Computer Network Solutions for a Basement?
August 1, 2012 8:58 AM Subscribe
How do I get internet access into a finished basement?
posted by Betelgeuse to Computers & Internet (26 answers total)
I've been spinning this around in my head for a while and I figured I'd ask here to see if anyone has any bright ideas.
I recently moved my desk (and desktop computer) down to our finished basement. Everything is great about this except for internet access. I currently have a wireless bridge (an Asus WL520-GU running DD-WRT) connecting this computer to my main wireless router. The problem is that, since it's in a finished basement, the signal strength is awful. If I get the router and bridge placed just right (and stand on my head during a full moon), I'm just barely able to get up to 20% signal strength. This makes the bandwidth to my computer awful.
So far, I've thought of 4 possible solutions, each of which have possible drawbacks.
First, I could get a larger antenna for the wireless bridge. Does anyone have any experience with the larger antennas? Do they actually *do* anything?
Second, I could get a new wireless router that has a bigger range. Any experience with this? Any model recommendations?
Third, I could look at hard wiring the basement. There is a phone jack right next to the computer that I'm not using. But, wouldn't you know it, it's Cat 3 cable and it appears to not be free inside the walls (making it impossible to use the Cat 3 to pull Cat 5/6). Really?! In an addition built in 2006, who doesn't pull Cat 5/6?!?! Sigh . . . Any suggestions here? Can I use Cat 3 for ethernet? What are the speed limitations?
Fourth, I've thought of the Powerline adapters. The only thing holding me back here is that the throughput isn't supposed to be great (100 Mbps on a good day) and, more significantly, the finished basement and the part of the house with the main router are on different circuit breaker boxes (is this an issue? I can't seem to find any definitive answers online). Any experience here? Have folks had success with this Powerline adapters?
OK. Anything else I'm missing? Any brilliant solutions that I haven't thought of yet?