DSL Modems - more than one??
March 31, 2009 6:27 PM   Subscribe

DSL Modem question, and possibly a really stupid question at that. Can you use two DSL modems in different rooms of the house on separate phone jacks?

For example, one DSL modem upstairs, another downstairs on the same phone line, but a different jack?

I have a wireless router set up on the upper level of the house but the signal in the basement is flaky to say the least and I'm not really tech-savvy enough to set up repeaters or whatever else I need and this sounded, in theory at least, like a possible solution.
posted by 543DoublePlay to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not on the same phone line, no. If you had two lines running to the house, and put the second modem on its own line, yes.
posted by kindall at 6:35 PM on March 31, 2009

Even if it did work (which it won't), your ISP would see you logged on more than once and probably suspend your account. A repeater is what you want, or possibly just run some CAT5 down to the basement.
posted by AndrewStephens at 6:38 PM on March 31, 2009

Or move the DSL modem you have to a jack at a lower level and move the wireless router somewhere in the middle of the house.
posted by Brockles at 7:00 PM on March 31, 2009

If for whatever reason you can't run CAT5 cable to the basement, you can use something like these to make your network available over your own power lines. I have a very old house, and didn't want to run ethernet, so I used these instead to link the room with the DSL modem to the basement and another room. They work reasonably well.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:39 PM on March 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you don't want to pay the extra expense of a second line/second DSL account, you could also try upgrading the firmware of your router. The FREE DD-WRT and Tomato variants are popular for Linksys routers and the cliche is that they can make a $60 router perform like a $600 router.

FWIW, I've used both of these at different times (currently using DDWRT on one and TOMATO on another - I have two separate networks) and love them. Both routers could barely push a weak signal around my concrete block home with the factory firmware fully up to date. Both DDWRT and Tomato give me full signal strength and quality from the same hardware, from the exact same location in the house as previously.

Worth a shot before running cable or paying more for a service. You can always revert back to the original firmware if you prefer it later.
posted by emjay at 7:58 PM on March 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

1. Setting up a network is easy.
2. A simple solution is to run a network cable (cat5, cat5e, cat6 or whatever you can get 150' worth or so - any home depot type place.
3. You can probably run the cable down a return air duct. Just silicone up any holes you make in the duct.
4. Get a second wireless router downstairs. Then all you do is give it a different channel, name, and put it in access point mode (essentially just run the new network cable from upstairs into a WAN port.) This will just make the wireless router downstairs work as a wireless access point, all DHCP duties will be done upstairs by the original router. Then just connect to the new access point name (basement) when you're downstairs. If you carry a laptop between upstairs and down, there will be a point where you have to switch wireless networks (though it may do it automagically if the signal from the upstairs one is zero).

I don't know if this is clear, please ask, or memail.
posted by defcom1 at 8:04 PM on March 31, 2009

I second emjay on Tomato, it's great.
posted by defcom1 at 8:05 PM on March 31, 2009

Run an Ethernet cable, like defcom1 said. It's cheaper than two subscriptions, & you won't have issues with roaming from one connection to the other - switching would interrupt any downloads, for instance. Also, downstairs computers wouldn't talk to the upstairs computers, so there's no sharing of media libraries.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:28 PM on March 31, 2009

You can run an ethernet cable as some have suggested or try powerline networking. If youre going to run a cable I would keep the same SSID, different channel, same encryption/password and your laptops will do roaming automagically. You would want to disable all routing functions and use that second wireless access point strictly as an access point.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:50 AM on April 1, 2009

« Older Suggestions for a visit to Dublin and Berlin?   |   Me: 'Logic logic logic.' Mom: 'WHARRGARBL' Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.