analyze the WiFi connection and the speed reached by each connected device (mobile phones, television, console, computer, etc.) to change the settings if necessary. That is to say, once installed, the user can not worry because the extenders readjust themselves automatically .
The result is that in theory the best possible signal is available for each device and in each corner of the house. From a technical point of view, what the extender does is assign each device a frequency and channel where there is no interference and, above all, through which the best possible speed is achieved.
This system connects via the Internet to a Vodafone cloud platform . On the platform, the service receives the data to improve the connections and readjust the parameters if necessary. In the demonstration that they have done to us at Vodafone, no personal data of the customers was seen. It was not possible to know the Internet use that each device is giving, the applications it uses or the content it consumes.
No parental control ... yet
One of the current and most demanded advantages of this type of technology is the option of establishing parental limits. At a time when kids can spend hours connected to the Internet, it is very useful to be able to limit the connection time to a certain time, set a maximum number of minutes of use or even specify which applications can be used (for example, those of school study) and which applications or websites are prohibited (for example, Fortnite or YouTube).
Currently, this Vodafone Super Wifi service does not include this type of control . Although it should not be ruled out that in the not too distant future, the operator will expand its functionality with this type of service. Even at an additional cost. But a function so in demand today cannot be ignored.
What we can see at the moment is how many and which devices are connected to the WiFi that these repeaters emit. Or how many megabytes have been consumed in a period of 24 hours, a week or 30 days. You can also change the name of the WiFi network or the access password. All this is done through a mobile app called Vodafone's Super WiFi. By the way, changing the name of the WiFi network and its password come in handy as a first step. Because this way we put the same name of the current WiFi network and the same exact password. Why? To avoid having to reconnect the devices that have already memorized the current home WiFi.
But how fast do you really get?
Yes, okay, the theory is fine. But how fast do you really get with these connected devices ? This is where I tell you about our practical experience. But first, let me clarify how the WiFi network worked in the house where we have done the tests.
At one end of the house is the router that emits the WiFi signal. At the other end of the house, there is the entrance and a kitchen where the signal does not reach. Or if it does, it is with minimal intensity and laughter speed. Specifically, with a Speedtest speed test made from a mobile phone, just over 3 Mbps of download speed and directly zero upload speed were achieved.
Now there is one of these Vodafone extenders connected to the router. And another extender in the living room located right between the router room and the entrance to the house. How fast is it now? In the following graphic you can see the before and after that are self-explanatory ...
Indeed, after installation, the speed that is reached at the point where before the signal practically did not reach, now it is 179 Mbps download and another spectacular 173 Mbps upload . Where is the trick? Well, actually there isn't. Although it is true that with the MASMOVIL router there were previously two types of connection, 2G and 5G. And at the far end, the connection I was getting was 2G. Therefore, the speed was the minimum of the minimum. Now with the service and repeaters activated, the speed achieved is that of a 5G WiFi with a good signal.
And in the room of the house where before there was more speed? Glued to the router we can also observe large differences in speed between the before and after. As shown in the following graph of the Speedtest speed measurement tool, if before a download speed of 83.7 Mbps was achieved, now this speed reaches 149 Mbps. And the same happens with the upload speed that passes from 83.3 to 163 Mbps.
In short, this is a service that may be worthwhile for a customer profile that has several characteristics. First of all, you don't want to complicate your existence with the installation of WiFi signal repeaters. Because you don't understand how they work or because you don't feel like fighting with them. Not only in its installation but also (and perhaps more importantly) with day-to-day maintenance.
If this client also prefers to pay low monthly fees instead of paying the up to 300 euros that this type of solutions can cost, consisting of packs of 2 or 3 repeaters, this service is a good alternative. There are only two buts to put on it. First of all, it only works for Vodafone customers. By the way, that for those who get it free is an immediate recommendation. The second but is that it still does not have parental control. Hopefully this is fixed soon though.