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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Wife goes MAC -- Hubby won't


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Carleen

 
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Problem: Airport vs. Ethernet

My hubby's old Dell does not have wireless so it's connected by ethernet cable directly into a Linksys Wireless G Broadband Router with 4 ports. The Router uses an ethernet cable to the phone company DSL modem (1 port only). The Dell internet connection speed is 100.0Mbps.

My new iMAC (located on the opposite end of the house) is using Airport with a Wireless Range Expander and receives either a very low signal or NO signal at all. I'm having to use hubby's old pc more and more. This is getting very frustrating for me, especially when I hear dear old hubby's quiet giggles.

**If I connect three (or four) 50' ethernet cables together and run them through the attic, from my iMAC to one of the ports on the Router, would this be the magic solution?
**Would the signal be strong or weak?
**Isn't ethernet connection safer than wireless? (I really worry about my neighbor's computer savvy teenagers.)
**If ethernet would give me a great connection for my iMAC could I get rid of the Linksys router? And if so...
**How would I connect BOTH computers using ethernet cables to a modem with only 1 port?

Many many thanks for any help,
Carleen
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theonegod

 
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You need a router to assign more then one computer to your DSL connection in all liklyhood. They probably only gave you a single usable IP and the router is able to share that amung more then one system. What you don't need if you use ethernet is a WIRELESS router. Ethernet is faster sure. But if your wireless is encypted with WPA2 I wouldnt worry to much about security.

Is moving your imac closer to the hubbies computer not an option? How about some better placement on range extenders?
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naftalim

 
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This is a bit more of a change, but an option to consider. Why not use Cable for your internet needs? Then you can have an outlet in each of the rooms, and both of you using the Internet with no problem. You can each get a wireless router (they're pretty cheap these days) and away you go. Many cable companies bundle TV and Internet packages.

Thats what I do.
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jonnyd

 
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Connection speed won't make any difference - your internet connection will be the ultimate limit for speed, and I assume it's under 54mbps, which is the max speed your wireless connection can handle.

The signal strength is your problem, as you no doubt already worked out

There are a couple of things to try;

- Yes, you could connect a bunch of ethernet cables together, or just have a very long one made, but that'd be the last thing I'd try.

- You could try moving the router. It's connected to the modem with an ethernet cable, right? So if you got a 50' ethernet cable you could move that closer to your Mac - although if your husbands PC is right next to the thing now, you'd need another 50' cable to connect him. Getting messy again.

- I'm not sure extending the range of the airport is going to be the complete answer. I'd have thought you need to boost the router too - Linksys did do a booster for the Wireless G that piggybacked on top of the original, which might help.

http://www.amazon.com/Linksys-WSB24-...1538420&sr=1-1
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naftalim

 
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Another option to consider are Broadband over Power Lines. BPL Which is basically having the Internt access flow through the power lines in your walls, and you have an adapter in the Electrical Outlet that you connect to and get your access.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/bpl5.htm
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Carleen

 
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FYI - I'm using my hubby's PC to respond on this forum...........

"Is moving your imac closer to the hubbies computer not an option? How about some better placement on range extenders?"

---- moving imac closer is not an option
---- have tried moving range extenders everywhere
---- wireless is not encrypted with WPA2

"Why not use Cable for your internet needs?"

---- cable not available here in Podunk, Texas (using DirecTV dish)

"Yes, you could connect a bunch of ethernet cables together, or just have a very long one made, but that'd be the last thing I'd try."

---- Why the last thing? Everything else seems so very complicated and expensive? Although, I would have to be quite sneaky drilling holes everywhere, cuz this is a two story house. My bottomline is getting a great internet connection.

"You could try moving the router. It's connected to the modem with an ethernet cable, right? So if you got a 50' ethernet cable you could move that closer to your Mac - although if your husbands PC is right next to the thing now, you'd need another 50' cable to connect him. Getting messy again."

---- you're right...messy

WOW, thanks for your responses!! But I still need to know if connecting several 50' ethernet cables is a good idea, or if my internet connection would still be slow or even intermittent.....? I'm willing to crawl all over the attic, when hubby is at work.......

Thanks,
Carleen
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jonnyd

 
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To be honest that's more or less the reason I'd do it last - drilling holes . . .

If you're OK with that, then 200 feet should be OK. Ethernet cables are supposed to be OK up to about 300'.

