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My modem comes into my house on the first floor and I have a Cat5 cable running from it through the walls upstairs to my wireless router. I need the router upstairs in order to get a hardline to my XBox. However, I need a hard line for a device that is next to my modem downstairs. I really do not want to run a line from my router upstairs back down the wall to the device downstairs.

Is there a way to split the signal from the modem to provide a line running to my router and another line running to a device?

  • No, you cannot split the signal (assuming that you get only one IP address from your ISP). You need a connection to the router, which will provide a local IP address within the LAN and protect the connection behind a firewall. You probably should move the router downstairs next to the modem. – sawdust Jun 20 '15 at 2:38
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It's not necessary to "split" the signal from your modem in order to provide connectivity to your router upstairs and your device downstairs. In fact, it would be counterproductive to do so because only your upstairs devices would be protected by your wireless router's firewall while the downstairs device (theoretically connected directly to your modem) would not be behind a router and therefore unprotected.

Instead, these steps will let you connect all devices to your router (thus firewalling them from the Internet) and not require you to run a second Ethernet cable:

  1. Move your router downstairs and connect it to your modem
  2. Plug the downstairs device into router's LAN port
  3. Connect the existing Cat5 cable running upstairs to the router's LAN port
  4. Plug cable running upstairs into Xbox.

Note: If your router has only one port, buy an inexpensive network switch and plug that into the router's LAN port, then plug the cables into the switch.

  • Depending on the strength of your network connection you might also want to get another Access Point for upstairs - possibly disabling the access point functionality on the modem/router. – davidgo Jun 20 '15 at 4:10
  • The questioner's statement " I need the router upstairs to get a hardline to my xbox" is logically incorrect, you have spotted that but it's worth pointing that out directly any of a person's statements that are wrong, such as that one. Particularly when you write a long post.with lots of steps they have to absorb. It'll absorb better if you tell them you expect them to throw out this/that assumption/belief. – barlop Jun 20 '15 at 5:14
  • @barlop I see your point, however my intention was to answer the OPs question in a way that minimizes the necessity that he buy additional equipment. – Twisty Impersonator Jun 20 '15 at 19:30
  • @Twisty My comment there doesn't say the OP should buy any new equipment. My comment there doesn't differ in solution to what you said. It just states how you could've been clearer. The questioner made an incorrect assumption. You don't hold to the questioner's incorrect assumption, and all i'm saying is that it would've belped / been clearer to tell him his assumption was wrong, as part of your answer. – barlop Jun 20 '15 at 19:49
  • @barlop I clearly misunderstood your comment. I have edited my answer accordingly and agree the OP's assumption should have been addressed in my answer. Thank you for the constructive feedback. – Twisty Impersonator Jun 23 '15 at 14:34
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If you already have a cat5e running from downstairs to upstairs, you could put the router next to the modem downstairs and use the existing cat5e to connect the router to the xbox (or to a switch in place of the router upstairs if you have more devices upstairs).

That would give you ethernet ports both upstairs and downstairs without running a cable in both directions.

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You could use Ethernet Over Mains, and the router downstairs with the modem as well, and then not have any cat5 cable running up/down the stairs. You will then have a cable to any devices xbox included.

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