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Second wifi access point on home LAN

by bockbeta / August 3, 2004 12:43 AM PDT

How do I add a second WAP on my home LAN? Do I simply have to run Cat5 between the DSL modem and the two WAPs or do I run Cat5 between the primary WAP and the 2nd WAP? My situation is that I will have the primary WAP in the basement office, but I found that my Linksys B/G won't give me a good signal one floor up in the kicthen where I want the 2nd WAP. I am building a new house, so now is the time for me to run the Cat cable if needed. The builder will charge me big-time to pull wire (won't let me do it), but is their any other way? Replies appreciated

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See one of the help forums for the best answer
by RB2D2 / August 3, 2004 1:22 AM PDT
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Re: Second wifi access point on home LAN
by C1ay / August 3, 2004 1:32 AM PDT

In short, you'll need a multiport network switch at the modem (unless the modem includes one). From the switch you can run multiple Cat5 cables to other parts of the house for wall jacks. To any of these wall jacks you can add additional access points.

HTH,
Clay

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Re: Second wifi access point on home LAN
by Dick White / August 3, 2004 2:19 AM PDT

Bock, welcome to CNet's help forums in general and the Speakeasy forum in particular. Typically here in Speakeasy we mostly ramble and rant about sex, politics, and religion - all the things we aren't permitted to discuss in polite company...

While the techical forums are probably better places to get an answer to your specific question, let me give a few observations from my experience with WLANs. I feel your pain with the spotty signal in a distant part of the house, however my personal advice is don't put a second WAP in. Multiple WAPs (including the "range extenders") on a network are technically feasible, but you have to work at keeping the coverage zones from overlapping too much. When a client system, particularly one running Windows XP, is in a spot with more than one reasonable signal, it could get confused about which access point it should tune to. With the XP zero configuration utility running, your system will disconnect and reconnect every minute on the dot as it polls the several available signals trying to decide which is the strongest signal - not a pleasant sight if you are trying to maintain connectivity for even casual web surfing.

If I were in your shoes, I would cough for the CAT5 wiring in the new house while the walls are still accessible. Wireless is great, but it is limited both as to coverage (which you've already experienced) and as to network speed, which you may not have noticed because even the slowest wireless transfer rates are faster than typical DSL or cable modem speeds. However, if you ever want to transfer large files between computers in the house or - and this is still very futuristic - start transferring multimedia (video and audio) from one part of the house to another, you will have much better results with the wired systems. If you can, put the infrastructure in place now.

Finally, back to your original problem of spotty coverage... For a few dollars (or even free if you have some of the right stuff just laying around in your garage...) you can boost and focus the signal strength of your current wireless unit. Usually, with a little tweaking and repositioning things slightly, you can penetrate those dark zones. Here is one article that may help.

http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template/index.html

Hope this helps, and welcome to CNet.
dw

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A pat on the back for you, ****!
by RB2D2 / August 3, 2004 2:50 AM PDT

What a fantastic, thoughtful and helpful reply. I'm not used to seeing that. Often times the helpers in the help forums can be short and rude. Sad

.

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Re: A pat on the back for you, ****!
by bockbeta / August 3, 2004 3:51 AM PDT

Wow, thank you everyone. I think I will run the Cat5 and try the reflector at the same time. This way I have two options.

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