I don’t like wireless connections; they’re always second-best, be it in terms of security, speed, or reliability. Here’s how my apartment looks (very approximately):
.-P1----. .-------------------P4-,---------, | PC | | COMFY SOFA . | | | | . Closed | | .-, | | Living room . Porch | | |B| P2 | . | | |E| | . | | |D| | HUGE CUPBOARD TV . R PC | `-------' `-P3-------------------'--P5-----' My room
The room on the left is mine, with my (constantly torrenting) PC in bed-viewing
position. The router (
R) is in the closed porch, connected to my roommate’s
PC. Wifi doesn’t stand a chance through two walls and the porch’s glass screen.
P5 are power outlets.
Put a reverse DD-WRT router at P2 (with a cable going across the room from the PC). Slow connection, not very reliable. This worked well enough for several months.
Get a pair of homeplugs. Stick one at P1 (connected through a power strip shared by the PC, speakers, screen and guitar amp). Stick another at P5 (connected through a power strip shared by the other PC, router, modem, TV, fan, printer, speakers and a lamp). It shouldn’t work - but it does. It blinks red, is nowhere near the promised 200Mbps, but it’s still faster (and more reliable) than my internet connection. These homeplug devices are fantastic - they require literally no configuration (unless you want to reconfigure the encryption keys) and work very well, I highly recommend them. The problem was when I got an Xtreamer - a cute device to watch my shows on my living room TV (see: comfy sofa). Once I plug it in, the homeplug connection dies on me, proverbially the last straw.
Thankfully, I have my Big Box of Electronic Junk, which contained a Super Long (read: haven’t measured it) network cable. Moved the homeplug to P3, hid the cable behind the Huge Cupboard. Problem solved. On a side note, I would have preferred a Boxee Box, but sadly it doesn’t support lame old RCA connections.