Hardware Ethernet hub or WiFi USB module?

DiscostewSM

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
5,484
Trophies
2
Location
Sacramento, California
Website
lazerlight.x10.mx
XP
5,522
Country
United States
Currently, I have my room of "tech" on one side of the house. On the opposite side....is where the internet router is. It's placed there because it offers the most convenience to all devices in the house, as well as when we have company over. Fortunately, I have an long ethernet cable that's connected to my desktop computer to the router. This at least let's me do a lot of stuff online that I normally couldn't do. But, I'm looking to connect many of my other devices, like my Wii U, and being on the other side of the house, the WiFi signal is weak.

What I've done for the time being is had my laptop connected with the ethernet cable, and used as a virtual router for my Wii U and such when the signal from my actual router goes unstable from the distance, but I've been thinking of getting a WiFi USB module, and having my desktop computer act as the virtual router, since I use that everyday. The main thing I'm concerned about is stability, as sometimes, my laptop (4 years old) when used has had a slight tendency to just cut off the signal, and even with my Wii U right next to it, I feel like I'm experiencing lag. I don't know if it's just because of the way the WiFi was used, or if it's my laptop. Anyways, because of this, I also thought about an ethernet hub, but that would only benefit a few devices, like my Wii U (via adapter). I'm undecided about what I want to get. Getting both, imo, is not really an option right now. One offers a benefit to a range of devices, assuming the virtual router method is stable, while the other would benefit fewer, but would appear to not have the same possible problems.

Should I go virtual router via WiFi USB module, or ethernet hub? I mainly game with my desktop and Wii U, with the occasional 3DS, but I've been doing a decent amount of 3DS homebrew, and having my router so far away from my workstation prevent a good connection for testing my implementations.
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
36,796
Trophies
3
XP
28,412
Country
United Kingdom
For the price of a switch or a decent USB wifi module it looks like you can pick up an old WRT54G, or some other DDWRT compatible router. That will act as a switch to give you more ethernet socket, a wireless router to either give you another location or a private/guest network and DDWRT will give you a proper network device to play with.
 

cracker

Nyah!
Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
3,619
Trophies
1
XP
2,213
Country
United States
Another option is a power line network bridge. Many people don't know about these. They work great as long as your line doesn't suffer from a lot of interference and is usually better than wifi through walls.

Edit: Overlooked the 3DS. :ph34r:
 

DjoeN

Captain Haddock!
Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
5,489
Trophies
0
Age
54
Location
Somewhere in this potatoland!
Website
djoen.dommel.be
XP
2,857
Country
Belgium
A good descent WiFi repeater?

Personally i would go for an ethernet hub, cable still gives you the full speed you need!
I never connected my x360, Wii-U or Ps3 over WiFi, so i really can't compare how it affects online play, but i bet downloading will have an effect over WiFi or Cable.
 

DiscostewSM

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
5,484
Trophies
2
Location
Sacramento, California
Website
lazerlight.x10.mx
XP
5,522
Country
United States
For the price of a switch or a decent USB wifi module it looks like you can pick up an old WRT54G, or some other DDWRT compatible router. That will act as a switch to give you more ethernet socket, a wireless router to either give you another location or a private/guest network and DDWRT will give you a proper network device to play with.


Would that allow me to do something like Homepass? I should have mentioned that before (as a reason for considering a WiFi USB dongle).
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
36,796
Trophies
3
XP
28,412
Country
United Kingdom
I have not kept up with current homepass stuff but originally stuff like ddwrt was one of the easier ways of doing such hacks -- it should happily allow you to set a mac address of your choosing for the access point.
 

DiscostewSM

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
5,484
Trophies
2
Location
Sacramento, California
Website
lazerlight.x10.mx
XP
5,522
Country
United States
Almost thought it was my lucky day. I was recalling that my work had upgraded their internet some time ago, so the old equipment was replaced. A DSL modem and an 8-port switch. Found the switch, and attempted to test it out. Unfortunately, it was toast, and would not work at all (plus made a hissing noise). I did find a 10/100 NIC, so I was thinking to myself.

Would I be able to install that in my computer, giving me 2 ethernet ports, and have my desktop act as a pass-through to the internet for my Wii U that would be plugged into the 2nd port?
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
36,796
Trophies
3
XP
28,412
Country
United Kingdom
"plus made a hissing noise"
Grab it anyway. Hissing could be something bad but it could also be that an electrolytic capacitor cooked itself. A trip down to fry's and a few cents of capacitors could be all that it needs to be fixed.

Dual network cards. Yeah you should be able to share the internet connection or make a bridged connection.
XP
https://www.microsoft.com/resources...xp/all/proddocs/en-us/hnw_bridge_install.mspx
Windows 7 and probably 8
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/create-network-bridge#1TC=windows-7

Linux (will vary a bit between distributions but probably not by a lot unless you are going all command line)
https://wiki.debian.org/BridgeNetworkConnections
 

DiscostewSM

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
5,484
Trophies
2
Location
Sacramento, California
Website
lazerlight.x10.mx
XP
5,522
Country
United States
What about something like this?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FWYGJS/

This looked like what I could use, is cheap, and supposedly is DDWRT-compatible, but from the look of the answers section, it may ship with v9, which doesn't seem to be supported. This one on Amazon is marked as a TL-WR841N, whereas the database specified TL-WR841ND. Dunno if it makes a difference.

While not a router, I did find this...

http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WR710N-Wireless-Repeater-Charging/dp/B00FRMAOIO/

It would at least give me a port out for my desktop PC, grant WiFi to my available devices, and is small enough that it could be easily carried (alongside my laptop) if I ever needed to take it. Dunno about compatibility with DDWRT though.
 

Site & Scene News

Popular threads in this forum

General chit-chat
Help Users
    K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2: Yes but Nintendo can sue Nintendo and I'll still win