Home Network Wiring (or Wireless?)

I need some advice and ideas for my home computer network.

My DSL modem currently sits close to my phone jack in the kitchen, but my wireless router sits next to my computer in the bedroom. OK, so it’s a small apt., but I like it and it’s (relatively) cheap for Silicon Valley.

Thing is, though, that current I have a long CAT5 running between the modem and the router along the floor. Looks ugly, and at night I’m increasingly likely to trip over it!

I think my options are mostly along the lines of putting up a more permanent, out-of-the way line between kitchen and bedroom. Should I extend the phone line itself, or should I put up Cat 5, or does it really make a difference? On the whole, I’d rather have the DSL modem out of the way next to my computer, but I don’t want to screw up the DSL by extending the line.

Or, should I bag all that and just use wireless? If I go from Cat5 to WiFi “g”, will I notice any real difference? The wireless is there, btw, for my laptop, so I can drag it around the apt. and out onto the patio. My desktop doesn’t currently have a wireless access point, so I’d have to add one.

In short, the options are:

[li]Move DSL modem to bedroom by extending the phone line.[/li][li]Get Cat5 out of the way by restringing line (don’t want to futz with running cable behind the walls).[/li][li]Move wireless router next to DSL modem and use wireless on my desktop.[/li][li]Win the lottery and have someone else worry about this… :smack: [/li][/ol]

I figure that this thread may help out others as well.

My experience with wireless is that, in general, it’s a big pain in the ass. So I avoid it when I can, which is any time I don’t need to move a computer from place to place.

Running Cat5 to your bedroom has an advantage: If you change your connection from DSL to cable or something else, you can still use that Cat5.

Extend the phone line into the bedroom, and put a phone outlet there.

It’s a useful improvement to the home to have a phone outlet in the bedroom. And since this is an apartment, you might be able to get the landlord to pay you for installing one (or at least take some off your rent).

I don’t know exactly where your wireless router is but, assuming its away from interference sources (other RF-emitting toys like microwaves, and darn Nextel cellphones) , you shouldn’t notice too much degradation in terms of speed with DSL. If you switched to cable, there’ll be a little more impact. Some of the latest cellular technologies are pretty cool and, if you have PCMCIA slots on your desktop and laptop, could be a viable alternative to throwing any cabling at all - I find that some of the machines running off the “less secured” (i.e. Internet) network that I run at work have slower access speeds than the latest generation of cell cards. You might even be able to use your cell phone with a USB adapter, depending on what kind of phone you have.