Home network wiring

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. P1 through P5 are power outlets.

First solution

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.

Second solution

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.

Third solution

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.