Advice on adding a home wifi access point

yesheadjon

Standard Member
Hello.

I need some advice on setting up a wifi access point in my house. I have limited networking knowledge but understand basic terminology, so fairly plain English would really help, thanks. My house is cabled and I currently have an ethernet cable coming into a downstairs room that goes into my smart TV. It is on the wall and there are power sockets available. What I am after is some advice and hopefully a fairly basic (cheap) small solution to add a device to it that I can plug the ethernet cable into that would give me a wireless access point. I am currently using a TP link through the mains but it is patchy. Ideally it would have both an ethernet-out (to go into the TV) or would support me using a splitter so that one cable goes into the access point and the other goes into the TV. Any help and recommendations you give give me would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Jon
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Attached to the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this for is a block diagram of the innards of a typical SOHO "Router" you may find useful to refer to in this discussion.

Multiple ethernet ports is availed by something called an "ethernet switch" (the "LAN" ports in your router are a built in ethernet switch.) So to split out the end of a cable to avail multiple ethernet ports you add a switch to the end the cable onward to your devices.

Wi-Fi is availed by Access Points (AP's.) Nearly all stand-alone AP's are designed to hang on the end of an ethernet cable. Though there are a few things like "mesh" nodes (AKA "discs" or whatever nonsense name "marketing" have made up this week,) Wi-Fi Repeaters and a couple of other things that don't have ethernet ports.

What would seem best for your description is a combination or ethernet switch and Wi-Fi AP (ie both functions in a single box.)

AP's with multiple ethernet ports (ie a built in switch) do exist, but they are rarer and so your product choice may be a bit more limited.

Fortunately, any SOHO "router" can be "crippled" to function as a switch/AP combo. How to do so is described in the aforementioned FAQ - it's not hard, but there are a few hoops to jump through. So, pretty much any SOHO "router" you can acquire will do the job. Possibly for free if you have an old router lying around (or can beg one.) Otherwise the cost is likely depend on the feature set - routers with more antenna, newer Wi-Fi protocol (A/B/G/N/AC/AX) support, gigabit ethernet and other bells and whistles (which you may not actually need/use,) may cost more, but older models, perhaps without the latest (AC/AX) Wi-Fi protocol support or fewer antenna can be found for very little money - literally tens of GBP.

Some SOHO routers even have an "AP Mode" option so that you can turn them into an AP/switch combo with a single "click" thereby foregoing the configuration steps outlined in the FAQ, but either way achieves the same result.
 
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