Connecting TiVo, a computer, and two wireless routers
November 15, 2005 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Wireless networking: A TiVo, two wireless routers, and a computer walk into a bar...

Here's the situation: I have a wireless router (Netgear G - running DHCP) located on the top floor of our home. My computer is located on the bottom floor, and gets the wireless signal just fine. My TiVo with a Belkin USB wireless adapter is located a mere 15 feet away, and gets a very poor 7% signal. With this signal level, transferring shows to the computer with TiVo To Go takes hours and is practically useless. Streaming audio back to the TiVo is just as poor.

My proposed solution is to use an extra wireless router I have laying around (Linksys B). Ideally, it would hook up to my computer via ethernet, the TiVo would connect wirelessly to that Linksys access point, and good times will be had by all.

How can I use this to get the fastest transfers? I'm not sure how to set it up so my computer is still connected to the upstairs router, gets the IP from there, and can still work with the second router to get the TiVo connected. I'm assuming that my computer can have seperate IPs for each connection, but can I somehow use Internet Connection Sharing between the two without screwing that up? Creative solutions are welcome, particularly if there are no additional items to purchase.
posted by shinynewnick to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Most Linksys routers allow you to enable a repeater function on them, which you might try as a simple solution that doesn't require much configuration. You'd have to be plugged in once (turn off DHCP, natch) and set it to repeater, and place it somewhere downstairs near your computer. Since it's a powered device with a stronger antenna, it may be enough to get the TiVo a decent signal.

Since you're going to be piggy-backing off of your computer's wireless connection anyway, why not skip that element of things and save yourself the trouble, along with the potential latency issues?

Confession: I lied about it being a simple solution. However, it's not out of the question to convert your "consumer" Linksys router into a repeater. Here are two resources I found, and although the second one costs $20, it sounds more promising:
Use your router as a repeater (I'd try this first.)
Enterprise-Style Firmware

Good luck!
posted by disillusioned at 2:46 AM on November 16, 2005

TiVo2Go is inherently slow when it even works, so make sure the expected transfer speeds really ARE much more than you get right now i.e. this is worth investing time into.
posted by kcm at 4:51 AM on November 16, 2005

My experiences with TiVoToGo have been pretty decent. For medium-sized recordings, you're looking at roughly 45-50 minutes for a one-hour show. Not spectacular, but perhaps a wired ethernet adapter would be considerably faster. Not that that's an option for either of us, but I digress.
posted by disillusioned at 2:31 AM on November 17, 2005

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