What a time to be alive. Data bundles are so cheap nowadays, you could literally live without a dedicated home ISP in Kenya. Even heavy internet consumers like you and me can now use gigabytes each day for cheap. If ZUKU, Faiba, Safaricom home fiber, Access, Liquid telecom and all other home internet providers are not available where you stay, this doesn’t mean you and you family cannot get social, work and have fun on the internet.
How to set up your own fast home WiFi network in Kenya
To have your own ‘unlimited’ internet at your house in Kenya, all you need is a good wifi (or mifi) router, a sim card from any service provider that offers affordable monthly or 90 day internet plans, and good signal. This may sound too technical for some of you, but after reading this post, you should have no problems doing it on your own.
What you need
- First things first, you’ll need a router. There are a lot out there, some cheap, others expensive. To put us on the same page, here are some assumptions I am going to make:
– You need WiFi for your home, not a whole apartment block, shopping center, school, etc.
– The number of users are and will be between 1 and 20.
With that in mind, my best advice for a router will be this Huawei Mifi router. It is simple, fast, portable, and most importantly, unlocked. If you get a good signal (for Safaricom, Telkom, Faiba) in your home, expects speeds of up to 150MB/s when downloading files, videos, streaming, etc.
If you do a lot of uploads, whether work related or social media, a 50MB/s upload speed should be more than enough even for a small neighborhood.
Will I get good signal across the whole house?
If you are worried about range, that should not be a concern with this router, unless you live in a ranch or something, and need internet all over those acres. Most homes will be 1500sq feet and less, and this is where this router is most efficient.
Another cool feature I should not forget is how you can enable MAC address filtering for this router. If you don’t know lingo, this is where you restrict/block users from accessing certain sites in your home network. I believe you are already thinking of one or a number of sites you definitely don’t want your kids visiting. If you need help doing this, go to my contact page, where you’ll find my number. Give me a call and I’ll guide you through the whole process for free. The only requirement is a laptop.
- The second thing you’ll need is a sim card. Now here is where I’ll leave the choice to you. As a rule of thumb, please buy a sim card from an operator that has excellent reception in your area. Assuming I had all four – Safaricom, Airtel, Faiba, and Equity, I’d choose Faiba because their 30 day bundles are really cheap.
However, Faiba is not really available outside any major city in Kenya, so I’d instead go for a Telkom Sim card. If you value speed over data costs, we have one winner – Safaricom. Just my two cents though – the choice is entirely yours.
How to install your new MiFi router
Installation is very simple really, even a literate 10 year old could do it on their own. Just follow the instructions from the user manual that you’ll find in the box, so no need to call Fredy wa stima or any of your handymen or women.
Last but very important is the placement of your router. I have already talked about this here, but here’s a quick run down of the tips to get a good signal across your home:
1. Place it in the most central location at the house, not against the wall on one end.
2. For better speed, place it at a higher place, like under your ceiling board. Now this is where you might want to call yule Fredy wa stima :). However, most of you can still pull this off. Just find a way to hoist the thing high in the room.
3. Separate the router from other electronics such as TV, home theater, microwave, e.t.c. All these appliances interfere with signal distribution.
When it comes to installing WiFi in your home, that’s about it really. I think all Telcos in Kenya currently have their custom MiFis, the average price being kshs 5,000. While this is cheap, keep in mind that those routers are locked to their network only. This is Kenya, an operator might have good signal here, but nothing a few kilometers away. Make a wise choice by buying an unlocked router like this Huawei MiFi router.
Click here to save 25% when you buy this router today.