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post #1 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Desktop WiFi Adapter?

As an avid PC gamer my desktop has always been hardwired via Ethernet. However, after just having bought a new home, I've sadly come to the realization that the best space for my mancave/battlestation is in the basement, which has no options for hard-wiring. Now the issue that I'm having is... is it even worth it to move my entire setup down there only to be hooked up to the internet via WiFi? I don't want to throttle my internet to essentially half speed which I feel may occur. Why?

I live in a standard two story home, the modem is in the upstairs loft, so essentially I will be two-stories away from the modem and I'm not sure how strong (or weak) that signal is going to be. Will it be vastly noticeable? I like to watch a lot of videos/streams/and game. I know a lot of it will "depend on your ISP/internet speed" but lets just throw that out the window for the sake of simple discussion. I've never been connected to the internet via WiFi (when considering my home desktop), am I going to notice a massive decline in load times etc?

If I go through with the move, what are my best options for a wifi adapter? Is it as simple as plug and play? I've seen pictures of wifi adapters plugged into the mobo on the back of the PC. Is there an actual difference between a $20 adapter and a $100 version?

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post #2 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 04:52 AM
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With wifi you just never know... One of my PC's at work is connected via wifi using an old Linksys WRT320N that has been reflashed with DD-WRT and turned into a client bridge. It connects to the AP with a link that will easily saturate a 100Mbs wired connection when transferring files for backups. It might end up being faster than you would think but you'll have to experiment.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 05:17 AM
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Don't rule out running a cable. Maybe the phone lines in your home are CAT5e and you can splice some together. I have all my cables ending in an external box near my power meter. I used a punch down splice block to connect an upstairs room to my basement and it registers 1 Gbps.

Maybe there is an air duct from the attic to the basement.

There is also things like MoCa.

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post #4 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
Don't rule out running a cable. Maybe the phone lines in your home are CAT5e and you can splice some together. I have all my cables ending in an external box near my power meter. I used a punch down splice block to connect an upstairs room to my basement and it registers 1 Gbps.

Maybe there is an air duct from the attic to the basement.

There is also things like MoCa.
I'll second running cable. If you do, run at least 2. I'll also second MOCA. I have several Lucent MOCA boxes in my home and they are awesome for certain tasks. Bandwidth is limited to 144 Mb but it's sufficient for most uses. For instance, I use it for VOIP to my home office. It allowed me to keep my 1 Gb connection in the office and not make holes running another cable or use a WiFi to CAT5 adapter.

If you have flex duct HVAC, you may be able to fish them through the same hole(s) that allow the ducts to pass through, but likely to be a lot of trouble. You obviously would not want to put the wire inside flex duct as you'll never get the duct re-sealed. Make sure the cable is plenum rated if you put it through rigid metal conduit, and caulk the holes so you don't get air leakage.

It's tough to run cable from upstairs to basement. There's often no good way to do it w/out making lots of holes. Closets make good access points. If your drywall patching is sloppy, no one will notice.

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post #5 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 05:51 AM
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I picked up a TP-Link AV500 Powerline Adapter Kit a few months ago to connect the Tivo in my bedroom then grabbed another kit for two computers in the basement. It's acted up on me once or twice but for the most part, they've done very well.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 07:09 AM
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I'll echo what was said above. Double check your options for running Cat5e/6. Failing that go with something like MoCa (I've used it successfully in my old apartment) or PowerLine adapters. If you absolutely positively must use WiFi go with Wireless AC. And yes, the WiFi cards come in varying qualities, but ultimately the environment you put them in will have a bigger impact. The distance, number of obstructions and amount of RF interference will determine whether WiFi is viable.

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 07:13 AM
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I've used Powerline Ethernet for nearly a decade. Never had any problems with it and it works fine for everything I do. Right now, I'm using the Netgear PL1200 adapters, which you can get for around $70 at Best Buy, if you price match or just order from Amazon.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
I've used Powerline Ethernet for nearly a decade. Never had any problems with it and it works fine for everything I do. Right now, I'm using the Netgear PL1200 adapters, which you can get for around $70 at Best Buy, if you price match or just order from Amazon.
This sounds like a possible route to explore, how far is your Powerline adapter from the router? Could you ELI5 the process of setting it up? Is it pretty straightforward?

