Advice please to get decent wireless in lounge

  Rockarch 18:03 21 Nov 2010

I'm running a small wired & wireless network with a router in a home office at the bottom of the house. The lounge is one floor up and I'd like to be able to use a laptop or netbook in there wirelessly but the signal is rubbish slow.

Have been doing some research & now confused. I like the idea of the homeplug gadgets that run through the electric system but the only one I can find that is a wireless one is by devolo and gets poor reviews.
Could someone tell me what my options are and suggest what might work well? I wouldn't mind having another router type gadget in the lounge if this is what's needed.

The main router is supplied by the ISP, its a Thomson one running on latest firmware, and all pcs on the network run XP.

Thanks in advance for your help

  Jollyjohn 19:00 21 Nov 2010

Treat yourself to a decent router - the Thomson ones supplied are quite poor.
I swapped from a Thomson to D Link and the signal strength went from dropping out to good or very good with nothing else having changed.

If even with a new router the signal strength does not improve then you could use wired homeplugs and connect a second router in the lounge as a wireless access point.

  Rockarch 19:20 21 Nov 2010

If I connected with wired homeplugs and then a second router would it run as a separate wireless network or would it still be part of the same network? And what exactly would I need - is it a wireless access point or a router and what's the difference?

I know the Thomson routers arn't great but my experience is that the ISP support won't help if there is an issue and you are using a different router to the one they supply.

  mgmcc 20:16 21 Nov 2010

If you want to go down the Homeplug route, but not use a "wireless" Homeplug, you should connect a Wireless Access Point to the remote Homeplug.

If you were to use a Cable/DSL Router and connect its WAN port (RJ45 ethernet) to the Homeplug, you would have two separate networks which would need to be in different Subnets. You could, of course, connect to one of the router's LAN ports, disable its DHCP server and use it as a basic Network Switch and Wireless Access Point, but it makes more sense to get the proper hardware in the first place.

>>> is it a wireless access point or a router and what's the difference?

A Wireless Access Point is, as its name suggests, a device which provides access by Wireless Network Adapters to a wired network.

A Wireless Router (which incorporates a Wireless Access Point) is primarily intended to allow multiple computers to have simultaneous internet access via a single ISP connection.

  Rockarch 20:48 21 Nov 2010

Thanks for the suggestions both to Jollyjohn & mgmcc - I don't really know what to do.

Mgmcc - are you also suggesting that I should first change the router and see if that improves the signal strength of the wireless network?

If I got wired homeplugs and plugged in the laptop in the lounge using an ethernet cable would the laptop then be on the same network rather than making a new one?

Sorry for these elementary questions but other than setting up a basic network I don't have much knowledge or experience in this area.

  mgmcc 23:03 21 Nov 2010

I wasn't making any recommendation about changing the existing router. I was only suggesting that, if you want "wireless" connectivity in the remote location, you plug a Wireless Access point into the Homeplug.

Connecting the Laptop to the Homeplug by ethernet cable would keep it in the same network.

  Rockarch 08:07 22 Nov 2010

Thanks for the clarification.

Is there any other option that would somehow boost or extend the range of the wireless signal from the existing router, not using the homeplug system?

  mgmcc 08:30 22 Nov 2010

There are wireless range extenders, but I have no experience of their use and so cannot advise about them.

  Rockarch 10:23 22 Nov 2010

I think I might get one of these that would seem to give a wired and wireless option. Turns out the poor reviews I found initially are for an older model.

click here

Any observations or comments?

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