[Durham] Extending a WIFI home network

Dougie Nisbet dougie at highmoor.co.uk
Thu Mar 13 12:35:40 UTC 2014

Well I've got to do it. I'm not sure quite how yet.

Scenario is my parents-in-law's flat in Southport. So any advice that
involves hacking, checking, tweaking,
just-do-this-setting-if-that-setting-doesn't-work-ing, isn't going to be
enormously useful because of the distance.

The ADSL router and desktop PC is in a small office. I want wifi in the
living room. The current wifi sometimes just about reaches, but not enough
to be useful.

The ADSL router is a Netgear DG834G (This one http://amzn.to/1klSNUl )

Ideally I'd run some CAT5 from office to living-room, fit a socket, and add
a WAP. I think this is the best and most reliable solution. But, fitted
carpets, drilling holes, you can see the problem...

So wifi-repeaters? From what I've read they massively degrade throughput
(up to 50%), but, more to the point, they appear to be prone to
unreliability and compatibility problems.

Likewise with wifi-extenders that use the home electrical circuit. This on
the face of it seems a quick and elegant solution, and products such as
this: http://amzn.to/1klSBVl

... BUT ...

The more I read the more it sounds problematic.

The main problem sounds like being Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) -
particularly the fact that this particular Netgear router (DG834G) doesn't
appear to have it. There is some conflicting information on the web but it
seems that older models (of which I think mine is) does not have WPS. And
it seems to me that wifi-exenders such as http://amzn.to/1klSBVl need it.

One other approach I thought of was to move the router to another telephone
socket (in the hall) and use a wifi-dongle on the desktop PC to connect.
But instinct is that this wouldn't be a great solution. It's not a big flat
- the problem is just the lines-of-sight for the signals are pretty much
the same as along the internal walls.

If I thought buying a more modern router with a beefier signal would do the
trick I'd also consider that. But I'm not convinced that would work and
it's a risky expense if it doesn't.

I'm not quite sure how to proceed with this one but would be interested to
hear any other thoughts or suggestions. Perhaps there's a solution that
hasn't occurred to me?


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