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Cable Router/Splitter Question
Old 05-09-2017, 11:42 AM   #1
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Cable Router/Splitter Question

I expect that ethernet is not like a phone line even though they look similar. I have just moved and went from DSL to cable.The cable router has only one ethernet plug, can I use a splitter to connect my computer directly in and also my WIFI router? The cable router provides 90 MB when directly connected to my computer but only 40 MB when I run the cable into the WIFI router. Not a big loss, I was used to 5-15 MB on DSL but hate to lose so much theoretical cable capacity.
So will the splitter work? Do I need to upgrade my WIFI router (old but functional Linksys WRT54GL) to use the full cable capacity? Or will there really not be significant difference between 40 MB & 90 MB? so its not really worth the effort to split/upgrade?
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:47 AM   #2
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You would typically use a gigabit ethernet switch to provide the additional ports off the cable router. A low end 8 port switch is usually around $20.00. Your old router likely is fine for up to 100GB so you probably don't need a new router, but if you do buy one you may end up with some additional features you may find useful.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:57 AM   #3
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Specs on that router say 54Mbps so that's why your speed is reduced. If you are doing online gaming you probably would notice the difference. For other stuff, probably not so much but you could try it direct and then through the router and see if you notice. I would probably upgrade the router over getting a switch/splitter so that I could get the full speed whether wired or wireless.
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:03 PM   #4
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Upgrading your cable modem will increase your speed. Plugging a new wireless router into the modem will allow better wireless security if you follow instructions to set it up. It should also have several ports if you do want to use an Ethernet port for some reason.
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:03 PM   #5
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You would typically use a gigabit ethernet switch to provide the additional ports off the cable router. A low end 8 port switch is usually around $20.00. Your old router likely is fine for up to 100GB so you probably don't need a new router, but if you do buy one you may end up with some additional features you may find useful.
I agree with this, and would actually suggest you give serious consideration to upgrading to a newer router that supports the 802.11ac standard. You'll get much better Wifi coverage and stability throughout your house with this, along with higher throughput for your data that will be quite helpful if you do any video streaming, like Netflix or YouTube, etc. Your current router is 10+ year old technology that is two major revisions behind the current Wifi standard. Like you said, it is limiting your Wifi to around 40mbps, whereas a new 802.11ac router will give you the full 90mbps from your Internet provider. Of course, if you're happy with the old one and it still works, then that's all that matters.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:01 PM   #6
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I expect that ethernet is not like a phone line even though they look similar. I have just moved and went from DSL to cable.The cable router has only one ethernet plug, can I use a splitter to connect my computer directly in and also my WIFI router?
Do you have a cable modem or a cable modem/router combination box? From your description it sounds like it's just a cable modem, a combination box would usually have more than one ethernet port. If that's the case I doubt you could connect a switch directly to it to connect multiple devices. Most cable companies only hand out one IP per home unless you have a special account (business) which is why you connect a router to it and use that to hand out IP's to all your devices.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:02 PM   #7
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+1 for a new router

My choice is the TP-Link Archer C7 - not bleeding edge but gets the job done and supports AC

Your router might have some resale value on eBay- depends on the HW version
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:38 PM   #8
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I appreciate the advice. I have loved and understand my old router but it is 10 years old. Seems like the best way to go forward is to upgrade the router. Nothing much exotic that I want to do, just my internet connection by wire to my desktop and WIFI to the iphones and Apple TV for Netflix. Any recommendations for a good router?
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:52 PM   #9
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A new wireless router would be appropriate with 90Mb cable speeds.

You should be plugging the wireless router's WAN input into the cable modem and then your (desktop) computer into the wireless router. I assume your wireless router has something like 4 ethernet outputs, unless it is just a wireless access point. That should allow full 90Mb speed to your computer and the usual wireless speeds to your wireless connections.

