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I was trying to stream a video from my PC to my XBox at the same time my roommate was trying to stream a video from the internet to her laptop. Even though I was just using the home network and not the internet, there wasn't enough bandwidth on our router for us to stream videos at the same time.

So here's my question: how do I set up two home networks connected to one modem? I'm assuming I'll need two wifi routers, but what do I put between the modem and the routers?

I also have two network cards on my PC. If I connect to a separate network on each card, can I get faster internet (assuming wifi is the speed bottleneck)?

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Are you both using wireless? (Both the laptop from your roommate and your PC or Xbox). –  Hennes Oct 16 '12 at 1:11
    
XBox is wired into the router. Computers are wifi. –  Jason Oct 16 '12 at 1:36

3 Answers 3

With the added information I now see the while picture as this:

Internet -> cabled -> Modem with Wifi~~~~~air~~~~ Laptop
                       |              ~
Xbox------> Cabled-----/               ~~~air~~~~ Desktop          

One stream from internet, to laptop, via WiFi.
One stream from desktop to Xbox, via WiFi and cable.

But both go part of the way via the airwaves (WiFi).

Combine that with Wifi speeds are often quite a bit lower than their specified max speed and it is quite possible to run out of bandwidth in the 'air'.

Possible solutions:

  1. Cable the network between router and Desktop. (Usually much faster).
  2. Move closer to the WAP (aka WiFi router) or change the antennas for better reception.
  3. Change network cards (wire N can use 20MHz and 40MHz bands, and thus has way more 'airspace')
  4. Get a second router and configure it for another part of the 'air'. (Mostly a problem with B/G networks where overlap occurs between channels.

Personally I would try to lay a cable to the desktop. Simple. Cheap. Reliable.

Upgrading the network to wireless N would be next (but more expensive)

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WiFi bandwidth is shared between every device using it, and the speed can also be reduce by other WiFi signals and radio noise in the area.

The best solution is to get as much of your non moving devices on a wired connection, so that it makes more WiFi bandwidth available for the rest.

If your PC or XBox is not near the modem, buy some 'Powerline Network Adapters', they are cheap and send network signals over your existing mains wiring.

You need one adapter to the modem and then one for each device. I'm currently using some TP-Link 200mbps adapters. Recommend not mixing brands or speeds.

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Your bandwidth from the ISP will not change by setting up two home networks under the same account. If your bandwidth is atleast 3Mbps, both of you should be able to stream non-HD videos with ease.

Check if you are receiving the bandwidth promised by your ISP. If so, increasing it is one solution. Monitor your bandwidth usage through your router (if it supports).

Try using QoS on your router to manage bandwidth for streaming.

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I don't think you understood. I was streaming one movie from my PC to my XBox so it shouldn't have to go through the internet, but just through the router. Our internet connection speed is around 50 Mbps while wifi is only around 12 Mpbs since wifi is slower than LAN. –  Jason Oct 16 '12 at 1:35

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