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figuring out home network

Right now my router and modem are located in the office where I have a wired connection to my desktop. I'd like to move the router, maybe 15 feet or so down the hallway to improve wireless connection in the living room. Basically move the router to a more centralized location in the house.

I still want to keep the wired connection to the desktop though. Assuming I keep the modem in the office, is there a way to make this work besides running 15 feet of ethernet cable to the new location of the router and then another 15 feet of ethernet cable back to the desktop?
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  1. The best way would be to use a PowerLine adapter.

    Or alternatively you could use a range extender such as the WN1000RP to extend the signal.
  2. pabuffon said:
    Assuming I keep the modem in the office, is there a way to make this work besides running 15 feet of ethernet cable to the new location of the router and then another 15 feet of ethernet cable back to the desktop?


    If you have somewhere convenient to run the cables, that might be the easiest and least expensive option. Cable tends to be cheap and reliable, and if you're running one cable to that central location, it's not really any harder to run two.
  3. There are loads of ways to do this, it really depends on how neat you want things to be and whether you're prepared to spend any money to tidy things up a bit.

    Were you planning on running one cable between the modem and router anyway? If that was your plan, I'd honestly just run two instead and put one back to your desktop. Do two cables really look less tidy than one? Run carefully with a few cheap cable ties I can't see why two cables would be noticeably worse than one. A single network cable is good for 300ft under most circumstances, so there's literally no impact on performance or latency whatsoever. That'd be my option.

    A range extended is a completely wire free option, but I haven't had great experiences with range extenders. YMMV of course.
    As @hamperking suggests, you could run a powerline adapter back to the desktop... but that's extra equipment and points of failure and the only plus is that it allows you to run one ethernet cable instead of two. I don't really get the benefit.
    If you really are wedded to running one cable only, a more robust solution is probably to pick up a cheap router with a couple of LAN ports which you leave in your office and which maintains your Internet connection, DHCP/DNS etc, and acts as a switch for you ethernet-connected desktop. You can then run your single cable to the wireless unit in the more centralised location, which you set up to function as a simple access point.

    Final question. What's your current wireless router? Because 15ft isn't all that far. Newer wifi standards (like Wireless AC) and higher end units with better antennas usually provide significantly better coverage than cheaper units, or even older high end units. You *might* find that just upgrading to a newer wireless router would give you the coverage you need without having to run cables or extenders at all.
  4. rhysiam said:
    There are loads of ways to do this, it really depends on how neat you want things to be and whether you're prepared to spend any money to tidy things up a bit.

    Were you planning on running one cable between the modem and router anyway? If that was your plan, I'd honestly just run two instead and put one back to your desktop. Do two cables really look less tidy than one? Run carefully with a few cheap cable ties I can't see why two cables would be noticeably worse than one. A single network cable is good for 300ft under most circumstances, so there's literally no impact on performance or latency whatsoever. That'd be my option.

    A range extended is a completely wire free option, but I haven't had great experiences with range extenders. YMMV of course.
    As @hamperking suggests, you could run a powerline adapter back to the desktop... but that's extra equipment and points of failure and the only plus is that it allows you to run one ethernet cable instead of two. I don't really get the benefit.
    If you really are wedded to running one cable only, a more robust solution is probably to pick up a cheap router with a couple of LAN ports which you leave in your office and which maintains your Internet connection, DHCP/DNS etc, and acts as a switch for you ethernet-connected desktop. You can then run your single cable to the wireless unit in the more centralised location, which you set up to function as a simple access point.

    Final question. What's your current wireless router? Because 15ft isn't all that far. Newer wifi standards (like Wireless AC) and higher end units with better antennas usually provide significantly better coverage than cheaper units, or even older high end units. You *might* find that just upgrading to a newer wireless router would give you the coverage you need without having to run cables or extenders at all.


    I like the cable idea because it is the simplest and cheapest solution. If I go this route I'll try to hide the cables in some way ( I rent right now so going into the walls is not an available solution).

    The router I have right now is a TP-Link C50, which is AC, but is on the cheaper end of the router spectrum. Would upgrading this router help achieve a larger range of WiFi service in the house? I have toyed with the idea of upgrading this router anyway in order to install dd-wrt onto a compatible router for additional features like ad blocking and openvpn. Though this would be a more expensive option, > $100 vs. $15 or less for the cables.
  5. Best answer
    pabuffon said:
    I like the cable idea because it is the simplest and cheapest solution. If I go this route I'll try to hide the cables in some way ( I rent right now so going into the walls is not an available solution).

    The router I have right now is a TP-Link C50, which is AC, but is on the cheaper end of the router spectrum. Would upgrading this router help achieve a larger range of WiFi service in the house? I have toyed with the idea of upgrading this router anyway in order to install dd-wrt onto a compatible router for additional features like ad blocking and openvpn. Though this would be a more expensive option, > $100 vs. $15 or less for the cables.

    While those mid-range TP-Link routers are pretty cheap, I believe they're actually very capable from a range and throughput perspective. I don't think you'd get substantially better coverage from a higher end unit. Unfortunately one of the issues with wifi is that it's very difficult to predict with any certainty. My hunch is that a higher end unit isn't going to dramatically increase the usable range... but I could be wrong. The only way to know for sure is to try it, and unless you're prepared to spend $150 (probably more) on a possibility, I don't think it's worth the risk.

    Use some cable ties. You can always paint the cables to match the walls too. There are also things like adhesive cable clips which - as long as you can get them off again without destroying the walls - might help you keep it tidy. I do think just running two cables is a good solution.
  6. rhysiam said:
    pabuffon said:
    I like the cable idea because it is the simplest and cheapest solution. If I go this route I'll try to hide the cables in some way ( I rent right now so going into the walls is not an available solution).

    The router I have right now is a TP-Link C50, which is AC, but is on the cheaper end of the router spectrum. Would upgrading this router help achieve a larger range of WiFi service in the house? I have toyed with the idea of upgrading this router anyway in order to install dd-wrt onto a compatible router for additional features like ad blocking and openvpn. Though this would be a more expensive option, > $100 vs. $15 or less for the cables.

    While those mid-range TP-Link routers are pretty cheap, I believe they're actually very capable from a range and throughput perspective. I don't think you'd get substantially better coverage from a higher end unit. Unfortunately one of the issues with wifi is that it's very difficult to predict with any certainty. My hunch is that a higher end unit isn't going to dramatically increase the usable range... but I could be wrong. The only way to know for sure is to try it, and unless you're prepared to spend $150 (probably more) on a possibility, I don't think it's worth the risk.

    Use some cable ties. You can always paint the cables to match the walls too. There are also things like adhesive cable clips which - as long as you can get them off again without destroying the walls - might help you keep it tidy. I do think just running two cables is a good solution.


    Perfect solution, I bought two 25 ft cat6 cables and moved my router. My desktop is still connected via ethernet and my entire house now has excellent wifi access!
  7. pabuffon said:
    Perfect solution, I bought two 25 ft cat6 cables and moved my router. My desktop is still connected via ethernet and my entire house now has excellent wifi access!

    Glad you got it sorted. That does sound like the cheapest and most robust solution.
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