Some older wireless routers were somewhat limited in their wired ethernet speed, even if the ethernet port speed was 100Mb. If you still get 90Mb when wired as described above and are happy with the wireless speed you have then your router is not seriously limiting you.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:56 PM   #10
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Doesn't your WiFi router have ethernet outputs? I run my ethernet cable from my cable modem to my WiFi router and run an ethernet cable from my router to an old Windows 7 desktop. BTW I also have an old router (Linksys WRT54G2) which has 4 ethernet outputs in addition to the WiFi.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:58 PM   #11
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My best router has been the ASUS RT-AC66U. I'm no expert, but I've had it for a couple of years and never had to reset it. All my other routers have required fairly routine resets. I'm sure the software is common to most of ASUS's routers. Whatever version fits your budget should be fine.
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:56 PM   #12
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I appreciate the advice. I have loved and understand my old router but it is 10 years old. Seems like the best way to go forward is to upgrade the router. Nothing much exotic that I want to do, just my internet connection by wire to my desktop and WIFI to the iphones and Apple TV for Netflix. Any recommendations for a good router?
I would look up router reviews. CNET is one source. I use a Netgear router. Since our house has one questionable spot (through walls and maybe 75 feet away) I also have just installed a Netgear N300 extender ($25 from Amazon). Seems to have fixed my easy chair wifi issues.
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:07 PM   #13
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I prefer hard-wired ethernet wherever possible. I have a 4-port switch near my wife's computer. It hooks up her computer, the internet TV, and her printer. I have two 8-port gigabit switches, plus a spare, in my basement office area. They hook up her switch, a couple of printers, my two computers, our internet radio receiver, a couple of NAS boxes, the DSL router, which is also the wireless access point, and whatever else I am fiddling with at the time. They are D-Link DGS-2208s; they are easily picked up for under $20 on eBay or Amazon.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:17 PM   #14
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Been using an Apple Airport Extreme 2nd generation since it came out almost ten years ago. I can't recall ever having to reset it. "It just works."

OTOH, it's probably time to upgrade. But the cat still likes to lay on her "warm spot" and I'd hate to take it away from her.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:28 PM   #15
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When you have a long distance to go, it is best to run a CAT5 or CAT6 cable to a 2nd wireless router. I did this 15 or more years ago, and it works well.

So I have wireless router #1 in the basement, closer to one end of the house. This covers the north end of the house. A CAT5 run to the attic, and down to router #2, in a bedroom near the south end of the house, provides great signal to the 3 bedrooms. Another advantage is that the upstairs wireless provides good coverage to the back yard.

Since the cable comes into the basement, it was simple to make a CAT5 run to my 1st floor office and 16-port switch. At various times I had 2 or 3 switches throughout the house for business and kids' use.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:45 PM   #16
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This is my favorite router review site:

https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/tool...rs/router/view

Maybe a bit technical, but very comprehensive reviews and sortable rankings.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:25 PM   #17
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OTOH, it's probably time to upgrade. But the cat still likes to lay on her "warm spot" and I'd hate to take it away from her.
Is there much signal degradation when the cat is on it?
Maybe she provides a good Cat 5e connection... (geek humor)
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:42 PM   #18
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Try an inexpensive Gigabit router. You will be impressed with the advancement since the trusty ole WRT45G. Security is better as well.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:49 PM   #19
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I expect that ethernet is not like a phone line even though they look similar. I have just moved and went from DSL to cable.The cable router has only one ethernet plug, can I use a splitter to connect my computer directly in and also my WIFI router?
No, you can't use a simple splitter the way you can with phone lines.

Usually, your incoming cable will connect to a cable "modem". This converts the RF signals on the coax cable, to digital signals on your wired ethernet. Most cable modems have a single ethernet connection. You can connect your computer to this port with a CAT5 cable and you're good to go.

When you need more ethernet connections (for printers, VOIP phone adapters, or whatever), you typically connect the cable modem to a router. The router splits the incoming ethernet into 4 or more outputs. One of these would go to your computer, the other 3 ports could go to network printers or other wired network devices.

Note that most routers also provide a wireless Wi-Fi connection, so you can use your tablets, smart phones, or other wireless devices.

If you need more ports than your router supplies, you can connect one of the ports to a network switch. This further splits the ethernet connection into 4, 8, or more ports.

If the Wi-Fi signal from your wireless router does not cover your entire house, you can run wired ethernet to the other side of the house, then add a wireless access point. It's basically like a wireless router without the extra output ports.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:52 AM   #20
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Back in the day before wireless was popular and having you own laptop was considered a luxury, I had two desktops and used a manual switch two switch between two computers. At that time, I had a mac and pc (Mac more for hobby, PC for w*rk related). This worked as long as I didn't mind not being able to go online with both PCs at the same time.

Now, to connect an extra device I usually use wireless. Though use an extra wire sometimes connected to the router if I need to quicker speed for downloading a large file.
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