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Thread: Wireless Networking Advice

  1. #1
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    Wireless Networking Advice

    I have been put in charge of sorting out the network at home and my mums work will pay for any networking equipment we need. I have decided to scrap our current solution as it has been cobbled together over the years to meet changing needs. Unfortunately, I'm not that big on wireless networks and my uni course is pretty intense at the moment. I think I have a solution from the brief research I have done but I was hoping to get some feedback.

    Before I start I should say we have a house with 3 floors. 4 computers are on the top floor and 1 on the middle floor that are all part of the wired lan. My mum wants wireless access over the whole house and it would be a bonus to get it in to the garden. We do have a wireless router on the middle floor at the moment but the coverage is pretty bad.

    I was thinking the best thing to do would be to get a wired router with inbuilt switch. To this I would connect an access point that would cover the top floor. Then a cable would run down to the middle floor to a switch. To this there will be another access point that will give coverage to the middle floor. Finally, another wire would run down to a third access point that would give coverage to the ground floor and garden.

    I was thinking I could get a wireless router but I think I read somewhere it was best not to. However, that could have been to do with a completely different issue involving a completely wireless network with no wired backbone.

    I already have a switch that I can use and I was thinking of getting the Netgear DG843 (I have one at uni and it's great). As for wireless access points I haven't looked in to the best models yet. Someone did suggest the Netgear WG602 though. Can anyone recommend anything better? Ideally I would like access points that supports the Gameboy DS but that would just be a bonus

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    Surely someone must know?

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Before I start I should say we have a house with 3 floors. 4 computers are on the top floor and 1 on the middle floor that are all part of the wired lan. My mum wants wireless access over the whole house
    By this I presume your mum doesn't want these PCs to be wired together any more, or is that OK?

    I live in a three floored house. My Draytek 2800VG (ADSL router) is sat downstairs in the lounge. The wireless hardware on the router serves all three floors without issue.

    If you can leave the wiring in place for the existing PCs then I'd probably do that and put a decent wireless router on the middle floor with an in-built switch (can't think of any wireless routers that won't have wired switches built into them too.)

    Your poor coverage might simply be down to the router's position/antenna orientation/channel choice. 2.5GHz cordless phones can also be a problem.

    Any way you look at it, three access points in a house seems rather excessive.
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    Thanks for the help Steve. We will definitely keep all the PCs as part of a wired lan. The wireless is pretty much just for my mums laptop. I have tried fiddling with the current wireless router we have now. I've changed the antenna position, channel choice and the connection speed (as I understand it, the lower the speed the larger the area of coverage). I haven't really had much luck from doing this.

    I know walls really have a big effect on coverage. The top floor has plasterboard walls (loft conversion) and the rest of the house has brick walls. The router would have to be on the top floor simply because that's where most of the computers are. Even with a good wireless router I can see this being a problem.

    I guess a good wireless router with 1 access point would do the trick?

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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    Yup I would suggest getting a good router - does your budget stretch to a Vigor? and a decent accesspoint on the top floor should give you sufficient coverage.

    Dave

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    Possibly, as long as it's not the Vigor3300V Enterprise Router I'd say any solution that costs no more than £250 should be fine.

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