(Linux) having trouble connecting Linux to internet/wifi

Hi,
Let me tell people this first: I have already invested in wireless usb wifi adapters and this has still not solved the problem. My internet at home is wireless. The modem is upstairs on the main floor while my office space and computers are downstairs. I want to install Ubuntu Linux on the highest-end desktop computer that I own. On one of the lower-end desktop computers I want to install FreeBSD on it. On the last desktop I want to install a Linux firewall on it, as I recently got hacked. My question is how to connect these devices to the wifi if the modem is upstairs while the usb wifi adapters don't seem to be resolving the problem. I can't obviously do the very long ethernet cable option either, as it's upstairs and downstairs. I live in a townhouse. My goal is to replace Windows 10 with all Linux distros on the desktops. For this I need a wireless internet connection. Thanks, and please help me find a solution to this problem.
 

Wrichik Basu

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My question is how to connect these devices to the wifi if the modem is upstairs while the usb wifi adapters don't seem to be resolving the problem.
For this, you need a WiFi extender. Here is a guide to installation of the gadget:
 
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LinuxMicrosoftMCSA said:
On the last desktop I want to install a Linux firewall on it, as I recently got hacked.
Can you expand on this? How was a system of yours "hacked"? What was the weak link in the chain?

Regarding your WiFi, if you think there might be a problem with your RF range, you can explore your coverage with your smartphone.
 
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My question is how to connect these devices to the wifi if the modem is upstairs while the usb wifi adapters don't seem to be resolving the problem.
If it's at all possible, I recommend hard-wiring the modem to both your computers. In my home, I originally had a wireless connection between the ISP modem and computer, but doubled or tripled the throughput when I went to a hard-wire ethernet connection. To do this, I had to run the cable down into the crawl space of my house, and then up to utility box I installed. From there, the cable runs to a KVM switch that is connected to my two computers. If the computers are desktop models, and running a physical cable is an option, it's much better than wireless, IMO.
 
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If it's at all possible, I recommend hard-wiring the modem to both your computers. In my home, I originally had a wireless connection between the ISP modem and computer, but doubled or tripled the throughput when I went to a hard-wire ethernet connection. To do this, I had to run the cable down into the crawl space of my house, and then up to utility box I installed. From there, the cable runs to a KVM switch that is connected to my two computers. If the computers are desktop models, and running a physical cable is an option, it's much better than wireless, IMO.
I concur with you on the preferability of hardware connections; they're usually much faster, and mostly more securable; however:
LinuxMicrosoftMCSA said:
"I can't obviously do the very long ethernet cable option either, as it's upstairs and downstairs.
In my view, "I can't obviously ..." doesn't necessarily (and logically shouldn't) have the same meaning as "Obviously I can't ...", but I think the latter ordering may accurately represent the intended meaning.

Like you I'm a user of KVM switches, and I tend to use one or another kind of cable in preference to WiFi, whenever such an option is available.
 
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I can't obviously do the very long ethernet cable option either, as it's upstairs and downstairs. I live in a townhouse.
The existing electrical power wires run from downstairs to upstairs, so if you can snake an ethernet cable down along one of those wires, you could make it work. For my application, I cut a hole in the wall, and put what's called a "new work" utility box in the opening to hold the ethernet junction gizmo. My ethernet cable runs from the main floor into the crawl space, and then back up to the main floor.
 

vela

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Let me tell people this first: I have already invested in wireless usb wifi adapters and this has still not solved the problem.
My question is how to connect these devices to the wifi if the modem is upstairs while the usb wifi adapters don't seem to be resolving the problem.
What specifically is the problem? Is it, as everyone seems to be assuming, that the wifi signal is too weak where the computers are? Or are you having problems with getting Linux to work with your computers' built-in wifi hardware and now with the USB wifi adapters? I'm suspecting it's the latter problem because you wrote...
My goal is to replace Windows 10 with all Linux distros on the desktops. For this I need a wireless internet connection.
How did the computers connect to your network when you ran Windows 10? I presume if was wifi, which would suggest to me, the problem isn't a weak signal.

If the problem is just limited wifi range, I'd say stop using the modem for wifi and invest in a mesh wifi system.
 

strangerep

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@LinuxMicrosoftMCSA: If the problem is indeed wifi range, you could also look into "ethernet over power line" devices? The modern ones (even entry-level) claim quite high throughput.
 
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My goal is to replace Windows 10 with all Linux distros on the desktops. For this I need a wireless internet connection.
How did the computers connect to your network when you ran Windows 10? I presume if was wifi, which would suggest to me, the problem isn't a weak signal.
My interpretation of what you quoted from @LinuxMicrosoftMCSA was that that the fact that Linux installs typically pull a lot of content from the net was imposing a new connectivity requirement.
If the problem is just limited wifi range, I'd say stop using the modem for wifi and invest in a mesh wifi system.
I think it's simple enough to use a WiFi-capable mobile phone to check the WiFi RF signal strengths and coverage areas. If your phone can use WiFi to access your home network while you're sitting next to your PC, but your PC can't, that would show that the problem is probably in the PC or its WiFi adapters. If that's the problem, I think the best way to address it would depend on the specifics. I echo your question:
What specifically is the problem?
 

Dr Transport

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When I set up my Linux box at home, I originally had a wifi connection, I found it problematic to connect, I ended up changing distros, so I ran a cat-5 cable 25 feet across my apartment and hooked both of my machines into a Ethernet box on my desk. Haven't had any issues since. On the other hand, I took a 10 year old netbook, stuck a thumb drive with the install packages for Debian 9.x in it and went to town, I never had a bit of trouble with that machine, still running on my house network halfway across the country.
 
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When I set up my Linux box at home, I originally had a wifi connection, I found it problematic to connect, I ended up changing distros, so I ran a cat-5 cable 25 feet across my apartment and hooked both of my machines into a Ethernet box on my desk. Haven't had any issues since. On the other hand, I took a 10 year old netbook, stuck a thumb drive with the install packages for Debian 9.x in it and went to town, I never had a bit of trouble with that machine, still running on my house network halfway across the country.
That's in my view an interesting anecdote, and I think it might well turn out to have been exactly on point, when more information is provided by @LinuxMicrosoftMCSA.

I think that your thumb drive distro may have been more complete than some [stub+download]-based Linux distros. It's quite conceivable that a CD-based such distro might at its stub stage not have the right drivers for a USB WiFi adapter that is being relied upon for the network connection necessary to do the downloads necessary for the completion of the full install.

I of course don't know exactly what you mean by "found it problematic to connect", but I presume it could have been related to a driver mismatch with the WiFi hardware being used in your Linux box. It could be that from a smaller startup distro a default driver was installed that wasn't an exact match could work well enough to get the install completed, and well enough to not get replaced during a more complete install, but not as reliably as a more exactly matched driver that would have been selected had a more complete distro been from the start available on local media.
 
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jtbell

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If you'd rather not string an Ethernet cable, you might try using your house wiring, via a pair of powerline network adapters.
 

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