A Dilemma

A little dilemma,

Currently my network setup is a Netgear WNDR3700v3 that feeds my hard wired 3 desktops, 2 network printers and a PS3 (yes I have a Cisco 10/100/1000 switch) I wireless feed 2 laptops, 2 blu-ray players 3 IPODS, Kindle and an IPAD. My media center is a network receiver another blu-ray player and a WD Live Hub. These get feed through a wireless adapter Trendnet TEW-647GA. This hook into the switch on the back of my receiver and then goes to my other two devices. Everything is not on at the same time!

The Problem:
The media center is down stairs and the router is up stairs. The wireless reception downstairs is good, even a good two bars at my neighbors house further away and more walls to go through. When I transfer files downstairs I only get 2 - 4 MBs when I should be getting at least 10 MBs if not more. When I stream Netflix it’s I get HD sometimes and others times I am buffering while the adapter is saying the reception is good ( all blue lights ).

Hard wire the downstairs. This would be best but the wife factor comes into play hard ( I might make the news, “man dies for networking home” ) This would also be most cost effective, I can do it for under $50usd. I have to drill through the floor into the garage through the water heater closet into the storage closet and into the family room. A day job I would need the wife away for the day.

Power line, I don’t know about this too much but the wife acceptance is high

Add an antenna. How the “F” do I put an antenna on a router that has all internal antenna??

Get a different adapter for downstairs. I tried a Netgear adapter Best Buy pushed on me and that was a POS. The Trendnet is a lot better.

A new router, That would suck I kind of like this router, first one I have owned that I don’t have to reboot every week to month. I have had the same transfer speeds with Netgear WNDR4000 ( daily reboots returned to Fry’s ) D-Link 655 ( fried after 5 months ) Linksys E2500 ( good and stable but slooooooow ) Now I have the WNDR 3700v3 ( nice but the same transfer speed .

So I would like to transfer my 4gb movies and watch my Netflix in HD with some stable speed. Streaming my Pandora without hick-up would be a joy. I was thinking about trying DD-WRT firmware to crank the signal to max.

What would you do?


[B]Option 1.[/B] Try a PowerLine Kit. Go to a local store - so you can return it if it doesn’t work out of the box. The 200mbs varieties are well-tested, the 500s are not - so the well-tested has the best chance of working at better speeds.

If you have a notebook that has an Off-On Switch for wireless, it will be a great tester for you. Turn off it’s wireless, and we’ll go ‘wired’ for this test.

Plug in the Host Powerline into a bare wall-outlet - not to a power strip - and connect the Ethernet into your switch. Then, in the same room, plug in the Receiver unit, and it’s Ethernet will go into your now-certain wireless computer. Power up, and see if you have an Internet connection.

If so, then unplug that computer, take the Receiver unit and take both to the next room. Plug 'em in, and see how that works. Good? Then change floors and see what happens.

You want to ‘stairstep’ your way to your final destination because PowerLines are much like Wireless - there will be a limit of functionality based on wiring, circuit breakers, etc, instead of Lead Shielded Refrigs, Microwaves, etc.

Assuming all goes well, NOW you might decide, “Should I try the more sensitive 500mbs units?” At least with the 200mbs working, your household electricals pass their test. If the 500s fail, it’s THEIR higher intolerance for line-noise on the power-lines.

If the PowerLines don’t work, they will fail to connect. Wait 3-4 minutes, maybe 5 per CONNECT attempt. Normally, even a minute is ‘enough’ but some multi-floor houses do take longer. And then some just never connect.

PowerLines have the nice feature of Working or Not-Working. Settings can sometimes affect speed, but generally not - it’s a “It works” or “It doesn’t” kind of technology.

[B]2. Hardwire the place.[/B] Tell the wife she won the trip to Hawaii. Or at least LaJolla. Coronado may not take enough time! If you can do punch-down plates, she might not even notice!

[B]3. Antennas.[/B] You’re probably looking at range-extenders, which means finding those with a cooperative radio-chip like your wireless units have. What a pain. Then there’s all the security settings - take those off, first, and then install all the range-extenders, get the sub-nets and gateways matching, etc. Get the connections. Now, set back up security, one by one. Yawn. Hand me the drill…I’d rather do punch-downs and drillings…

@Christine , I haven’t done any Powerline kits but was wondering if the transmitter & receiver were kept on the same circuit .
Does this work better ?
I ask because this would keep the signal from running through a circuit breaker .
BTW the way I’m not a newbie with wiring electrical circuits I installed a new heavier duty breaker box last year . The old one was having age problems.
I also thought the better quality (higher amp) outlets might make the Power line work better.
Maybe a couple of new breakers if it does need to go through the breaker box. Maybe one step up in amperage 15 amp to 20 amp for example.

Maybe I will give power line a try. Our house is newer built in 2000. I that don’t work I will have to wait for the wife to be working on a Saturday to just drill the holes and hard wire it.

Powerline questions. “Same circuit” is every manufacturer’s claim for superior operations, but practical experience is scattered - sometimes old wiring feeding new circuits is better, sometimes it’s the opposite. Sometimes, it’s difficult to determine why one room works and a plug 10 feet away, facing into another room, doesn’t.

“Try it and see” remains the only answer. When we see “kits” show up in the $75 range, we usually pick up a few. $100-125 is common.

Another good thing - our units seem to live and live. If they work, they don’t die, although I’m sure a lightning strike will take of them quite easily - and there’s no protecting them, either.

I’m not sure how this would affect PowerLine Kit’s but it would offer surge protection without needing one at outlets.
Of course additional ones at outlets are good extra protection where they can be used.

Whole House TVSS Suppressors for Service Entrance:

I don’t have my house set up this way but it is something to think about.

I have given Power Line networking a go. I went to best buy and grabbed these http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Actiontec+-+500+Mbps+Powerline+Home+Theater+Network+Adapter+Kit/5215483.p?id=1218625358741&skuId=5215483&st=powerline networking&cp=1&lp=10
Good reviews so It’s just a 5 minute drive to return them. First I tried them in the computer room. green lights, I moved it downstairs and the amber link light comes on. I tried every outlet in the computer room and no go to the media center. It was with the amber light getting a file transfer of about 5-6 MBs a little faster than wireless. I moved it to my son’s room which is hard wired and all green lights. File transfer is 8-9 MBs which is good much better than wireless. I had to run back to Best Buy and get a switch, I only have one hard wire running into my son’s room. Final cost is about $80. I could have saved $10 if I only got a 10/100 switch but I like gigabit.
I did a test with a 50’ cable and ran it down the stairs to the WD Live hub and was only getting a transfer of 9-10 MBs so these can almost feed the thing at its top speed. I wish WD would have hooked it up with a gigabit port its only 10/100

Jeepers - $50 for a kit?!! Outstanding. Check around on NewEgg or Amazon and see what the price for a single Receiver is, too. If they’re sub-$40, it would probably be worthwhile to pick up one extra. (Or heck, an extra kit entirely, that’s what I’m thinking for my own inventory closet!)

You might find that a New Receiver gets a boost from Receiver #1, even, as if the “Room Too Far” is now within reach.

Multiple Host Units really mess things up, by the way. There are ways to use them as true Booster-Extenders, but I’ve never done that successfully. I had the feeling I was creating a microwave environment - same frequency waves, colliding together, creating heat. Poof!

Moving into gigabit switches… good luck. It’s another “crap shoot” arena, to me. When I get new ones, I replace my trusty unit with the newbie, and live with it for a few weeks. If I get any dropped connections, then I know I’ve got a bad (or at least less good) unit. They don’t improve with age, either - I try to return them within 3 weeks or mark them “bad” and have them collect dust. Maybe they’ll be better when fossilized?

Just an update to this old thread,

I have been using power line for over a year and recently I thought one went bad internet kept dropping. so I picked up some good ones from the egg and was still getting drops. turns out whenever the washer was in spin mode it would suck the juice out of the line and the internet downstairs would drop.
For my birthday my mom gave me a Lowes gift card (nice mommy) So I go and buy a 1k’ box of cat5e (Coleman Cable/Signal) and yes 3 semesters of CISCO and A+ I know how to make a 568B.
I split from work @ noon and got started took me two hours to get the job done. I picked up a switch from Fry’s for $20 http://www.frys.com/product/7583476?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG (price match New Egg).

So I start to test.
From my PC to a laptop with an SSD I got 105MBs, Speed test was 38 down and 8 up same as my desktop. Netflix is full HD with great Dolby digital 5.1 audio. File transfer to my WD media center hub . 12.5MBs (great I put in gigabit and all AV gear is 10/100)

Now the kicker. My son comes home from school and says my wire job looks like crap. I look at it and yes it does. now I have to wait for the wife to work late again and I know about it to redo it. No problem with the cable I only used 200’.

“Wire job looks like crap”? That’s why God invented carpet edges. And He also invented those little screw-in Cup Holders, which make handy under-a-desk or ceiling-corner cable-hangers (but so does masking tape and those wire twisties).

Of course, He also might route cables thru the overhead, down thru walls, install new drop-outs and punch-downs. That takes a bit o’ prayer for me, though. “What’dya mean the hole in in the wall is too big? I can get thru it fine!” God invented sheetrockers and re-plasterers, too. I just know it.

In the garage I did not follow the edge and corners. There is nice blue cat5 going across the middle of the garage and strait down to the middle of the water heater closet. from there on I did a good job. I am going to take a nooner today and get it done right.

I recently wired my wirless router from the front door cabinet to into the living room. While the last couple of meters are still Wireless, all my Wifi equipment now has no barriers to go through. And I’m so happy I did it, internet is much faster and stable now! So worth the effort it took (made a couple of mistakes with the connector on the cable and the length of the cable (found out we missed a 50 cm after we were nearly done :slight_smile: )

We often run a wireless router off of a PowerLine Receiver.

In many houses - as MrL’s first experiments illustrated - one or two rooms’ away work, but Room 3 doesn’t. So, the Powerline goes on the furthest successful ‘reach’ and then we plug (the Cat5-6) in the wireless router. And that gives superior wireless reception for the rooms beyond.

Bright blue doesn’t sound bad. String up Christmas lights… maybe a piñata… offer to string up the household complainers… ha ha

One day, I’ll have to learn about the MoCA setups - using existing coax instead of Cat5-6 cabling.

Well I took a nooner and got the job done right like a pro. A friend who does Verizon installs gave me a box of General Cable in beige to use won’t stand out like the blue. Total used was 180 feet. Used wall plates in every place it passed through a wall and lots of cable staples. ran the cable up at the top of the wall in the garage used a cover strip in the water heater closet. TJ tech work corrected. Can’t see it unless you are looking for it.
Speed test and file transfer are the same as the Lowes cable. Took me two hours the first time and 3 & 1/2 this time and had no drilling to do.

Now what do I do with 800 feet of CAT5E?