Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Distributing internet throughout a house

  1. May 12, 2004 #1
    Hello guys, I've got a good question for you network pros out there.

    My parents are on the verge of completing their house they've been building for the past few years. It's been one hell of a long, tedious journey, but they are happy. The house was was being planned nearly 5 years ago, and has been being built ever since, and at the time they contacted a tech guy about doing the technology in the house.

    Anyway, for internet in the house, they wired the whole house with cat5 cable, so that there is cat5 outlets in the rooms. However, I want to know what they can do regarding wireless internet in their house.

    The house is three stories tall, and the first floor is cement or whatever (not wood). How could we get wireless internet throughout the house?

    I've been thinking, but I don't know much about wireless networks. Most likely, the internet connection for the house will be running into a central location, which will then be fed throughout the house on the cat5 cable.

    Could we attach wireless access points ( http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=33&scid=35&prid=608 [Broken] ) every few rooms into the ehternet connection, and have that distribute wireless internet throughout the house?

    Or is there a way to setup a bunch of repeaters in the house to make the signal get around the entire house (remember, we are talking about three stories of big house here)

    What do you think the best way to get the internet throughout the house is? Honestly, it doens't matter if the cat5 cable is used or not, we just want the absolute best way. There will be a handful of PCs in the house, and a couple of laptops. The laptops will of course be mobile in the house, so that is why we need the internet througout the house.

    Any suggestions? Thank you!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2004 #2
    I also live in a three-storey brick/cement house, and we have one wireless router on the middle floor. My desktop is on the top floor, and has a USB Adapter (Network Everywhere Brand), that receives signals from the router. We also have a notebook that is mobile which also has a USB adapter. I don't know about wireless access points though.
  4. May 12, 2004 #3
    Depending on what type of internet connection you are going to use (between DSL/Cable/T1 etc) make sure you have a telephone jack (for DSL) or coax connection (for cable) in the same room as your patch-panel. Your patch-panel will be in the room where all of the CAT5 runs meet. From there install your cable/DSL modem and go from that to a 12 to 24 port hub or switch (buy a switch if money isn’t an objective) then go from the hub/switch to each port in the patch-panel that will have a desktop connected to it. Also go from the hub/switch to an 802.11G wireless router.

    Install wireless NICS to your laptops and if the signal is week in an area you can install additional access points in any room that you have a CAT5 drop.

    For your desktops just use the CAT5 connections to your hub/switch, there is no reason to use a wireless connection for them unless you are going to mount a handle on the desktops and carry them around.

    Last edited: May 12, 2004
  5. May 12, 2004 #4
    So you can just install the wireless access points at any spot there is a cat5 drop? How does networking hardware cover "over-lap"?

    Thank you;)
  6. May 12, 2004 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    One good access point should do it. Mine is in the center room of my house, and I get a fairly decent signal about 40 feet away in my shop out back.

    Of course, with wireless net, the further you are from the AP, the slower the connection.

    If you wanted to ensure a good, high quality connection on each of the floors, installing an AP on each floor would be your best bet.

    My router/AP can be configured by hooking a computer up to it, then configuring all the settings. At this point, I can disconnect the pc, leaving the modem and router alone, and have wireless access.

    However, on the main connection you would probably want to setup a pc for a router. You can use an old pentium for cost effectiveness, run linux and hardly ever have to touch it.
  7. May 12, 2004 #6
    Most, if not all, routers/APs have web interfaces now so you can connect by just typing in the ip in a web browser.

    Use non overlapping channels if you need multiple APs and have a problem with interference... I think they are 1, 6, and 11.

    You should only need one though. Place it in the middle of the area where you plan on using your laptops the most. You don’t need to place it in the same room as your patch panel... just in a room that has a jack that goes to your patch panel.
  8. May 18, 2004 #7
    Since the wireless signal isn't going to go through the concrete floor/ceiling its probably a good idea to place the access point near to the stairs.
  9. May 21, 2004 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    hmm, mine goes through brick just fine, is there something fundamentally different from concrete and red bricks that prevents the signal from going through?
  10. May 25, 2004 #9


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Dunno, but my apartment is block and poured concrete and its a real nightmare(read: fun hobby for an engineer) getting wireless to work.
  11. May 27, 2004 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Well, I'm using the 11g, so maybe its a stronger signal. Radio waves (like the tv sound bands and AM/FM) pass through concrete, and that is essentially what the wireless standard is.

    Perhaps its due to the lower hz?
  12. May 27, 2004 #11
    Many wireless access points let you attach a larger external antenna for increased range.
  13. May 28, 2004 #12

    Well the 802.11 standard uses the 2.4ghz frequency (same as ham radio) and as far as I know that frequency does not penetrate solid walls too well. With all 802.11 products, the signal bounces around the house rather than going straight through the walls. Of course 802.11g's range is quite decent, so you'll find that it can get quite far (through doors and windows).

    In the end though, if you want to maximise your range you will want to put the access point close to the staircase since this will result in a more direct path when access from different floors.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook