Not sure what happened above - i can assure you my post was MUCH longer than that.... take 2:
I need some help in upgrading my home network. I am pretty computer savvy and can generally get things to work but must admit it is normally from following instructions found on the internet and I may not actually know what I am doing – this is especially true when it comes to networking!! I will start by describing current set up and the problems with it and then go on to my thoughts on how I can make it better – I would appreciate some comments on whether the suggested approach will work and if not, can I make it work or is there a better idea. I have drawn a diagram of the current set up which I will work out how to attach and post up tomorrow. I am sorry about my lack of knowledge when it comes to the terminology I use in the rest of this post!
I live in a block of flats where I rent one flat (flat 1 – the one I live in) and have a room in another which I will call flat 2 (I live in the same block as my Mum – sad I know!). My internet connection goes into flat 2 (Virgin 100mb (cable)) and I use the supplied Virgin Superhub. My internet connection must stay in Flat 2 as the room I have in flat 2 I use as a music studio and I do an online radio show each week from the studio and as such it is important that it has a good internet connection. The Virgin super hub is connected to the 2 computers in the studio via 1gb Ethernet LAN (1 ethernet wire running to each) and I am happy with the connection they have. When I am in Flat 2 I normally will also have one or 2 wireless devices with me (phone / laptop / tablet etc) which connect to the superhub via wireless and I am generally happy with the speeds they get.
Separating Flat 1 and 2 there are 2 brick walls and a floor (not sure what the floor is made of). In Flat 1 I have a WN2000RPT (Netgear wireless repeater) located in the place I get the strongest signal from the Virgin Superhub in Flat 2. This rebroadcasts the wireless signal throughout Flat 1 and is the device that for the majority of the time I am connected to. I live in flat 1 so generally when ever I surf on my phone / tablet or laptop it is normally here. My partner and daughter also have numerous wireless devices that unless they go into flat 2 chances are they are connected to the repeater.
In my living room in flat 1 I have an old Linksys WRT54G on which I have installed DD-WRT firmware and I use it in client bridge mode. It is connected via wireless to the wireless repeater. Connected to it via Ethernet cables I have an xbox 360, sky HD box and a WD TV Live Hub.
Things I like about this set up are that everything can see everything – I can send files around and access all shared drives to my hearts content. The WD TV Hub has a couple of USB hard drives connected which I keep all my media on and as such acts a bit like a file server for all the other devices on the network. I also like the way that as both the Virgin hub and repeater have all the same wireless settings I can go between the flats and any wireless devices just connect to the strongest signal. I am also happy with the speeds I get between wireless devices and the wired devices connected to the Superhub (i.e. in flat 2).
What I don’t like are the speeds I get in flat 1, whether that is downloading files from the internet or transferring files between different devices that are connected to the repeater (for example transferring a film from the WD Live TV hub to a laptop connected to the repeater is painfully slow and all too often the connection drops half way through an I have to start again). Also, services such as iplayer on the sky box are too slow bearing in mind the speed of my internet connection (iplayer on a pc in flat 2 is MUCH faster to download the HD content). The speeds I get transferring files from any device in Flat 1 to a device in Flat 2 is also painfully slow.
I am prepared to spend some reasonable money to get this running faster. What is not possible unfortunately is to run an Ethernet cable between the 2 flats and I believe I cant use the ethernet powerline adapters to get a connection between the 2 flats as they both have their own electricity meter. Powerline Ethernet could be an option in Flat 1 though.