Combining wireless with (new) wired network

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by repojen, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. repojen macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007
    I've been using an Airport Extreme (at times with an Airport Express) for years for the wireless network in my home.

    But I just had my home wired for Ethernet, as I've got so many devices and demands that are straining the wireless network (or won't play with it at all, in the case of one camera). I still want to preserve a wireless network for my laptops and iPods and other devices, but I have six ethernet connections that need connectivity now.

    I am using Verizon and have a Westell 6100G modem from them, currently set up in bridge mode (with the Airport Extreme doing the heavy lifting). Because all of the wires, including the incoming telephone, now are in my basement -- and the Airport Extreme can't send sufficient signal even to the first floor from in there -- I was looking at a setup where the Verizon modem and a new router with at least six ports would be located in the basement, and the Airport Extreme is connected to one of the ethernet ports on the first or second floor.

    In the old days -- you know, six years ago -- I'd have bought a wired router (say the Linksys BEFSR81) with an abundance of ports and installed it after the Verizon modem (which would in bridge mode) with all of the ethernet jacks wired to it. I'd then have the Airport Extreme connected upstairs to provide wireless connectivity.

    But I can't seem to find many wired, non-wireless routers with 6+ ports.

    Since I really can't use the wireless on my existing Airport Extreme if it's in the basement with the modem and the ethernet cords, and I need more ports than it offers anyway, I need some other solution.

    Does anyone have any advice on my best option? I'm not a complete dummy, but I'm clearly no networking wizard, either.

  2. samh macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2009
    Theoretically, you could...
    - put a new 8-port switch in the basement
    - leave your DSL modem there in bridge mode
    - put your AirPort base station upstairs

    You would need a (possibly new) ethernet connection from the WAN port on the AEBS to the DSL Modem and an additional (again, possibly new) ethernet connection from one of the switch ports on the AEBS to an uplink port on your new switch. A little kludgy but not at all a problem.
  3. repojen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007

    Sam, thanks for this feedback. If I have the AEBS upstairs -- which is necessary to promulgate the wireless signal in the usable part of my house -- I basically have one ethernet line I can send it from the basement, not two. I'm not opposed to buying another Airport base station for upstairs, if I can use a switch to get to the required number of ports in the basement.

    So should this setup, or something similar, work, do you think? I may be inadvertently swapping the AEBS/switch in the chain:

    Telephone jack >> DSL modem (bridge mode) >> Airport EBS in basement >> 8 port switch >> ethernet cables running to jacks upstairs (one of which will have another Airport station connected for wifi functionality)

    Thanks again for your help. I've generally dealt with dummy hubs and routers, and while they may be awfully similar, switches are still new to me, as would be using them here.

  4. samh macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2009
    In your case, a consumer/residential grade switch is going to function the same as a hub but with better throughput. You can use an AEBS upstairs, or another wireless router. Just make sure to turn off the DHCP server functionality and any kind of routing function. Since I think all of the ports on the AEBS are auto sensing, you would want to plug the "link" down to the switch into LAN side of the upstairs AEBS (just make sure the upstairs AEBS is set to bridge the wireline LAN and wireless LAN). If you don't need a computer plugged in on the line you're going to put the new AEBS upstairs at... you could just get a wireless access point which would make configuration a little simpler. But then you wouldn't have an ethernet jack at that station.

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