Using the Room's Ethernet port to extend the Wifi Signal

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Using the Room's Ethernet port to extend the Wifi Signal

Hello,

 

I currently have the Hitron modem from Rogers broadcasting my wifi at home in the great room. The problem is that the signal is very weak upstairs on the other side of the house. I recently realized that I have Ethernet ports in every room that were installed by my home builder and I could see them color-coded per each room and found that there is 2 white boxes with Ethernet ports located beside the electrical panel in the basement that have the same color codes as these in the rooms upstairs (these boxes look like Ethernet switches). I have an extra router that can be used as an Access point and I wanted to know if I can use that router to connect to the Ethernet port in the room with the weak signal in order to get internet using the Rogers wifi?

 

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Re: Using the Room's Ethernet port to extend the Wifi Signal

@MY20  Hi, and welcome to the Community!

 

That could work, but I would recommend investing in a WiFi mesh network instead.  The eero is a great choice, and they usually go on sale on Amazon on Prime day, and tech news sites regularly round up the best products and post their top picks as new products come out.  I believe that Rogers Internet customers also still have the option of renting an eero WiFi mesh (eero Pro + Beacons) from Rogers.

 

The advantage of a mesh network is that they are easy to set up and manage, even for novices, and the good ones will seamlessly hand off your mobile device's connection to a better/closer node as you roam around your house.  If you re-purpose your old Wi-Fi router and configure it as an Access Point, it will improve your Wi-Fi coverage but you won't get seamless roaming.  Wi-Fi devices have a tendency to maintain their connection to the AP until that connection starts to become unusable.  A Wi-Fi mesh network has additional intelligence and is aware of all the nodes that make up a mesh.  It's nice when you can make a FaceTime or Skype call and walk through your house without the connection dropping.

 

Rogers will recommend that you switch to Ignite Internet and install Pods to extend Wi-Fi coverage.  That is certainly a cost-effective option that is worth considering, especially if you plan to switch to Ignite TV, and you will also benefit from seamless roaming, but if you really need really good Wi-Fi, there are better options available.



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Re: Using the Room's Ethernet port to extend the Wifi Signal

@my20, I'll offer a different perspective to this.  Yes, you can simply connect an ethernet cable from one port to another port on the two ethernet connected enclosures.  That should connect the modem, thru the ethernet ports downstairs, to the router upstairs.  Note that this should work, but, the distance might be a bit of a stretch.  

 

What usually happens here is that you would install an unmanaged gigabit switch to the correct port downstairs, and then connect the ports of the gigabit switch to the remaining colour coded ports leading to the upstairs rooms.  That will provide ethernet service to all of the connected ports.  You can then connect another router, in any location where you have an ethernet port. 

 

One caution I would provide is that you should test the ports to ensure that they've been connected correctly.  Trust but verify, as has been said in the past.  I recommend buying an ethernet cable tester, such as the following, which would allow you to test each cable run to determine if the cable run and its connectors are fully functional.  Ethernet cables have 4 wire pairs within the cable.  Only two wire pairs, connected end to end are required to run 100 Mb/s.  All four wire pairs must be connected end to end in order to run anything over 100 Mb/s.  The cable tester would confirm that all four wire pairs are connected, and whether or not each wire is connected properly.  

 

Running the test takes a couple of minutes most of which is the climbing up and down the stairs, but, at the end of the test, you would know and have confidence that the cable system if fully operational or, that a specific cable has some type of problem with the cable to connector pinning. 

 

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/sperry-instruments-cable-test-plus-coax-utp-stp-tstr-tests-for-open...

