Thursday, May 21, 2009

A simple solution

Creating a network in your house can pose great problems. You want to access the Internet in different rooms but how to achieve this?

The best solution is to have network cable laid around the house but with ceramic tiled floors like we have this is a big NO NO. We should have had it done when the house was being built but now it is too late.

The obvious solution is to create a wireless network but with brick interior walls it is difficult to get a good signal throughout the house. I have an aerial with the highest decibel gain I could find but still the signal varies considerably from room to room.

So I considered using Home Plugs. The principle is simple – you use the household wiring as the network cable. You plug one Home Plug in close to your network router and connect it with the Ethernet cable provided. Then you plug other Home Plugs into sockets on the same circuit and bingo – you have a network.

There are a couple of provisos of course a) the Home Plugs must be on the same ring main and b) they work better if they are plugged directly into a wall socket. Plug them in via a surge protected strip and the speed you get drops considerably.

I have one connected to my router in the spare room and another in the lounge which is P1000924connected to a wireless access point. The wireless signal in the lounge is now 100% strength and quality meaning I don’t get drop outs. If I wanted, I could fit Home Plugs into other rooms to extend my network. Sadly, they probably wouldn’t work on the outside sockets because they are on a separate ring main.

The plugs are available from a variety of sources, mine came from Amazon who offer a twin pack of Max Value ones for £41.99 for the 85Mbps version and £64.99 if you want the 200Mbps version.

NB In case you were wondering, all that paraphernalia is hidden behind one of the sofas so no problems with Mrs W.

PS Once you have installed this, you may find that running Speedtest checks the speed you are getting on your home network rather than your Internet connection.

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