Run a Cable to Your Second Access Point(router)
We have done this to many times. If you have a tall Victorian home or a large newly built home. Absolutely the simplest way to get great wireless speeds in your whole house is to connect two Wi-Fi routers with Ethernet cables. (Remember, the big issue with most Wi-Fi extenders is that they have to use the same radio to both receive and transmit a signal, and Wi-Fi is never as fast as wired Internet to begin with.
Routers either have 100 megabit or gigabit (1000 megabit) Ethernet ports, and turning an extra router (Apple Airport Extreme, TP-Link Archer C7, ASUS RT-N66u) into a secondary access point is almost as easy as plugging a cable into each one. There are a few settings you’ll have to change, and I recommend Will Smith’s straightforward guide at Tested; it’s easy enough to follow and will work with basically any kind of router you have.
If you don’t plan on upgrading your main router, pick up a cheapie like the $65 Linksys E3200 for your new access point. It’s our favorite cheap router. And running Ethernet cable is really cheap, too—it’ll give you the fastest network for the least amount of money.
The hard part, of course, is dealing with that pesky Ethernet cable. If your house isn’t already hardwired, it may be difficult or impossible to run a cable up in the attic or through the floor or through walls. Or maybe you can’t or don’t want to do that kind of drilling in your house. We get it. It’s a pain.
Whatever the case may be, if you need help call us and we can help do all the above for you.
Don’t give up just yet—there is one more wired options to consider.
Our favorite Powerline Ethernet adapter, the TrendNet TPL-401E2K. “On SmallNetBuilder, the TrendNet 401E2K averaged downlink speeds of about 81 megabits per second, which is actually faster than the average wireless speed of our favorite Wi-Fi routers.”
The kind of wiring in your house can have a big impact on performance, and so can the distance between two power outlets. Netgear’s powerline product manager told me that the more circuits a powerline connection has to cross, the weaker it gets, and things like lamps plugged into the same sockets can create “noise” that weakens the signal.
Still, I found that, in general, powerline was better over distance than Wi-Fi. It’s hard to quantify the speed benefits of Powerline Ethernet vs. a Wi-Fi extender because there are just so many variables at play. The type of wiring in your house and distance between outlets can hurt powerline; the number of walls and floors in between router and extender can hurt Wi-Fi and overlapping frequencies from your neighbors can get in the way.
In most cases, we’d recommend any wired solution over a wireless extender, but if you can’t run Ethernet cables through the house, and neither powerline sound like good alternatives, here’s why you should get the Netgear WN2500RP.