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Picture of konata88
posted
i have a new laptop. works pretty well, comes with hdmi, usb a, 2 usb c ports. comes with pretty zippy wifi. but no ethernet port.

problem is my wifi router is on the other side of the house. i have cat 5 running from the router to the room where this laptop will be used. i have a 5 port switch in this room that i used to connect to the old laptop and to household printer.

the new laptop connects to the wifi router and while the speed seems okay, the signal seems weak which may lead to spotty service.

what's the best way for me to connect to my home network? should i get a usb c ethernet cable? recommendations?

Or is there some wifi device i should get that would allow me to connect the switch to the wifi device in the room using cat 5, then connect the laptop to the wifi device so that i'm on the same subnet as the rest of the house (to share printer, etc)? Recommendations?




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 9448 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have used these recently on 2 new laptops that did not have RJ45 jacks...

USB C to RJ45 Dongle

Don't let the description alarm you... It works with Windows 10 just swimmingly. I have not yet tried it with Linux, but the reviews say it works with several Linux distros as well.


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 1380 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of henryaz
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quote:
Originally posted by bozman:
I have used these recently on 2 new laptops that did not have RJ45 jacks...

USB C to RJ45 Dongle

I have also used the Plugable USB-A to ethernet adapter with good success. Saves your USB-C ports for more modern stuff. On my Mac, I was able to achieve full gigabit speeds with this adapter.



All your 10mm are belong to us
 
Posts: 9915 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
probably a good thing
I don't have a cut
posted Hide Post
You could also use a laptop dock that would include multiple additional input and output ports including ethernet, HDMI, USB, USB-C and SD Card reader. It can even supply power if you have a Thunderbolt 3 port on your laptop.

https://www.amazon.com/VAVA-Do...rging/dp/B086DS5Q6K/
 
Posts: 2634 | Location: Tampa, FL | Registered: February 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Savor the limelight
posted Hide Post
quote:
Or is there some wifi device i should get that would allow me to connect the switch to the wifi device in the room using cat 5, then connect the laptop to the wifi device so that i'm on the same subnet as the rest of the house (to share printer, etc)?

Yes there is and it’s called a Wireless Access Point (WAP).
 
Posts: 6833 | Location: SWFL | Registered: October 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The One True IcePick
Picture of eyrich
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+1 to this, if you already have the cable run
just add an AP in the location. I would use the same wifi name (SSID).

You don't need to buy a dedicated AP, I have used routers, turn off the router DHCP function and then only plug the cable into the LAN side of the router.

some routers let you put them in AP mode.
I have had good luck with Netgear R6350 units off of ebay - you can find them around $40

Update the firmware and then tell it to go into AP mode.



quote:
Originally posted by trapper189:
quote:
Or is there some wifi device i should get that would allow me to connect the switch to the wifi device in the room using cat 5, then connect the laptop to the wifi device so that i'm on the same subnet as the rest of the house (to share printer, etc)?

Yes there is and it’s called a Wireless Access Point (WAP).




 
Posts: 754 | Location: Central, IL | Registered: September 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you usually work in one place with the laptop, I would use a docking station.

I have a large screen full size keyboard and mouse and mouse and wired network connection all attached to the docking station. One click and I can more my laptop to anyplace.

You will get the best speed with a wired connection. I would use a a usb c to rj45 as my next choice.

Third choice would replace your router to a mesh network.

I use TP-Link but Netgear and google also make them.

You could also get a Wireless Access Point.

All those solutions works, you need to decide what works best for you.
 
Posts: 3833 | Registered: February 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
A teetotaling
beer aficionado
Picture of NavyGuy
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If your LT is going to pretty much stay in the same place, I would go with the dongle to connect the cat5 cable as mentioned above. You will always have a better connection directly wired. If you are going to move your LT around and being tethered will limit this, the access point solutions also mentioned above is a good option. You'll be close to the over the air signal so your reception should be solid, albeit slower than the wired option. FWIW, my home office is on the opposite side of the house with many walls between the router and office. My desktop, laptop, phone and iPad connect fine over WIFI.

