Wi-Fi won't penetrate metal shed

Hi, I have a wifi problem that I need help with if anyone could please?

I have sky broadband and run my pc and laptop wirelessly off it.

We have recently erected a metal shed in the garden, just outside the kitchen so not far from the house.

The intention was to have it as a pc and games room, with a playstation set up and a laptop using the wifi connection from the house, but have now discovered that the wifi will not go through the metal of the shed!!

Can anyone suggest a way of getting either a wired or wireless internet connection to the metal shed?

I have a spare wireless router.

Help would be much appreciated. Thanks


Posts: 378   +9
Yeah metal creates an unpenetrable wall for Wireless connections, it bounces off it really easily.. Your options would be to buy a Directional Wireless Antenna and direct it to the Shed, point it at a Windows or an Open Doorway..

Wireless Antenna's:http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicati...c.asp?CatId=374&name=Antennas and Accessories

The signal needs somewhere to enter, once inside that metal shed it should bounce around and find what it needs..

Other then that you would need to dig and place a wire under ground that connects to a splitter/hub, and branch off to each device from there.. however that is not generally a convient way at all, since you would need protective cover over the wires as well as it to be decently deep in the ground, then you have bugs and anything that digs that could damage the cord..

Hope this helps.
thanks for your reply.

I was thinking along the lines of having the second router inside the shed so that the wifi can be used from in there-but do not know how I can connect it to my pc or other router inside the house to get the internet confection out there as well as keeping it as it is already in the house.

Any ideas regarding that please?


Posts: 378   +9
Some wireless routers have the function to work as a type of repeater, where you would place it in the shed, and it would connect you your wireless router from the house and then you connect your devices in the shed Via Ethernet Cable from the router in the shed I'm pretty sure.. However I have not done this myself before, and if your wireless devices (PS3 etc) Do not see the signal while in the shed, the router would not either..
So, perhaps if I put the second router inside the metal shed and connected it with a cable to either my pc or the first router in the house, would that enable the ps3 and the laptop in the shed to connect via wifi from the second router?

If so, what type of cable would I need and how would I set up the second router?

thanks everyone!


Posts: 378   +9
Yes you could do that, all you need is a simple Ethernet Cable, the same one you would use to connect your computer to your router, one cable would go from the Router inside the house to the Router in the shed, plugging into the port marked "Internet" or something along those lines. It will be the odd-ball of the mutli-ports.

Then from there you set up the Second routers Wireless. You will have to first have to connect the Second Router to a computer via Ethernet Cable, once you've done that you have to open a browser (such as Internet Explorer, or Mozilla Firefox) and depending on the make of the router (Linksys, D-link, cisco etc) you will have to type in the IP address of that router to connect to it to change settings.

You should only have to change the wireless settings on the router. making it so it has an SSID and probably best to Broadcast it, then set a wireless password on it. something with at least 1 capital and 8 letters, even better to have at least 1 number..

after the Wireless is set up then you can bring it to the shed to hook it up, and you should be able to connect to it from your wireless devices in the shed..


Posts: 4,512   +66
Few ideas:

  1. Run a network cable to a wireless access point int he shed (Cheapest and most reliable solution)
  2. Point to point wireless (Most expensive, least reliable)
  3. Powerline networking (Moderately priced, simplest solution)

First, if it can work, powerline networking is BY FAR going to be easiest thing to do. (not the best perhaps, but the easiest). It will only work if your shed isn't on a different transformer somehow. I'm not sure what the max distance is, but I think it is worth trying. Here's some equipment to get your started.

The concept is simple: Connect one powerline broadcasting unit to your router and plug it into a power socket. Plug the other receiving unit (which can have wireless built in) into an outlet in your shed.. run the setup.. presto... instant wireless in your shed. It also works surprisingly well.

For the wireless solution... Assuming your shed is line-of-sight to your home, you can consider a point to point wireless bridge using two directional antennas to connect your home and shed together.

Since you cannot get a signal inside the shed (and even if you could, the signal would almost certainly be poor quality), the idea would be to mount two directional outdoor antennas outside. The one from your home would 'beam' the signal to the one outside your shed. Once the signal reaches your shed, you can connect that antenna to a wireless access point inside of the shed and enjoy wireless on the inside.

