General networking question

vmachiel

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 15, 2011
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Hi Forum,

Not a Mac specific question but hope someone helps me. I'm moving and for the new house I already have a router. But Wifi is spotty upstairs so I want to extend it.

What specifically would I need for this. I can run a cable to the second floor is necessary.

Thank you so much!
 

Kelmon

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2005
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United Kingdom
My understanding is that extending a wireless network would indeed work best with additional cable. The "simplest" means of extending a wireless network is to introduce additional routers that can "repeat" a wireless network to which they can join. I believe this is a problem because you need all the routers to play nicely with each other (OK if they are from the same manufacturer) and you are extending a weakened signal. For preference you should use a wired connection to link the routers. Probably the cheapest/easiest way to do this is using powerline ethernet kits that use the electrical wiring in your house. These are often quite cheap, do not require cabling to be installed, and seem to work surprisingly well. I'm using a kit in our 1950s house that still has the original wiring (aka deathtrap) and the speed is really good, certainly faster than 802.11n Wifi. One router should be the master and the others linked to it via the ethernet ports (link a normal ethernet port on the master to the WAN port the slave(s)). Each router should broadcast a wireless network of the same type with the same name and password, which should mean that devices will connect to the closest router to them.

I confess I've never actually tried to do this but I'm pretty sure that this is what I read a while ago.

Anyway, I hope that helps.
 

vmachiel

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 15, 2011
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I'm buy a whole new router so I'm still not sure what to get

I'll look into the powerline stuff thanks!
 

Kelmon

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2005
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0
United Kingdom
Well, if you are running a Mac then Apple's current Airport Extreme is probably worth a look. I'm not sure how it compares to the competition, and they certainly aren't cheap, but mine has been pretty reliable over the years and the current version supports 802.11ac. When it comes to siting the router, try to position it in the centre of the house as this will give you the best chance of not needing to extend your network.
 

maccompaq

macrumors 65816
Mar 6, 2007
1,152
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I have an Airport Extreme, and it gives a very strong signal everywhere in my 4700 square foot 2 story house. Even have a good signal in my yard and in the neighbors yard 2 houses away from mine.
 

VI™

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2010
636
1
Shepherdsturd, WV
I have an Airport Extreme, and it gives a very strong signal everywhere in my 4700 square foot 2 story house. Even have a good signal in my yard and in the neighbors yard 2 houses away from mine.
There are a lot of factors that affect wifi signal so a strong signal at your house may end up weak at another house that has a lot of other networks present, more wiring & metal, or more devices that can negatively impact wifi strength in general.
 

vmachiel

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 15, 2011
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There are a lot of factors that affect wifi signal so a strong signal at your house may end up weak at another house that has a lot of other networks present, more wiring & metal, or more devices that can negatively impact wifi strength in general.
There has te be a lot of metal between the floor, the old residents complained about it. But I know someone with an extreme so I'll ask about/test his reception. Saw that an access point can be set up to be the same network is this a good idea?
 

Kelmon

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2005
724
0
United Kingdom
Saw that an access point can be set up to be the same network is this a good idea?
Multiple access points is indeed a good idea if reception from the main router is weak. However, I do think that extending your network wirelessly, while more convenient, will not deliver the performance you'd want. While an access point extending your network will produce a strong signal, it may not actually have the bandwidth you'd want if it's own connection to the router is weak. For this reason I think that extending your network by connecting your routers/access points via Ethernet is the way to go.
 

vmachiel

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 15, 2011
1,740
1,292
Holland
Multiple access points is indeed a good idea if reception from the main router is weak. However, I do think that extending your network wirelessly, while more convenient, will not deliver the performance you'd want. While an access point extending your network will produce a strong signal, it may not actually have the bandwidth you'd want if it's own connection to the router is weak. For this reason I think that extending your network by connecting your routers/access points via Ethernet is the way to go.
Ok thanks. The previous owners of the new house had a cable running upstairs so there is already a hole for it. I'll definitely run an ethernet cable.
 
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