Any reason why it has to be multiple cables? It'd be better to have one cable - the more joints you have, the more likely you are to get a signal loss.
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dtravis7

 
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The Maximum length of CAT5 cable between Hubs/Switches is 100m/328Feet. So 200 Feet would work. How do you plan to join the cables? I have used In-Line Couplers when I have had to do that, but the other poster is right that one continuous piece of CAT5 would be a lot better. I really don't trust the RG45 Couplers over the long haul, although one installation I did for someone rather poor is still working 100$ 6 years later.

http://www.cat-5-cable-company.com/f...t-5-cable.html

If you have to use the 4x50' cables, here is a URL with the couplers.

http://www.firefold.com/Categories/C...-Couplers.aspx

What Router is this? You say you have a range booster? Which model is that? When you get any signal at all on your imac, just how low is it? Does the internet ever work even for a few seconds?

I take my iBook 2 doors away through 2 yards and walls and I can get my Wifi connect in his kitchen with WPA2 even and it's totally useable. I am using Linksys WRT-54g's with Linux Firmware.
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Carleen

 
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"What Router is this? You say you have a range booster? Which model is that? When you get any signal at all on your imac, just how low is it? Does the internet ever work even for a few seconds?"

---- Router = Cisco Systems, Linksys, Wireless-G Broadband Router, model WRT54G ver. 2, with 4-port switch

---- Range Booster = Cisco Systems, Linksys, Wireless-G Range Expander, model WRE54G ver. 3

---- on iMAC, best signal is 2 bars
---- yes, internet works intermittently for a few seconds then drops to nothing

THANKS for the info on max length of cable at 328'. Will research who can build a length of 300' which (hopefully) would be long enough to reach.

Again THANKS,
Carleen
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jonnyd

 
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Just before you do that, I take it you have tried out the connection with the machine closer to the router, and it works OK?

It'd be a disaster to do all that work connecting it up and find it's a different problem. Obvious I know, but I have done worse than that before now
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dtravis7

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyd View Post
Just before you do that, I take it you have tried out the connection with the machine closer to the router, and it works OK?

It'd be a disaster to do all that work connecting it up and find it's a different problem. Obvious I know, but I have done worse than that before now
That would be the first thing I would have tried and is a very good suggestion. That way she will be sure there is no issues with the iMac itself.

How far from the Range Booster to your imac? Any idea? Lots of walls?
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Carleen

 
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"Just before you do that, I take it you have tried out the connection with the machine closer to the router, and it works OK?"

---- Actually, no, I haven't moved it closer. Reason, I don't want my iMac in the middle of the den on my coffee table. Plus, it's a bit$h moving such a large computer. It needs to stay where it is due to lots of reasons.

---- the iMac USED to work fine. Had a "CRASH" and had to have the entire hard drive fixed by the genius guys. (Hubby is not impressed)

Thanks bunches for your input, but still don't have a fix,
Carleen


Thanks for your ideas, they are definitely realistic,
Carleen
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dtravis7

 
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what he was asking is could you move it closer for 5 minutes to test it when he is not home and put it right back.
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D3v1L80Y

 
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It might not be a "line of sight" issue at all. What other appliances or devices do you have in the house? Microwave ovens, wireless phones, Satellite dishes...etc can all cause interference with a wireless internet signal.
It could also be the walls themselves.
Also, 200 ft is a bit of a stretch for most home routers. Even with a range booster, you are looking at a fairly weak signal... especially if there is added interference.
I would second the suggestion of at least temporarily moving the iMac closer. If you can't move the iMac, what about the other computer and router... can you move those a bit?

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dtravis7

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
It might not be a "line of sight" issue at all. What other appliances or devices do you have in the house? Microwave ovens, wireless phones, Satellite dishes...etc can all cause interference with a wireless internet signal.
It could also be the walls themselves.
Also, 200 ft is a bit of a stretch for most home routers. Even with a range booster, you are looking at a fairly weak signal... especially if there is added interference.
I would second the suggestion of at least temporarily moving the iMac closer. If you can't move the iMac, what about the other computer and router... can you move those a bit?
DEAD on DB. Agreed 100%. When I said I can go to my neighbors, it's 250-300' but one wall on each house and mostly yard in between. Going through many walls can really cause issues as can 2.4Ghz Phones and all DB mentioned.
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