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Message 1 of 4

Improving wifi coverage using cat5 wiring

Background information:

 I have BT fibre broadband.  My house is large and has cat5 wiring installed.  It has concrete floors and two separate power circuits - ground floor and first floor.  I live in Cornwall and the quality of the broadband connection is variable for who knows what reasons at the best of times.  The BT box (with a single out port) is in the utility room, where all the cat5 wires originate.  The BT engineer used the cat5 wiring to connect up the BT router in our living room.  Unfortunately this means it is positioned in one corner of the house rather than centrally (say in the hall).

 The problem:

With my 3 kids back at home and my wife and I working from home because of lockdown my wifi is struggling to cope, and people are finding it impossible to connect at all upstairs.  As a temporary solution I have plugged in an extension cable into a downstairs power socket and connected a Tenda powerline extender.  While this provides sufficient speeds to send emails etc it can't handle video calls.

Question/Solution:

I have identified that one of the cat5 cables goes to the loft (I have been unable to track down where some of the cables emerge).    My thinking is to install an old router in the attic using the cat5 wiring to improve the quality of the wifi upstairs.  However, I don't know if this is feasible or the best solution.  How do I split the BT box output into two (one to the existing BT router, and one to the loft)?  How do I configure the second router?

Thanks for any ideas.

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Message 2 of 4

Re: Improving wifi coverage using cat5 wiring

@meredithriley 

You cannot split the output from the Openreach optical modem, as its a WAN connection.

What would be best, is to connect the home hub directly to the Openreach modem, and then use the LAN outputs of the home hub to connect the the Ethernet cabling in each room.

It just means moving the home hub into the utility room, and connecting it using the original short, possibly red ended cable.

Then all you need to do is to add a wireless access point to the other end of the Ethernet cable.

Like this one https://www.tp-link.com/uk/home-networking/access-point/tl-wa901n/

You can add more than one wireless access point if you wish.

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Message 3 of 4

Re: Improving wifi coverage using cat5 wiring

Keith thanks for your advice. I have a number of old routers which a quick google suggests that I can use these as access points. Is this sensible or should I purchase one like the one in your link? Also I'll need to wire up the connectors I assume I can purchase the parts and tools for this from Screwfix etc?
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Message 4 of 4

Re: Improving wifi coverage using cat5 wiring

You can use your old routers, but my preference is for proper wireless access points, as it makes things a lot simpler, and they use less power than a router.

I am surprised that the cables were not already terminated on wall sockets by the builders, I would have expected that to have been done already.

Yes you can get the connectors and crimp tool from places like Screw fix, and the wiring info is available online.

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