Best Way to Set Up Wireless Network
Posted on 2009-02-10
I am looking for the best way to set up my home network. My house came with a "junction box" built into a wall in the basement, which contains cat5 cables to all of the data and phone ports in the various rooms of my house. The typical, intended setup, is for the cable modem and wireless router to reside in the box. I haven't been getting the best wireless connectivity or throughput, so I am concerned that the fact that the wireless router is in the basement, which surrounds it with cement and puts it at a distance from the first and second floors.
Here are 3 ideas I had for how to set up my network. I've identified the pros and cons. What I need from you is the experience to know which concerns are non issues and which are important. What will and will not have an impact? What should I optimize for with my choices?
1) cable modem, wireless router in basement
PROS: I can connect wired devices to the router that are not in the same room as it.
CONS: Wireless signal suffers from cement and distance from the first and second floors.
2) cable modem, wireless router on first floor
PROS:: Less distance and no cement blocking wireless signal.
CONS: The quality of the signal seen by the cable modem may suffer because of a few things: First, it would have to travel a further distance up a floor before hitting the modem. More importantly, it would have to go through some additional splitters. Right now, the main cable comes into an 8-way passive splitter and then one lead goes into the cable modem. In configuration #2, the signal would have to go through a splitter in the basement, go up a floor, then get split again so that it could feed the cable modem and the TV in that room.
3) cable modem and non-wireless-router downstairs, wireless router upstairs
PROS: max signal strength for the wireless. allows connection of wired devices that are in other rooms than the router. cable modem gets best possible signal.
CONS: Every computer has a second router to pass through. My speed testing with the tools at dslreports.com showed me how much worse throughput I got when going through my existing router versus plugging directly into the cable modem.
So which concerns will dwarf the others? What is the best option above (or do you have a better option?) and *why*? Please justify your answers with experience and data.
By the way, I have a Linksys wireless-g router now, but I am considering buying an 802.11 draft-n router. The new laptop I'm getting will have the Intel WiFi Link 5100 802.11 AGN card.
Thanks so much for your help.