I wish to extend the range of my current wireless network. Today I have computers / iPads on 3 levels. The "modem" is a Belgian Belgacom unit which gives me digital television; and also cable and wireless internet. It is on level 2 and any computer (or my iPad) on level 2 or level 3 can connect wireless to this modem. Great so far!
But on level 1 the Wireless connection is at best intermittent. Yes I can go 2-3 hours just fine, but then suddenly it is no longer there-- just too far from the modem and separated by thick concrete walls, floors and such. I have an Ethernet cable running from Level 2 to Level 1 - and this is plugged-into a router. From the router I have ethernet cables going to 2 printers as well as to my MacBook Pro-13" (mid-2010 model).
So why do I need WiFi on Level 1? Because: 1. I use my iPad on level 1 a lot-- and it loses WiFi. 2. If I use my MBP-13" on ethernet (via a cable) instead of WiFi then I cannot sync wirelessly with my iPad; nor can I use my nice $20 software "Printopia" from ecamm to send documents to the Mac from my iPad (or from the iPad via the Mac to print to the Canon printer). Indeed if I plug-in the ethernet as well as WiFi -- the iPad often does not connect (because I now realize, the Mac is not connected or only intermittently connected to the internet via WiFi). And sometimes if both ARE connected, the iPad (printopia) is confused and will not connect / print.
OK so the router I am using on level 1 is a wireless router-- a D-Link DIR-635, but I am not using its WiFi features at this time. Can I use this DIR-635 to extend the WiFi network of the "Belgacom" WiFi? If so, will it be seen as the exact same wireless? (Because the sync with iPad or Printopia software only works if the WiFi networks are the same).
OR: Can I purchase and set-up an Apple Airport Express or Apple Airport Extreme on my level 1 (the ethernet cable running from level 2 to level 1 could plug-into either of those). (What is the difference in the 2 -- one is about twice the price of the other…). If so, would the WiFi signal that it emits be the same "network" as my iPad on Level 2 or Level 3 connecting to the WiFi by the Belgacom modem? And - how will I know?
In summary, I want one giant Wireless Network -- just one, all the same "SteveBelWiFi" throughout the house - with strong reception on each level. How best to do this?
Thanks in advance for any comments and guidance.
Monday 19 November 2012