Suggestions for Network Problem

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Heston, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Heston macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2007
    Hi all,

    I live in an apartment that was built when they used old plaster walls and I'm having a heck of a time setting up a decent network. The problem is that the modem for our internet is in the middle room of the long apartment and my room is at the end of the apartment with the bathroom (mine and my third roommates separate, but side by side in the floor plan). I get terrible reception in our apartment from my room and have tried using DD-WRT for the current D-link router that we have set to broadcast G and N and having another Cysco router repeat that signal in my room.

    I was "happy" with that arrangement, but it wasn't terribly fast but never saw dips in at least the download speeds.

    The one caveat? Since updating to Mountain Lion and even in Lion, I get periodic drops in my internet connection. Not sure if anyone has heard of this issue, but I've discussed it in this forum at length:

    I tried everything they said to fix my problem. Deleted the System Preferences folder, changed the MTU, changed my location name. I even called Apple and they said that I did everything they knew that could typically "fixes" this known issue, so they sent me to a Genius to see if it were my antenna in my laptop. I made an appointment, and they told me my computer was fine and that Apple doesn't support older routers and said that I wouldn't have any problem if I were to buy an Apple Express and just use that.

    Okkkkk. I was a little hesitant, but I figured I would give it a try. I tried repeating the signal from the D-link, but no dice - only a feature with other apple routers. I tried to connect the router directly to the D-link but then that router freaks out and turns on and off and never settles. However, I was able to switch cables, change ports and get it to connect, but in the end the signal strength still sucks in my room.

    Two options at this point:

    1) Powerline networking: I bought one at bestbuy, didn't work and exchanged it for an inferior specs (500 mbs Actiontec that didn't work vs 85 mbs Netgear) but superior brand that did work, but was getting only 6mb/s. I'd rather just use my current crappy network. Would buying a more expensive, higher rated (500 mbs) work any faster or am I only going to see minimal gains?

    2) Drill a freaking hole in the side of the apartment, string ethernet cable outside (remember i have two bathrooms in between my room and where the modem is) and bring it back into my roommates room. I would then be able to have a sure connection and create a separate AE network that would actually work with my stupid ML OS. Problem is, although you can get the cable, crimper, and connectors for $30 on Amazon, the stupid drill bit will cost me almost that much in order to get through the entire wall of the apartment.

    Annnnnyyyy thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Have you checked to see if something is interfering with the wifi signal? Other devices?

    An intermediate wifi access point?

    But frankly, given all this hassle I'd get 100' of Cat6 ethernet cable for about $15 at monoprice and some long drill bits from Harborfreight for $13 and start drilling. You might need outside conduit but the wire is so cheap you might just redneck it. Use it as a clothesline. Or hang Xmas lights on it.
  3. davidoloan Suspended

    Apr 28, 2009
  4. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I'd go the ethernet route.

    Who doesn't like weekend projects? And it's an excuse to buy more tools.
  5. Heston thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2007
    The ceiling is...cement I think? It's a tall ceiling and there's another apartment above me.

    It doesn't help that there's a million people with wireless connections these days and when you live in chicago, you're bound to get unwanted interference.

    All I really want is a network that can give me the internet speed i'm paying for and not disconnect on me three times a day. Might not sound bad, but when you're doing something that requires a continuous connection, it gets really frustrating.


    So I found a drill bit online for $4 and when I clicked finalize, I didn't realize the shipping was $9. Ridiculous. Same thing for the cable. Got it off of monoprice and it ended up being $13 but $21 with shipping. Man...

    I bought a drill bit big enough for the cable to go through, but it means I need to cut the ends off. Is re-crimping (provided I can get a cheap crimper and ends) difficult? And I'm really not sure what the difference is between crossover and patching. I've looked online, but still unsure. What kind of wiring should I do if I'm just connecting my airport express up to another router thats connected to the modem?
  6. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Crimping ethernet cable is pretty simple. All you need is the correct tools.

    If your connecting two pieces of network gear together - you would need to make a patch cable (both ends of the cable are pinned out alike). If you're going to connect two computers together without a router, a crossover cable is used (the two ends of the cable are pinned out reversed). Also of note is that more modern NIC don't require crossover cables since they are auto sensing.

    You setup would require patch cables.

    It would be best to follow a standard diagram (see attached) when making your cables. In reality, however, as long as you connect the wires in the same order for both ends of the cable, it will work just fine.

    I've purchased crimping tools and ends at Menard's and they are pretty cheep. They have more than one brand of crimping equipment - a more professional grade brand and then a more DIY level that's cheeper. I'd just get the DIY stuff since you won't be using it everyday.

    Attached Files:

  7. Heston thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2007
    Thanks guys! Can't wait to get that ethernet up!!

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