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wired access point for wifi devices?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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July 3, 2013 9:29:21 PM

Hi All,

I live in the original brick $@&*house. The walls have two layers of sheetrock, foil-backed insulation between the studs, 4/4 oak sheathing and full-sized bricks. Line-of-sight is limited. Sturdy but built before machines were supposed to talk to each other.

The setup right now is a high-speed cable modem that goes to a Linksys E2500 wireless router. All four of the ethernet LAN ports are used -- one of which goes across the house to an HTPC. The wireless part works pretty well up to about halfway across the house. Then those walls kick in and the signal gets spotty.

I've read-up on wired access points but haven't found a solution that takes the existing wireless network into account. What I'd like to do is connect the long ethernet cable to a device on the HTPC end of the house. It would have at least a couple ethernet out ports for the stationary devices (HTPC, ATV3) and extend/boost the wifi signal for iPads, smart phones and other wireless gizmos.

I'd bet this is possible if not obvious. If you have any opinions, I'll look forward to reading them. BTW, this doesn't have to be a budget solution. I expect I'll need more hardware -- I just want to be sure it is the right hardware.

Thanks, sh

Edit postscript. I'm a fairly good writer and still have a hard time describing tech subjects. I guess the fundamental question surrounds the issue that I already have both a wired LAN and a WiFi network in the house. One of the LAN wires runs all the way through the basement to the area in the house with the worst WiFi reception. What I'm wondering is whether there is a device that can use that ethernet signal to boost the existing (or a new, localized) WiFi signal or if the existing WiFi signal needs to be boosted independently of the ethernet feed? The basic plug-in boosters seem fraught with issues and QC problems (half 5 eggs, half 1 egg). If there is an all-in-one-box, it should also be an ethernet switch so the HTPC can stay hardwired. Thanks again for bearing with me. sh
July 4, 2013 10:23:24 AM

Thanks Emerald,

I read that a couple times but still wondered if you are on an iPad near one of the wireless routers and walk down the hall towards the other router, will the connection stay constant or will it drop the first and pickup the second? If it does the latter, it would be much better to live with the drop in MBS and get an extender.

Another possibility is to just get one of the Asus RT-N66U routers and blast the signal down the hall. Even if it doesn't work perfectly, I can use the Linksys router as described in the article in the TV room. Two possible solutions with one peace of kit.

Cheers, sh
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July 4, 2013 10:35:06 AM

no one has solved the problem of seamless roaming due to the way fact that wireless devices will not connected to the stronger signal until the first signal becomes to week and looses connection.

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July 4, 2013 11:38:20 AM

That has been the breakdown in my research. Access points are great for stationary devices but so are wires. I'm sure somebody is working on that.

This all came up because my wife uses her iPad like a picture phone. It is a couple years old and doesn't have a built-in cell phone. That's just as well because I live in a cove with terrible cell reception. It works well through the WiFi network. When she is on a call and walks down to the library or kitchen, the call usually gets dropped. Sounds like if we had a solid access point on the south end of the house, it wouldn't kick in until the other party was yelling, "Hello?" into their receiver.

Unfortunately, my research on basic extender/repeater/boosters hasn't produced any real winners. Reviews are usually barbell-ed with some people thrilled while others have to mail back a DOA. If I could get another 10 meters out of anything, all would be good. Oddly, I tested the HTPC using the WiFi card and it worked pretty well. It must have a better receiver than the mobile devices.

I think I'll go ahead and get the more powerful router. I may also be able to get it more centrally located and I can use the E2500 as a wired switch for the hardwired devices in my office.

Thanks again for your interest. Wish me luck! sh
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