If you go WIFI and start experiencing connection issues, try 2.4 GHz which although slower than 5 GHz, gives a bit stronger connection at distance and through walls etc.



Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.

-D.H. Lawrence
 
Posts: 10204 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by trapper189:
quote:
Or is there some wifi device i should get that would allow me to connect the switch to the wifi device in the room using cat 5, then connect the laptop to the wifi device so that i'm on the same subnet as the rest of the house (to share printer, etc)?

Yes there is and it’s called a Wireless Access Point (WAP).

This is The Way ^^^^^

quote:
Originally posted by eyrich:
I would use the same wifi name (SSID).

Correct. Then all wireless devices can roam throughout the home w/o having to manually choose the best WiFi access point.

Do not use band steering. I would recommend different SSIDs for 5GHz and 2.4GHz. (The PSKs can be the same for both bands, for ease-of-use.)

quote:
Originally posted by eyrich:
You don't need to buy a dedicated AP, I have used routers, ...

Disagree. Use the right tool for the job. In this case the right tool for the job is a dedicated AP.

I've become quite fond of EnGenius products. (Main AP, 5GHz bridge in the µBarn, main network switch, and surveillance cam switch are all EnGenius, now.) I would recommend an EnGenius EAP1250 and any decent 802.3af PoE injector. (While not generally enamored of TP-Link, their PoE injectors do get good ratings and are affordable.)

The whole thing should cost you less than $75 and will rock your WiFi world Smile




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living." -- Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher
"The dominant media is no more ``mainstream`` than leftists are liberals." -- me
 
Posts: 19939 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The One True IcePick
Picture of eyrich
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Different experiences, different opinions.


quote:
Originally posted by ensigmatic:
quote:
Originally posted by trapper189:
quote:
Or is there some wifi device i should get that would allow me to connect the switch to the wifi device in the room using cat 5, then connect the laptop to the wifi device so that i'm on the same subnet as the rest of the house (to share printer, etc)?

Yes there is and it’s called a Wireless Access Point (WAP).

This is The Way ^^^^^

quote:
Originally posted by eyrich:
I would use the same wifi name (SSID).

Correct. Then all wireless devices can roam throughout the home w/o having to manually choose the best WiFi access point.

Do not use band steering. I would recommend different SSIDs for 5GHz and 2.4GHz. (The PSKs can be the same for both bands, for ease-of-use.)

quote:
Originally posted by eyrich:
You don't need to buy a dedicated AP, I have used routers, ...

Disagree. Use the right tool for the job. In this case the right tool for the job is a dedicated AP.

I've become quite fond of EnGenius products. (Main AP, 5GHz bridge in the µBarn, main network switch, and surveillance cam switch are all EnGenius, now.) I would recommend an EnGenius EAP1250 and any decent 802.3af PoE injector. (While not generally enamored of TP-Link, their PoE injectors do get good ratings and are affordable.)

The whole thing should cost you less than $75 and will rock your WiFi world Smile




 
Posts: 754 | Location: Central, IL | Registered: September 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of konata88
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Thanks guys. I'm still a little confused so want to make sure I'm understanding.

1. wired connection would be best. but wifi would also work if connection point was close.

2. wired connection can be done via usb c dongle to cat 5 (already in the room) or docking station (I checked for thunderbolt docking station and they seem to be about $300).

3. connecting to existing router using 2.4 does result in stronger signal than 5.0. should otherwise be transparent to me.

4. could use a WAP to provide wifi access to the same subnet that the rest of my house is using by using the same SSID. The WAP could also provide wired service to other devices in the room (printer, etc). The WAP would provide wifi to the room as well as behave like the switch I am currently using in the room. WAP basically doesn't provide router and DHCP services. Acts like a wired and wifi switch on the same network as the router. Router device w/ these services turned off could work.