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post #9 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cctaylor88 View Post
This sounds like a possible route to explore, how far is your Powerline adapter from the router? Could you ELI5 the process of setting it up? Is it pretty straightforward?
Plug one adapter into the wall (not a plug strip) near the router then plug in the network cable. Plug the other end in near the PC then plug in the network cable. Press the pair button on one, within 2 minutes press the pair button on the other.

There are apparently some that have issues with old wiring causing connection issues but as my house is 5 years old, I did not run into that.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 10:56 PM
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We often run Ethernet cable along the baseboards, tacked in with cable nails. It requires a bit of skill navigating corners and doorways, and a lot of preplanning on how to achieve the nicest runs.

Of course, the best is to run inside the walls, and if your future man cave is unfinished, you're halfway there. But if it's all done, the best solution may be to run it along the baseboards.
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-23-2017, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodgieroo View Post
Plug one adapter into the wall (not a plug strip) near the router then plug in the network cable. Plug the other end in near the PC then plug in the network cable. Press the pair button on one, within 2 minutes press the pair button on the other.

There are apparently some that have issues with old wiring causing connection issues but as my house is 5 years old, I did not run into that.
My house is over 30 years old and I ran PowerLine networking throughout the entire house without much problem. My router is at the 2nd floor. And I can get 230+ mb link speed at my basement reliably. I even ran a wifi AP using the power line connection. It is light years more reliable than my WiFi connection. Especially when I need to run a WMC Extender at the basement, powerline connection is the only solution. You only need one adapter at the router end. Then you can use couple of the compatible adapters through out the house.

OP,

These adapters are quite cheap now ($40 to $60 a pair). Buy a pair and try it out at your house.
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-23-2017, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cctaylor88 View Post
As an avid PC gamer my desktop has always been hardwired via Ethernet. However, after just having bought a new home, I've sadly come to the realization that the best space for my mancave/battlestation is in the basement, which has no options for hard-wiring. Now the issue that I'm having is... is it even worth it to move my entire setup down there only to be hooked up to the internet via WiFi? I don't want to throttle my internet to essentially half speed which I feel may occur. Why?

I live in a standard two story home, the modem is in the upstairs loft, so essentially I will be two-stories away from the modem and I'm not sure how strong (or weak) that signal is going to be. Will it be vastly noticeable? I like to watch a lot of videos/streams/and game. I know a lot of it will "depend on your ISP/internet speed" but lets just throw that out the window for the sake of simple discussion. I've never been connected to the internet via WiFi (when considering my home desktop), am I going to notice a massive decline in load times etc?

If I go through with the move, what are my best options for a wifi adapter? Is it as simple as plug and play? I've seen pictures of wifi adapters plugged into the mobo on the back of the PC. Is there an actual difference between a $20 adapter and a $100 version?
You can run it outside the house if you must. Homes without structured wiring used to run RG-6 coax outside like that. Likely one straight-run up side of house from basement to attic. Install the latest spec cable (CAT-6a, CAT-6e, CAT-7, etc.). One cable should be fine if you install a $40 gigabit-switch on both ends (your backbone should already be gigabit anyway).

I use WiFi for tablets and phones, but not for stationary devices. WiFi download thru-put is lower and wired-Ping is better. Some flavors of WiFi also can't handle high bit-rate sampled or high-resolution ripped media files well.

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Last edited by Tesla1856; 08-23-2017 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Removed last sentence (hear-say or second-hand info).
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-23-2017, 09:44 AM
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I've never used Power-Line, but a friend says it can't jump across breakers.
Unless everyone that's using them has their entire house on one breaker, it definitely can travel to different breakers. I have 4 units in my house (one "base" at the router and three for end devices), all on 4 different breakers.
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