Trying to set up a wireless router again-- advice?

Hey all,

So I tried to set up a wireless router in this (rental) house originally, but the modem is in the living room, and the signal just wouldn’t reach the desktop in the computer room, even though they’re on the same floor. (The walls in between are made of kryptonite??) I gave up and went old school with cables all over the floor.

And now, let’s fast forward two years… there’s a new kitten! :slight_smile: So cuddly and cute and loving, but SO fascinated with cords and cables. :stuck_out_tongue: So I want to try wireless again… maybe it wasn’t the best router before? Can people recommend some that are particularly good as far as strong signals that have to make it through walls and closets? Other advice? Everyone here is so smart! I’m sure somebody knows…

you can find routes with two external antennas on the rear, place on a high shelf.

some cats like the taste of plastic. one friend has to secure his headphones when not in use.

Do you still have the wireless router you tried two years ago? Do you know what standard it uses? Newer routers use the 802.11n standard, which is supposed to be better when it comes to range. The previous standard was 802.11g. If your old router was a g type, upgrading to an n router might help. However, the computer needs to be compatible with the n standard, I think.

If it’s just the one computer that has problems due to the distance, powerline adaptors might work well rather than a new wireless router.

Don’t listen to me. There is a 802.11ac standard also. It might be better than 802.11n for range. I clearly don’t know enough to be any help. Sorry.

If you’re feeling adventurous you could buy another router and set it up as a repeater ( ) or purchase a purpose-built one. I will say that these things are less effective than you may think. A decent router nowadays should get a signal pretty far.

What’s on the other end, right now? You say it’s a desktop - are you using one of those little USB antenna/receiver things?

I am not feeling adventurous. :stuck_out_tongue:

Believe me… I really DO mean old school here. I’m talking about a cable that snakes all the way across the floor from one room to another and then plugs into the back of the computer!!

This is what happens when I don’t have a computer geek around the house anymore. Sad really.

Anyway, God only knows what happened to that last router. That’s why I was hoping that something newer might be better in and itself.

If you’re trying to set up a wireless connection, you need to have a wireless device on both ends (connected to the modem / connected to your desktop).

For ease of use, I would pick basically any wireless router made within the last few years to connect to your modem (unless you’re renting a modem/wireless router combo from your ISP – what model number is your modem?) and then a wireless adapter that plugs into your desktop (example).

The better option would be a wireless PCI card that goes inside your desktop (example). The best solution is what I suggested in my last post (two wireless routers, one wired to the modem, the other wired to your desktop).

Of course, buy stuff that you know you can return in case you have the same connection problems you did before!

A few random thoughts. There are many solutions to cables all over the floor. If you want to get a new router, check the reviews as effective range can vary significantly. But a new router may not be necessary, and may not help much if at all – newer standards may offer higher throughout at a given signal level but don’t generally offer greater range.

I have relatively poor wireless coverage in the house, and have a variety of different solutions. One good potential solution is a wireless bridge. I can establish a great connection from the router up on the top floor two floors down to a computer in the basement using an old Linksys WRT-54GL running Tomato firmware in bridge mode. The twin antennas on the Linksys are far more sensitive than any ordinary wireless adapter, but you can buy commercial bridges with wireless-N tech that are similar. A bridge is an elegant solution because a good one provides a sensitive receiving station at the client end with hardwired local Ethernet ports to one or more devices, which need have no adapters or knowledge of wireless protocols at all.

Another option if the house is wired for cable in the right locations is MoCA adapters. They’re not all that common and may have to be mail-ordered, but they’re usually a robust solution that just piggy-backs traffic onto the unused spectrum of an existing coax installation. An equivalent solution is powerline adapters – you have to be careful with those as it’s really hit and miss – totally depends on the age and quality of your electrical wiring and whether it crosses phases in the breaker box, and it may work poorly or not at all. But it works well for me in one location, along with a bridge in another, and just the internal wireless on my laptop and tablet where bandwidth demands aren’t high.

OK, I said not to listen to me about routers.

However, there is still the powerline option. I use these from Netgear, and get pretty good results (which means that they are faster than my 12 Mbps internet connection).

I would recommend these if your goal is to get rid of the cable snaking from the modem to the computer and don’t really need the WiFi for anything else. You plug these into the wall, one near the modem and one near the computer (and into the wall, not a power strip). Then you plug short network cables (I think they are included) from each adaptor, one from the modem and one to the computer. Basically, the electrical wire in your house replace the cable you have snaking though the house now. At under $40, it’s cheaper than a wireless router.

They also make units that have a power outlet on the unit, so you don’t lose an outlet if you don’t have any empty outlets available. Costs a bit more though.
Edit: wolfpup is right about the quality of the house power wiring affecting the signal using the powerline adaptors, but I’ll add this: If it does work, it is dead simple to set up. It’s pretty much plug and play, with an additional step to set up security.

I will study all of this and figure out what to do. :slight_smile: (Oh, it was so much easier when there was a geek around the house… :wink: