Next year I will be living in an apartment and I have friends that will be living in apartments across the hall from me. If we wanted to share internet/wifi, what would be the best way to do this? I've tried searching for answers before, but it seems like nothing matches my problem close enough.

The apartment complex doesn't provide internet in any way and you have to get your own. As far as internet needs go, I'm the only one who will probably use it intensely for online gaming, but all of us will probably stream things on netflix or youtube or wherever. There are 5 of us. Preferably I would like to be able to connect myself through an ethernet to get a faster connection, but I also have the end apartment (ours are in an L-shape and mine's not in the middle) so I guess I can live without this if it's necessary to put things in the central apartment.

I guess my main question is, is there a way to set up a modem in one apartment and connect 2 - 3 routers to that modem (in different apartments)? And what would be an appropriate internet speed? 25mbps? 50mbps? 10mbps?

Sorry for my general lack of networking knowledge. I appreciate any and all help/advice. Thank you!

  • Consider asking the custodian or janitor or someone with keys to service rooms, if there's a patch panel on your floor. You might be able to jumper existing installed sockets together and have gigabit/100 Mbit, instead of variable wireless. Worth checking, and will cost you some beer (or similar) as a thank you. – Criggie Sep 10 '16 at 1:42

Try power line networking. A pair of these devices are plugged into two different outlets, and they establish a dedicated full-speed Ethernet link between the two. The major restriction is that the outlets have to be on the same electrical power system -- the signals will not go through the power transformers (found on power poles or in underground vaults) that convert high voltage to the 120/240 volt power sent to individual houses or apartments. There are quite a variety of these, and they are inexpensive. Even if you can only reach some of the other apartments, this should help. connected to that initial router. When you do this, you should have one router connected to the external network, and then every separate apartment should have it's own router, on it's own subnet. This isolates the networks in the individual apartments from each other, improving security and reducing the potential for IP address conflicts.

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For the best case all you will need is for one of you to get a high speed internet connection from a local provider. Most cable companies provide a router with a wireless access point built in. Preferably get one with 802.11n for the best speed. Just have your friends/neighbors connect their computers wireless to your access point. They may have to purchase wireless N dongles, but those are cheap.

If you find you have problems with wireless signal strength, you can replace the antenna(s) on the wireless access point with high gain antennas.

If you are still having issued, well then the building might not conducive to wireless signals and you would have to explore other options.

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  • I don't think this will work, because I think the range will be too far for the far end appartments. – LPChip Jul 12 '14 at 17:07
  • you think and you know are two totally different things. you wont know until you try. – Keltari Jul 12 '14 at 17:44
  • You're right. Unfortunately, testing this and not working equals money spend wrong. – LPChip Jul 12 '14 at 20:21
  • First off, unless you drill holes through the walls and run cable, this IS the solution. You may need to by a high gain antenna, maybe not. Every penny you spend though is refundable, so you have nothing to lose. – Keltari Jul 12 '14 at 20:56
  • Oh, I know the solution is along these lines. I mean, I did post my answer for a reason. I just mean that given that their appartment is in an L shape, the far end appartment may have trouble getting a strong enough signal that even a high gain antenna might have difficulty reaching because of the many walls and how it is constructed. (could have metal in the walls). Also, not every router has the option to replace the antenna. – LPChip Jul 13 '14 at 13:42

The best solution for your needs would be to get the modem/router and make sure it has a high wireless range. In addition get one or two Wifi repeaters which your neighbors can install to make sure the signal goes to the farthest apartment. Note that the further the signal goes the weaker it becomes. The weaker it becomes the slower the signal will be and the more chances it will have that other signals will interfere with the signal causing the connection to occasionally drop.

By repeating the signal the range gets extended. A wifi extender relies on a cable going to that extender which is connected with the router, whereas a repeater doesn't. There are some routers that will have a big range. If you get one of those you might not need to extend the signal. Your best option is likely to both get a router that has a high range and one extender to place in the 3rd or 4th apartment because streaming might become impossible for the 5th apartment otherwise.

The signal has to cross several walls and quite a distance. With a normal router that most people have, you usually only get a decent signal in the 2 adjacent apartments, less if there are lots of wireless signals nearby and there are no free channels.

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