5. Not planning to move this laptop around. It will mostly stay in place. Docking solution looks clean but costly at $300. (cheaper solutions may be available but I will only trust US name brands).

6. USBc tbt dongle seems like the cost effective way to go although I'll look into WAP as well; the switch is old and perhaps the new laptop and future devices can run faster than the switch is capable (gigabit switch?).




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 9448 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
posted Hide Post
As mentioned above you can successfully use the USB C to Ethernet hard wired.
Adding an AP would be the best for wireless connectivity and NO NEED for router.
Also agree with separate 2.4 and 5.0 SSID's and agree that Band Steering while good in theory does not always work well.
With multiple AP's there are some config and best practices ~ for example: turning down power if your AP is so capable on bands as not to overlap and especially turning down 2.4. Physical placement of the AP can make a big difference.
Good Luck
 
Posts: 19014 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
2. wired connection can be done via usb c dongle to cat 5 (already in the room) or docking station (I checked for thunderbolt docking station and they seem to be about $300).

Hmmm... $300 vs. $75 Wink

Unless you need the assured bandwidth of a wired connection, I'd go WiFi. Bonus: Anybody else using WiFi near that end of the home will also realize improved performance.

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
3. connecting to existing router using 2.4 does result in stronger signal than 5.0. should otherwise be transparent to me.

"Stronger signal" does not necessarily equate to better performance. 5GHz can have more bandwidth and less interference from other nearby, competing APs.

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
4. could use a WAP to provide wifi access to the same subnet that the rest of my house is using by using the same SSID.

If you use an AP, or a WiFi router dumbed-down to be no more than an AP: Yes.

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
The WAP could also provide wired service to other devices in the room (printer, etc).

No. That role is performed by a wireless bridge. You don't need a wireless bridge. You already have wires.

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
The WAP would provide wifi to the room as well as behave like the switch I am currently using in the room.

No. The AP will be an AP. Will provide WiFi only.

You already have wired access running to the room in question. You're going to plug the AP into the switch in that room to add another WiFi AP.

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
WAP basically doesn't provide router and DHCP services. Acts like a wired and wifi switch on the same network as the router.

Close, but there's no "wired" part to it. Think of it as just the radio portion of your WiFi router.

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
Router device w/ these services turned off could work.

Could, but not the optimal solution in my view.

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
5. Not planning to move this laptop around.

The key word there is "planning" Wink

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
... the switch is old and perhaps the new laptop and future devices can run faster than the switch is capable (gigabit switch?).

Not necessarily meaningful. How "old?" My "old" eight-port NetGear ProSafe switch was supplying reliable GigE service to four-five GigE devices and another four 100mb/s devices. Only reason I replaced it was I ran out of ports and wanted a managed switch.

If you're going to go the PoE AP route and wish to update your switch you can get a NetGear unmanaged 5-port PoE switch for $75 and the EnGenius AP I noted earlier for $60. Then you wouldn't need the separate PoE injector.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living." -- Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher
"The dominant media is no more ``mainstream`` than leftists are liberals." -- me
 
Posts: 19939 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
eh-TEE-oh-clez
Picture of Aeteocles
posted Hide Post
Smschulz and Ensigmatic have a pretty good handle on the Wi-Fi portion.

I will, however, make mention that a USB hub can be had for far less than $300. USB-C is a universal standard, and there is an endless number of USB Docking stations/hubs on Amazon of varying prices.

With a hub, you also get access to additional display outputs, usb ports, card readers, and etc.

I've got two 4k monitors, USB webcam, document scanner and the ethernet cable coming off of my docking station with the single USB-C connection. The docking station I have also provides its own power so that devices pulling power off of the USB port isn't pulling it off of the laptop's motherboard.

Putting a high bandwidth device like a laptop onto an ethernet connection improves wi-fi quality for the other devices that have to share that radio space.
 