[Home Wireless]
 [Home Antenna] >>> WIFI >>> [Shed Antenna] 
 [ or Wifi AP ]              [ or Wifi AP ]
                            [Shed Wireless]

Outdoor antennas are more expensive and you might be able to get away with using an indoor antenna from your home but the receiving antenna for your shed MUST be outside since your wireless can't penetrate the walls. Again, if you can get the signal to the outside of the shed and collect it with an antenna, you can run a cable into a window or a hole somewhere that will connect that outdoor antenna to a wireless access point inside of your shed.

Just to get you started, here are some antennas.

You could also (and this will be easier) invest in two outdoor access points with directional antennas. Here's a little something to get you started.

Access points will be more expensive, but you won't have to worry about trying to rig up an external antenna on your router (may not even be possible for your router) and you'll be able to connect the wireless AP (access points) using standard CAT5/CAT6 network cable... this gives you more flexibility in placing your antenna too. You need it to point at your shed and you want it outside or as close to the shed as possible. Antenna cables have to be very short, but network cables can be very long.

The network cable solution: Despite wireless being a possible solution, I *strongly* recommend running a cable from your home to your shed (if at all possible). You can get up to around 300ft before extra equipment is necessary. If it is not possible though, then wireless will work if you get the right equipment. A straight cable is *always* better though. The idea is you'd run a cable from your home router and connect it to a wireless access point in your shed.

Lots of considerations :) Good luck.


Yes you could do that, all you need is a simple Ethernet Cable, the same one you would use to connect your computer to your router, one cable would go from the Router inside the house to the Router in the shed, plugging into the port marked "Internet" or something along those lines. It will be the odd-ball of the mutli-ports.
this is a great solution *IF* your carefull.

a) the cable length must be <=100 meters (300 ft)
b) and installed in a conduit (aka PVC pipe would do)

once inside the shed, the cable can attach to a LAN port of a switch or router
(which allows all systems to be managed by the first router),

If you connect to the WAN port, then the shed systems will not be able to access
Print/File Shares inside the house.

Wifi can be enabled inside the shed.
Can I ask why the cable length must be less than 300 foot ?

Also, is it a patch cable I need with male connectors?

If so, do I go for UPT cat 5 or 6?

Its so confusing :-(


Posts: 23   +0
If you go further than 300 feet it will begin to "lose signal", so to speek. This is the maximum accepted length for UTP cable between any 2 network devices.

Anyway, I think it would be best if you gave us a bit more details: how far is the shed from the house (exact measured distance), are there any obstacles, is there pavement, or just lawn, any obstacles in the air or perhaps a way to hang the wire above the ground, not in the ground (it is sometimes better and more convenient).


Posts: 23   +0
It's not that much of a necessity. We have around here many neighborhood networks built with standard UTP cable, and switches and routers hanged on utility poles, many in improvised enclosures, or even plastic bottles cut in half and placed upside-down. :D While it can't be considered even remotely professional, I must say they all work just fine and the only problems I've seen so far is with people stealing cable to sell it for money (homeless people and such).

However, there is a real danger in case of lightning - don't know how much the grounding helps in this case. Had a client with toasted router and PC + DVR lan cards fried up by a lightning. Even if this happened in an urban area with tall buildings, the charge around the lightning was enough to send current through the wires and fry up those devices.

It depends on the area, if you don't see much lightning it's probably safe. Otherwise I would actually suggest placing the wires underground.
The shed is 100 feet away from the router in the house.

The cable can be routed accross the living room from the router, through the wall to the outside then up the garden in a straight line and into the shed. It can be suspended from the ceiling as it will be in a car port, under cover for most of the way to the shed.


Posts: 23   +0
Then I would say it would be an option to just hang it outside, but you must consider the lightning part too. Stuff like this can damage a lot of your devices and computers and it's not pretty when it happens. What is the car port made of ? Wood, metal ?
its not penetrating because of your shed is working like a faraday cage, it is absorbs all kinds of electromagnetic radiation, the best way i suggest is getting a coaxing set (if you have power going to the shed) to connect to a wifi router inside the shed.
All sorted now thanks temp - got a direct cable from the router inside the house.

Going to fix a permenant cable from house router to inside the shed then connect another router and go from there.

Everyone's help has been very much appreciated - thanks guys!!


Posts: 23   +0
its not penetrating because of your shed is working like a faraday cage.

A faraday cage happens only with metallic structures. If it's plastic & wood, I'm afraid lightning damage is pretty possible. But then again, it depends on how many houses or buildings are around, how far & tall they are, how many lightning strikes you see per year etc.