WiFi or CAT cable?

The boys will soon be getting PCs in their rooms. Our house is not wired for LAN or CAT cable (it does have cable TV cabling though). Should I fork out for having a professional come wire the house or do you think a WiFi adapter would be sufficient? I expect they will be playing some sims and limited FPS (as they age into it).

I am a fan of good old cable (cat6) but 5Ghz wifi might do.

I’ve not had great success with 5Ghz Wifi penetrating the walls to the upstairs bedrooms.

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CAT5 or 6 all the way. The boys will thank you for it. If only for the speed of internal transfer. It’s a difference of an order of magnitude or two. And then there’s stability too. That alone is worth it.

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If you are lucky you could drop a cable down a air duct. We did that in our old house, router in the basement - cable through duct from top floor, punch a small hole for it in the basement duct/ceiling since the duct was over my dad’s desk (where the router sat).

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Check out the powerline adapters… https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/powerline/

You could always put a router upstairs and connect it through the existing electrical wiring by only using an outlet. It would be a quick install versus running cat line.

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I have used these before, but if the two outlets are not on the same mains circuit they don’t work too well - it still can, but finding two outlets where the signal is strong enough is a challenge.

I had to use these when we did a home renovation and the best outlet I got was in the hallway near my room so I had to sneak the cable under the baseboard/doorway. At the router end the wall socket adjacent was good, just the upstairs made it a challenge.

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I was also told that they can cause radio interferences near the house (basically the power lines act as antennas, they aren’t shielded)
They might work or not, and the speed might be OK or not.
I am not a fan of them but if you don’t want to drill holes you can try them.

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When I got them working I did get practically line speed. They also beat MOCA (ethernet over coax) adapters in price by miles.

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Hmm…that might work. Actually, both bedrooms sit directly above my downstairs computer where the cable comes into the house. Oh…well here is a stupid question - the house IS wired for cable TV…my router has a cable TV attachment that comes in and plugs into the back of it, the LAN cable goes to my hardwired computers downstairs - is there such a thing that can send the signal to their rooms via the installed coaxial cable?

Oh…that IS a thing…!

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Is that something I could consider?

If so…how do I connect the upstairs computers to the coaxial cable outlet - I assume there is another converter that goes coaxial > ethernet?

Not a fan of using the power line for comms, but I design wireless networks for a day job:slight_smile:

So I live in a small, two-story house and had issues with connectivity too (router on first floor).
Bought a repeater for the upstairs and good to go.

And mesh networks are all the rage. Look into those too.

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Usually you buy a pair.

PC, Ethernet, MOCA, COAX, MOCA, Ethernet, Router.

Typically I found they are sold as singles, but the price for one is the same or more than the powerline kit (which comes with two).

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This electrical engineer would caution against the powerline adapters, for the concern about the proper circuits, and pretty much guaranteed RFI/ EMI issues. Especially if you have any other electronic stuff on those circuits.

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Also if someone wanted to be a spy, they could tap into the house via say an external outlet and snoop on the ethernet traffic, theoretically and impractically as that may be.

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+1 for the powerline adapters and then an Ethernet switch. This has been my go to solution with the kids in their Uni digs.

However, If you wanted to extend the physical cable, it’s not that hard especially if you buy a kit which includes a tool to do the jumpering. You’re a pilot, so above average in following instructions :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:,

I’m an IT project manager, electrically trained but, who has only worked in software with no formal cabling training and I can do Ethernet cabling, you can do this it’s easy. (Caveat - If it goes tits up, it’s a learning experience and there’s no nasty voltages to kill you)

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I’ve had really great success with the Orbi meshed WiFi in our 3 story home, including connecting my gaming rig to one of the satellites via Gbps Ethernet that measures over 400 Mbps, with relatively low latency. The WiFi part is the backbone, with the router on the second floor, and satellites on the 1st and 3rd floors. All TVs and STBs stream via WiFi and we never have bandwidth issues. Only hit our cap once in a while thanks to MSFS 2020. Also supports 3 kids doing distance learning, while mom works remotely, front and back doorbell cameras, + 3 more security cameras. Couldn’t be happier with our network.

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The Powerline Adapters I had came with three ports on each - so mini-switch included!

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I’ve had a TERRIBLE Wifi extender experience in my house over the past number of years. My main router is in the basement … gigabit service. I get 950 Mbps to my PC down there easy. I can only get about 20 Mbps to my tablets on the first and second floor using a Wifi extender on the main floor. I actually have my main smart TV hard ethernet wired to a powerline extender. I get about 30Mbps on that.

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