Setting up a network

I currently have a network that is your basic out of the box network. I have a phone line going to a router which is connected to all the computers, wireless and hard wired.

I am about to move into a much bigger house, that also has a studio apartment over the garage. Now the studio itself is apart from the house, but is still connected, and I would assume in range of any router. Although with possible speed hits.

So here are my questions, and or wishes. I do not know if any of this is possible without going into serious IT mode, but being that i am not very knowledgable about networking, I dont want to get too complicated, so I hope there are some easy work arounds.

The house is big, but not huge, I could give you square footage but I dont have that right now. I can add it later if it is extremely important.

1. I need the network to reach the whole house. Should I invest in two wireless routers? or a signal booster, or a relay of somekind?

Does the relay work wirelessly? or would it have to be hard wired?

2. There will be two hard wired desktops, two laptops, phones, three bluray players. Obviously they wont be connected all the time, except the desktops. I currently own a d-link-628 (I believe) do I need to upgrade to a different router? 2 routers?

Currently this router, handles two wired, 1 bluray, 1 laptop wireless, and a few phones.

3. I currently have my main desktop with external hard drives for backup, and extra storage. I would like these to be available for all the desktops to use as storage, as well as backing up the computers.

I dont want to leave my computer on all the time, so is there a way to hook the external drives to a router or soemthing that will always be available to anyone on the network without my computer being on?

Is there a way to have all the computers remotely backup? or is it easier to just have a dedicated hard drive for each computer? My mother in law will be staying in the apartment for some time, so having her connect her laptop to an external drive is like... well her head might explode. So I need to keep it as simple as possible. If I cant then, well I will either have to back hers up myself from time to time, or see if her head explodes. Here is to hoping I can just back up remotely.

How do I make this functional? Or is it too complicated for a non network guy. Am I looking at buying servers, and racks, and other.... things that i have no idea about?

I am pretty computer savvy so Its not like I dont know anything, and can handle some technical talk. So dont feel like it has to be incredibly simple explanations.

I know this was probably a little long winded and possibly confusing because I dont really know how to ask the questions properly, or if I am saying something that makes no sense I apologize, but I will learn from your comments and suggestions.

So if things need to be clarified more, I will happily try to fill in any holes of information if necessary.
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  1. oh and the operating systems are windows. One XP computer which may or may not make the move. Unless it can be used maybe as a server somehow.

    1 windows 7 and possibly 1 win 7 or 8

    the phones are all apple.
  2. Well,

    perhaps I am not asking the correct questions.

    I just read an article on lifehacker about using an old computer as a server with ubuntu to hold all my media files, as well as using another application to back up.

    The article is here:

    Is this a good idea or no? Has anyone tried it and is works, or is there some other method I should use to backup the array of computers I will suddenly have at my house.

    Also, if I have a modem, and a router that is hard wired and wireless, to extend the range would I need to get another wireless router? or is there a hub or a switch that can also use wireless signals and report to the router? or is that too messy and confusing and I am going about this the wrong way?

    any info is useful
  3. when creating a wireless bridge between two routers, is that the limit or can you have three or more routers doing the same thing?
  4. this thread must be poison
  5. hard questions I have asked... yes
  6. tight
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