1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Extending network - ethernet/router question

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by bobnotthebuilder, 24 Mar 2020.

  1. bobnotthebuilder

    bobnotthebuilder

    Joined:
    7 Nov 2006
    Messages:
    45
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi - I'm not too tech aware so would be grateful for any advice on this.....I have a computer in my living room connected by ethernet to the router. On the first floor I have another computer in the spare room - connected via wifi.

    In the loft - just above the spare room - is my son's room and his devices also run off the wi-fi but the signal there is much worse. In the spare room the signal is generally ok but sometimes it isn't which has caused problems in Skype and WhatsApp calls.

    I've decided to use an ethernet hub/splitter so that one cable goes off to my living room computer and another port will allow a cable to go upstairs to the spare room. Does that sound ok?

    If I attach a router to the new ethernet cable in the spare room would that then provide a new wifi signal? Would it be stronger in my son's room because this router would be closer than the current router?

    If that all sounds ok, is it a case of just plugging in the new router or do I need to do some technical stuff?!

    Thanks very much!
     
  2. eta

    eta

    Joined:
    24 Apr 2008
    Messages:
    348
    Thanks Received:
    24
    Location:
    West Sussex
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    have you thought of using powerline adapters , they use the power cables in the house to transmit the network
    you can also get wireless powerline adapters

    The Ethernet cable running to the rooms will probably be a better throughput, depending on what you electirc power cables are like, I have known very high speeds on powerlines.

    Does your son in the loft use any devices for gaming online

    you can use another router as a hub, i'll look up the settings, I used to advise on a tech forum some years ago
    Whats the make and model of your main router
    and what 2nd router do you have
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    2,037
    Thanks Received:
    258
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    That is by far the best option and makes an old, unused wireless router useful again.

    My fibre modem, wifi is in the loft, where my fibre comes into the house from the pole. That is wired directly to several items in the loft and first floor, as well as providing wifi to the upper floors and much of my garden. I have a second old router, LAN connected to the first, central to the ground floor. That provides wired access for the TV, for a Firestick and wifi for several phones and pads. The second router needs to have its DHCP disabled.

    Avoid powerline adaptors if you can, they have worse bandwidth and generate lots of continuous RF noise for all the shortwave users around you. I have a pair, but they are only kept for short term and temporary emergency use.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. winston1

    winston1

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2010
    Messages:
    5,510
    Thanks Received:
    400
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Never, ever use them. The latest high speed ones also cause interference to FM and DAB radio and potential similar frequencies such as air traffic control. They ought to have been banned years ago.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Like Like x 1
  5. bobnotthebuilder

    bobnotthebuilder

    Joined:
    7 Nov 2006
    Messages:
    45
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thanks for your help so far everyone. Yes I want to avoid powerline adapters - I've heard lots of bad reports. My broadband is with virginmedia I have their hub 3.0. This is next to the entry point to the house. Then ethernet cat 7 to splitter (tplink) which is 3m away. Two ethernet cat7s from the splitter - one is 1m long and goes to my imac. The other is 6m long and have run that up to the spare room. I haven't bought another router yet and would really appreciate any advice on that. Thanks!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. wgt52

    wgt52

    Joined:
    25 Apr 2016
    Messages:
    538
    Thanks Received:
    106
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Sponsored Links
  8. bobnotthebuilder

    bobnotthebuilder

    Joined:
    7 Nov 2006
    Messages:
    45
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thanks wgt52 but this is a splitter like the one I mentioned above. I need something to produce a wifi signal - can this do it?
     
  9. wgt52

    wgt52

    Joined:
    25 Apr 2016
    Messages:
    538
    Thanks Received:
    106
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Sorry, missed that bit about looking for a LAN fed Wifi. What you are wanting is a cable fed Mesh network - not sure if one is available. However probably one of the problems you have in sons room is the neighbours WiFi interfering with your WiFi. If you can convince him to have a cable connection things would be better for connectivity (and speed).
    Where I live there is that much (low band) WiFi coverage that with the Router near the ceiling in the centre of the ground floor of the house our Wifi is not useable in the upstairs front bedroom and has restricted coverage in the back bedroom.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. winston1

    winston1

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2010
    Messages:
    5,510
    Thanks Received:
    400
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. bobnotthebuilder

    bobnotthebuilder

    Joined:
    7 Nov 2006
    Messages:
    45
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    wgt52 thanks for the suggestion. I don't think it's an issue with next door in my sons room. He's in the loft and they don't have one. Also the mesh thing is a bit expensive. Is it possible to do what I suggested - stick a router on the end of the ehthernet and have that produce a wifi signal? Just to give an idea - donwstairs I get a speed of 110 mbps and in my son's room the wifi gets a speed of 20mbps - like I say it also seems to fluctuate which is why I need a consistent signal even on the first floor for skype, zoom and facetime.
     
  12. Lucid

    Lucid

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2013
    Messages:
    1,411
    Thanks Received:
    695
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi and welcome to this part of the forum. Forgive me if I cover stuff you already know. I just want to be sure we're talking the same language.

    As a basic principle, yes, your plan to extend the Ethernet side of things works, but it won't fix the wireless.

    You've used the word hub and splitter. I'm going to presume you're using the words interchangeably because its something that takes one signal cable in and then allows multiple connections to other devices, a bit like a multi-way extension socket for mains power. Also, because resellers try to cover all the different search terms that people use to find these things. The word "hub" though has a specific meaning in networking; and we generally talk about using hubs or switches.

