Sunday, June 27, 2010

So Busy!

The past couple of months have been super busy for me. We moved into a much larger apartment and we had two different sets of family come visit us recently, so my free time has been sparse!

I did want to talk a little bit about the obstacles I ran into when setting up the network throughout the new apartment and ensuring that the Internet penetrated every room of the new place.

Our apartment complex was built back in the early 1960s and the construction materials used then were a lot less wireless friendly, so I got the Linksys E3000 in anticipation of this move, and it works perfectly, but the 802.11-N 5GHz spectrum that is the fastest doesn’t go all the way to the back of the apartment into my bedroom, and the slower 802.11-G 2.4GHz spectrum is in use by everyone else, so it is pretty slow when that far from the router (that is in the front of the apartment in the living room with my entertainment center), so my solution was to use my older Linksys WRT54G router as an access point in tandem with a Belkin A/V Homeplug adapter. Here’s what I did

Set up my Linksys E3000 router and plugged the Belkin A/V Homeplug adapter into an open ethernet port, then I plugged the Homeplug adapter into a naked wall outlet (not into a power strip/surge protector, the homeplug adapter doesn’t like the filtered power), then in my smallest bedroom that is doubling as an office, I plugged the second Homeplug adapter into the wall and I plugged it’s ethernet cable into an empty port on my WRT54G router (NOT into the Internet/WLAN port—that doesn’t work either), logged directly into the WRT54G and changed it from being the DHCP server (so it doesn’t assign IP addresses on its own), and put it into ROUTER mode. I gave it a different SSID so it doesn’t compete with the other router (that may be a nonessential step, but I wanted this to work with very little hassle), and VOILA, I have a solid blanket of wifi throughout the new apartment, and they all play nicely. Any computer connected to the router in the back of the house can fully see and access the Windows Home Server in the living room, and the wireless printers in the small room can be used anywhere in the house.

This was my solution, and it worked for me. If you have any ideas about how I might make it better (without voiding any warranties or without hacking firmware), let me know in the comments. If you have any questions, ask away!