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The distance between the modem and the hub does not matter, so you could extend the Ethernet cable if you wanted to.
If you want better wireless coverage then none of the home hubs are going to be any better, as they have internal wireless aerials.
Sooner than change the home hub, you would be better of buying a decent wireless router which has two or more external wireless aerials.
Something like the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND which is about £35, and will give much better performance, and will connect directly into the Openreach modem.
If you want to get rid of the modem as well, then read this thread.
Its easy to change to a wireless router. You simply unplug the red lead from the home hub, and plug it into the WAN socket on the wireless router.
There is a liitle bit of configuaration to do on the wireless router, and then it should be fine.
If you have or intend to use BT Vision, then you are going to be stuck with using a home hub, or one of the routers that support multicast.
Also, have you considered any of the options on this page to extend wireless over the main wiring?
If that is the case, then a wireless access point would be much simpler, provided you have a spare Ethernet port on your switch.
Look at the TP Link TL-WA701ND, I have three of these.
Setup is on this link.
This also has the facility to provide a separate wireless network for guests, so you do not have to give them your main wirelees key.
Or the TP-LINK TL-WA901ND.
These would simply plug into an existing Ethernet port.
Well, I have the original home hub 1, whose wireless had a habit of locking up, so I now have two WA701NDs, one downstairs and one upstairs.
I have a third one on a different subnet, which provides an isolated guest network for visitors, and my neighbour who we have known for 35 years. I look after his IT stuff, and he helps me with DIY stuff.
Just remember to follow my setup page and ensure that its IP address is similar to what I suggest, ie, outside of the DHCP range.
The WA701ND has a single external aerial, but performs very well, and as I said, it has the option of up to four different SSIDS, each with their own settings and wireless MAC filtering as well, so you can control who has access.
They also have their own DHCP server which you can reserve IP addresses, so you can turn off the troublesome home hub DHCP server, which is what I do.
The WA701ND has never had issues with devices not connecting, even Apple stuff, which my neighbour has, connects without any problem.
You have it correct. You use it as an access point not a repeater, my help page shows both, but its the access point option you need, or multi SSID if you want more than one SSID.
The WA701ND has to be initially configured by plugging it int the LAN port of a PC, that is to allow yo to change the mode and IP address to 192.168.1.16.
Once this is done, you can access it when its connected to your switch port, and you can make any changes to the SSID and wireless password.
Its really a very simple device with lots of useful options incloding a througput monitor.