 

https://www.amazon.ca/Sperry-Instruments-TT64202-Tester-Master/dp/B004Y75B5Y

 

The unmanaged gigabit switch to ethernet ports connection requires short patch cables such as the following, which can be bought in 6 inch or 1 foot lengths:

 

https://www.monoprice.com/category/cables/networking-patch-cables

 

As for @-G-'s recommendation for a mesh network, I would only recommend that if the pods can connect via ethernet.  There's absolutely no chance that I would ever recommend a wifi based mesh network of any type over an ethernet connect system which does the same purpose, simply to take advantage of the wired speeds that the ethernet cable system can provide.  There are other systems that will run mesh networks via ethernet.  Asus AiMesh comes to mind although I don't use it as its not necessary in my home.  I might give it a go one of these days, just for experimentation's sake.  So, food for thought, even if you find yourself forced onto the Ignite TV system one day, strongly consider using some other mesh network, if necessary, that runs over ethernet.  All personal opinion of course......

 

If you connect the downstairs ethernet ports, so that you have a complete path, from modem to router, check the back of the modem, specifically the connected port LED.  If its flashing amber, that indicates a 1 Gb/s connection rate with the router or other connected device.  A flashing green port LED indicates a 10/100 Mb/s connection rate.  That could be the result of the total length of cable, downstairs and upstairs again, or, that the one or more of the ports are only connected for 100 Mb/s operation.  Thats where the cable tester comes into play, to determine what the ethernet ports are connected for, 10/100 Mb/s, or 1 Gb/s. 

 

 



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Re: Using the Room's Ethernet port to extend the Wifi Signal

@MY20  In my home, I also have Cat 5e (Ethernet) cabling that runs to a "home" location in my basement, next to the electrical panel.  I place my modem and router there, and also have a LAN switch that the Ethernet connections in my house all run to.  I use wired Ethernet for anything that really needs high-speed LAN connectivity.  I also use additional LAN switches to expand connectivity in some rooms, and uplink those switches to the "backbone" switch in my basement.

 

My Wi-Fi needs are fairly simple.  I just need good, solid, reliable connectivity throughout my home.  I use Wi-Fi to connect my Ignite TV set-top boxes and for my mobile devices.  I do not use any Rogers-provided equipment for Wi-Fi.

 

I have a fairly large home and have gotten good results from a 2-node Wi-Fi mesh, where each node has a single 2.4 GHz radio and two 5GHz WiFi radios, one of which is used for a dedicated backhaul between the wireless nodes.  I place one node upstairs, in the middle/front of the house.  A second node was placed downstairs, in the middle/rear of the house.  I have EXCELLENT connectivity between the two nodes, and that gives me good coverage and good-enough performance throughout.  I also have the option of running a wired backhaul network, which also works great.

 

I have since replaced the mesh with business-grade Wi-Fi Access Points.  I can get good Wi-Fi coverage with a single AP, and I can strategically add additional access points to expand coverage and add a a network controller to enable seamless roaming.  (With that setup, my set-top boxes get 866 Mb/s 5 GHz connections; my iPhone and tablet can only do 433 Mb/s.  I get the best Wi-Fi connectivity that my devices are capable of.)

 

Before going with commercial APs, I tested my Wi-Fi coverage by configuring a Wi-Fi router as an Access Point, much like you were considering.  If I placed it in just the right location upstairs, I found that I could also get good-enough coverage throughout my house.

 

Any of those options perform WAY better than the Ignite Wi-Fi Pods, that can only deliver 200 Mb/s of throughput on a good day.

 

My setup works well because I do not use all-in-one devices and I place each piece of network gear in optimal locations.

 

@MY20  You haven't really said what your Wi-Fi connectivity needs are other than you would like to expand your Wi-Fi coverage.  However, given that you have existing network cabling, you have plenty of options, and I'm sure that we can help you find a good solution that meets your budget and your technical comfort level.  In the end, you will be better off when you disable Wi-Fi on the Rogers gateway and install an alternate Wi-Fi solution in its place.

 

If you want to check whether you can get Ethernet connectivity with your home wiring, you can also achieve that by connecting a computer's Ethernet cable at one end and a LAN switch (perhaps your old router) at the other.  If you get a link light, great.  If cannot establish a link or if you should run into problems and need to troubleshoot, you can then invest in the test equipment that @Datalink recommends.