    Perhaps the easiest way to visualise what's happening and to understand the difference between hubs and switches is to think of the computer data as cars travelling along roads (the cables). A network hub or switch is a junction point similar to a crossroads. A switch is a crossroads with traffic lights. The lights control the flow of the traffic so there are no collisions. A hub is like an unmarked crossroads. Traffic can still flow, but there's no control over it and no particular side has priority. When the network is quiet then there's not much traffic so the flow is okay. When things get busy though the unmarked crossroads doesn't help and there are lots of collisions. That's a hub.

    You can buy hubs and switches. Both look very similar, but the way they work isn't the same. A small network switch will generally be a better (faster) solution for data traffic, particularly with applications such as Skype calls and gaming. We don't tend to use hubs so much this last 15-20 years.

    If we're going with the switch idea, then your Wi-Fi router with Ethernet ports will connect to the switch - which I presume will be in the spare room(?), and then two (or) more Ethernet cables will go off to the devices in the spare room and your son's bedroom above. This Netgear 5-port Gigabit switch is inexpensive and would work perfectly for your application.

    One natural question is whether the switch will be fast enough. I can set your mind at rest here. Where you're spending around £25 per month for superfast broadband, they'll be quoting speeds somewhere from 30Mb to 70Mb; even a very basic internet router will have an Ethernet port speed of 100Mb - so, faster than the service you're getting. The Netgear switch goes up to 1000Mb. It's way faster.

    If you mean another Wi-Fi router additional to the one downstairs, then that's not a great idea.

    Technically, it's possible to do this, but it's complicated and messy unless you're very comfortable messing with router software. A much simpler solution to improve Wi-Fi coverage - and probably improve the service if your Wi-Fi router was supplied by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) - is to add something called a Wireless Access Point, or WAP for short.

    The sort of WAP we're talking about for you takes an Ethernet connection and generates a wireless signal so that Wi-Fi devices can connect to it and the networks beyond.

    WAPs come in at various levels of functionality, and the prices reflect that. For the domestic WAPs with the wizards and some auto-set-up features you're looking at prices from £20 up to about £70. To gauge where to jump in, the best place to start is by understanding the wireless capabilities of the gear that will be connecting. Grab a coffee because there's a bit to take in here.

    Wi-Fi uses two radio frequencies; these are 2.4GHz (been around since wireless data started, decent long distance reach but the network is crowded and prone to interference), and 5GHz which is less crowded, and supports faster data rates, but has a shorter reach than 2.4GHz. There are the wireless bands, so if you read about Dual Band Wi-Fi it means a device that can work on either/both.

    Sitting on those frequencies you have the standards of Wi-Fi and the theoretical speeds they support.

    802.11b has been around the longest. It runs on 2.4GHz only, and gets up to a speed of 11Mbps
    802.11g - 2.4GHz only- up to 54Mbps
    802.11n - 2.4 or 5GHz - up to 450Mbps
    802.11ac - 5GHz - up to 1.3Gbps

    802.11ac also comes in different speeds depending on how many devices it can serve.

    The wireless cards in most portable devices will cover a number of standards, so you might see the spec written 802.11b/g/n. Most devices that are listed as Wireless ac (802.11ac) will also support 802.11n.

    Understanding this might seem like a bit of a bind, but it is important. Buying a WAP without looking at whether it fills your needs for the devices you have could leave some devices unable to connect. For example, there are wireless music streamers that use 802.11b only (because it's plenty fast enough and has the best range), but if the WAP doesn't support that legacy standard then these devices won't connect. At the other end of the spectrum, you might have a new tablet that could run quite quickly on 802.11ac, but it is hobbled because a cheap WAP doesn't support it.

    In general terms, recent small portable devices such as higher-end smartphones and tablets are more likely to make use of 802.11ac. Laptops unless quite recent will probably offer b/g/n. Older gaming consoles will be b/g/n but newer ones may support 802.11ac, but [TIP] they should really be hardwired for the best performance.

    Here's a useful background info:

    1) Wireless is never as fast as the manufacturer claims.
    The reason is speed reduces because of the way the data is packed/unpacked, and because of range, and interference, and how many devices are connecting at the same time, and in some cases because wireless for all devices runs at the speed of the slowest device. The quoted numbers are theoretical best speeds in perfect operating conditions. If you get a quarter of the speed, you're doing well. That's why wired is always faster. It doesn't have any of these issues.

    2) If your wireless router came supplied by your internet supplier, then as a general rule it sucks.
    Even the latest BT hubs don't do that well in speed compared to the wireless routers and WAPs that can be bought as after-market devices. Buy a decent WAP and chances are good that it will outperform wireless from an ISP-supplied router.


    TL: DR

    Recommended WAPs for non-techie DIY installation:

    Netgear Wi-Fi Range Extender EX6120 - £40 - covers b/g/n/ac. Quick, and easy to use. Good range of features. Can be configured in different ways so is useful beyond this specific requirement

    TP-Link AC1750 Universal Dual Band Range Extender - £50 - similar to the Netgear above



    You might read about Mesh networking. If you haven't come across this before, it's a way of improving coverage by using several WAPs together to create a multi-connected web of Wi-Fi. The catch if you like is that you need several suitable devices all working together before the benefits become apparent. A mesh-enabled WAP on its own, or even a couple, offers no benefit for the extra cost of the tech.



    If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button (not the like button, the Thanks button. The difference is important). It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. It costs you nothing. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. sparkymarka

    sparkymarka

    Joined:
    16 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    7,527
    Thanks Received:
    1,153
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Get a draytek 810 access point ....WiFi access point and switch all in one been using one for the past couple of years down in the garage ...give me a wireless connection plus a couple of Ethernet ports
     
Sponsored Links
Loading...

Share This Page