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I may have to move a wifi router to the middle of my apartment. (Still trying to diagnose the cause of wifi dropouts I've been getting.) If I do end up doing this, I'd have to run about 25 feet of cable. I have a cable modem next to a wifi router (an Apple Airport).

If I do this, I'll have two choices:

  • Leave the cable modem where it is, and run cat5 cable to the wifi router, then an equal amount back to the desktop computer.
  • Move both the cable modem and the router. I'll only need to run cat5 cable back to the desktop PC, but I'll need to extend my existing coax cable run from the wall by about 15 feet.

Which of these would result in better signal going to and from the router? Is there additional information I can provide that would help to answer this question?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

A 25 foot run of Cat5 UTP isn't really going to degrade the signal, so it comes down to whichever cable is cheaper/easier to get.

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Okay, good to know. Will at least raising the wifi router into the air help? I've heard that they work better on, say, a tall file cabinet. – neilfein Oct 19 '10 at 0:57

If your signal is marginal, you might want to try the external antenna "range extender" to improve the signal by a couple of db.

If you really don't want to run cables, you can consider getting a wireless repeater or WDS (link)

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I'd rather avoid getting an antenna, as one of the things I like best about the netbook is that it's so clean and simple. I'll probably end up getting a repeater or distributer, but I'd like to hear other options as well. (I also need to eliminate the netbook as a culprit.) – neilfein Oct 19 '10 at 0:55
There's a mod to put external antenna on the airport express... – fseto Oct 19 '10 at 3:33

What can you tell us about the netbook, is it running linux/KDE/KDE network manager by any chance?

Both Cat5 and coax don't degrade easily so adding 25 feet to either won't make a difference. Mess with the router, try a different channel to broadcast it on, see if you can max it out about more (My Netgear N has 3 settings a low, below 52mb/s, medium, about 100mb/s and then high which is 270mb/s plus)

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It's an Asus netbook running Windows 7 starter. I'll post another question about testing the netbook. – neilfein Oct 19 '10 at 3:59
If you haven't already, try updating the drivers, set the power setting to high preformance, and ASUS should have their own performance thing, so set that to the highest setting. – alpha1 Oct 19 '10 at 15:20

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