Posts: 12013 | Location: Orange County, California | Registered: May 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of konata88
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If I go the docking station route, I was planning to get a Thunderbolt 4 version (laptop supports Thunderbolt 4 via USBc). And would only buy from name brand (not one of the various PRC offerings). But at this point, docks are expensive and reviews are somewhat mixed for the cost. Provides better future proofing but don't really need anything beyond ethernet at this point.

So, I think for now, dock is out.

Trying to decide between WAP (and between AP only or WAP+wired bridge to replace existing switch) or just an ethernet dongle.....

Laptop doesn't move except for maybe taking it for vacation (but I can bring my old device for that). I use my other device (the system just replaced) for around the house. So, I think dongle should be enough. Was thinking of the WAP+bridge if my switch is too old. But even though its about 10 years old, sounds like its still relatively good enough with gigabit support.




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 9448 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
Trying to decide between WAP (and between AP only or WAP+wired bridge to replace existing switch) or just an ethernet dongle.....

I don't see the point in bridge + WAP. You said the wireless signal is weak, there. A bridge will probably do better than a phone, tablet, or laptop, but it probably won't be great.

For example: We have a shed about 100 ft. back of the home. 5GHz all but disappears on its ramp. 2.4GHz is marginally usable on that ramp. I have an EnGenius 5GHz bridge in there, now, for experimentation. The best consistent throughput I've managed has been 80Mb/s, and that sometimes drops to 60Mb/s.

Again: You already have a wired connection in the room. Drop a new switch in there, if you feel you must, add an AP, and you'll be GTG.

Or just get an Ethernet USB dongle and plug the thing into the switch.

Trust me on this. I used to do this kind of thing for a living Smile smschulz still does it for a living.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living." -- Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher
"The dominant media is no more ``mainstream`` than leftists are liberals." -- me
 
Posts: 19939 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not to poke my head into other's area of expertise, but the dongle can be done for less than $20 and you may have it in the next 2 days if you are a amazon prime member and are close to a hub.

That will give you immediate use of the laptop while you decide whichever route you want to go (new WiFi 6 router, new mesh system, access point, etc.).


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 1380 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of konata88
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Thanks guys. And Ensigmatic and SMschulz for your expertise.

I'm gonna go w/ the dongle for now. Seems like the simplest, direct solution. Cheapest and nothing new to manage (I was looking at the netgear AP and was reminded how much i hate netgear and them requiring a netgear account to manage their routers).

It's challenging to find a dongle as well - seems like almost all have some mixed reviews, many of them referring to the need to download a realtek driver in order to get the advertised speeds. That gives me pause. (Dell, Anker, Belkin).

I'll keep looking.




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 9448 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
... (I was looking at the netgear AP and was reminded how much i hate netgear and them requiring a netgear account to manage their routers).

That's why I specifically recommended an EnGenius AP.

I used to be a big fan of NetGear ProSafe kit. Not anymore. Not for years. Used to like Ubiquity, until they left me in the cold by obsoleting the management software required to manage my AP from my computer. Then I thought "I don't agree with smschulz on some things, but he seems a pretty sharp cookie and he likes EnGenius, so..."

The thing I like about EnGenius is they have both cloud- and locally-managed options. Then, of the locally-managed wireless options, you can choose to manage them directly or with management on one of their switches.

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
It's challenging to find a dongle as well - seems like almost all have some mixed reviews, many of them referring to the need to download a realtek driver in order to get the advertised speeds. That gives me pause. (Dell, Anker, Belkin).

See: By just adding an AP to the switch you already have: No new drivers with which to deal Wink

quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
I'll keep looking.

Shall I point you to some product pages on *ick* Amazon? Big Grin

Oh, and you're welcome Smile




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living." -- Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher
"The dominant media is no more ``mainstream`` than leftists are liberals." -- me
 
Posts: 19939 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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