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Advice on Network Signal

Last response: in Networking
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March 27, 2011 2:55:18 PM

I have two desktop computers upstairs. The main pc has the Linksys G Router and the other pc is wireless with a network adapter. All works fine here. Downstairs and on the other side of the house, I use my laptop which is wireless to the network. I also have a 46" hidef tv hooked up to a blu ray player and also connected to the network with a wireless adapter. I use Netflix to stream movies and seem to be having a problem with the signal in this room, both on the tv and my laptop. I sometimes only have 2 bars on my laptop and frequently get disconnected to the internet. When I am streaming movies or tv series, I get frequent stops and starts.

I am guessing that the signal is just not strong enough to reach this far from the router.

Any suggestions or advice to get a stronger signal? Would switching to an N router be better for streaming? Would another G router downstairs solve my problem?

Thanks.

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March 27, 2011 6:18:20 PM

Switching to a wireless N router *might* improve things if only because they tend to have better antenna solution than wireless G. But wireless N is not really about better signal as much as it is about improved speed/throughput. So without having any other information, I suspect switching to wireless N would improve the signal only marginally.

What would probably work better is a wireless repeater, which is designed for that purpose. You place the wireless repeater somewhere between the originating signal and wireless client. Now the wireless client has to make two wireless hops to reach the originating signal (which can cut performance by as much as half), but because the signal is closer and stronger, it’s more reliable.

In really difficult situations, you might have to resort to powerline or MoCA. These effectively substitute for a wired solution, but use your home wiring or coax cable (respectively) as the transport medium. They won’t work in all homes due to wiring variations, but when wireless just can’t handle it, they may be your best alternatives (esp. MoCA, you get reliable speeds approaching ethernet wiring (100mbps)!, but it’s fairly expensive).
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March 27, 2011 6:29:24 PM

Thanks for your info. Sounds as if the wireless repeater is the best way to go and most inexpensive. I will check it out. Thanks again.
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October 29, 2011 2:16:05 AM

I'm actually in the same situation as Lady Avalon and I was sort of curious to see if I was going to have to buy a powerline or MoCa setup. Thankfully I used the Wikipedia link you shared and ended up taking a look at the options which would best fit my situation. Only trouble I'm having now is trying to determine if I can just buy a new antenna or just get a whole new setup which would work better. I guess a lot of the antennas and WAP point adapters or whatever they are called have their own limitations.

Also is it actually smarter to just go with CAT cables that are more traditional? I've been reading that you don't have a lot of the problems that are associated with the wireless networks, especially when it comes to security. Plus I don't think that a lot of the security firmware that comes with your router is actually that great just by looking at it. I looked up WEP keys and lots of people are saying that they really aren't that great. So maybe switching firmware is good? I don't know.

Anyways, thanks for helping me out - any more help would be appreciated regarding trying to find an antenna or a recommended extender. I've been looking at some of the featured brands on wifi repeater reviews and it seems like you can get some pretty good deals. I just am unsure if for my network, which I've hooked up with my television if a traditional extender will work or if I need a multimedia extender.

Thanks again
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October 30, 2011 2:11:33 PM

I have a similar setup at home and in my opinion for streaming video of any kind it is better on ethernet. I have a central server that will stream via serviio all my films/dvd to my xbox and internet TV.

Wifi is great for laptops but for serious file and video sharing cat5 wins hands down. The downsides to installing the cable are a much more reliable network and a faster connection. The only thing that can go wrong is a faulty cable or wrong IP address.

Wifi can be interrupted by a number of things : - your neighbors wifi, war drivers , cordless phones, micorwaves, walls.

I completed CCNA and WEP keys can be broken in 10mins......
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