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Home WiFi Network Question





Dennise
This WiFi NW is in a three story home and works well with two PCs and a TV.

On the bottom floor, the two PCs connect via wifi to the top floor cable modem/wifi router. A top floor TV is wired into the nearby cable modem/ wifi router. All works well. There are NO gaming needs.

Also on the bottom floor are the following:

- USB printer
- USB NW storage device

What I want to do is connect these two (bottom floor) devices to the top floor cable modem/ wifi router via the existing working wifi network. Since these devices are WIRED devices, I need some kind of network 'box' that will accept these two USB devices and extend my existing wifi capability to them.

I think I need a two port (USB) wireless switch to do this function, but I'd like to know if this is the best approach.

Comments please?
Josso
I may be misinterpreting something so apologies in advance if that is the case...

Firstly: is there some reason the storage device and printer cannot be just directed connected to a PC? You could then share them across the network.

If not... you want the printer and device connected directly to a router right? I mean you could connect them to USB ports on a new wifi router but that would create a seperate network. There are routers out there with 2 usb ports.

If you are trying to have a 24/7 printer that is independant of computers in the sense that a machine doesn't need to be on to print from any device - you most likely have to get a wifi router with a couple of USB ports. This would create a seperate network for your printer/storage device. It would be a pain though because you'd connect to one network for printing and one for connectivity with your TV.


If you *have to* have everything on the same network I recommend replacing your router with one with USB ports and moving the printer/device to the router.


Maybe you could expand on what you are trying to achieve by this setup? Connectivity between what devices...
darkknight1234
I must agree with the above post. I tried to set up my 24*7 printer at home in the same way. However connecting your pc to your printer, and then exporting it as a network printer has only one problem:
Your pc needs to be on day and night. Other than that the idea is great.
Dennise
To clarify:

First, both the bottom floor printer AND the NAS (network attached storage) need to be 24/7 and NOT require a PC.

Moving the devices (PC and NAS) from the bottom floor to the top floor (where the WiFi router is located) is not an option for several reasons.

Simply put, I'm trying to connect the bottom floor wired devices (printer and NAS) to the top floor wifi router without moving anything or stringing cables up three floors. The straightforward way to do this is to some way connect the two wired devices (printer and NAS) to my existing home wifi network.

For this, I need some kind of additional bottom floor network device that connects the bottom floor wired (i.e. USB) printer and NAS to my WiFi network. I strongly prefer NOT to create a 2nd network for this.
Ankhanu
Without introducing more cabling, there's not a whole lot you can do, I think. Have you considered buying a really cheap netbook or outdated PC to connect via WiFi, with the printer and NAS attached?
Josso
Maybe get a wireless printer adapter that goes in the USB port of the printer and connect it to the wireless network that way. Then it would be independant. The same could probably be done for the storage device. This will depend on your model of printer on how easy this is to do, if at all.

Definitely recommend some cabling or a cheap machine though. I suppose the wireless adapter way is cheaper in the long run. But this will most likely be harder to setup or find the right model. Maybe ask your printer manufacturer.
weableandbob
I believe most routers can be set to act as an access point instead of an actual router. If this is the case, you could get one with a few USB ports and use that to connect to them. If not, getting a USB wireless card for each might work, although I'm not sure if they will be able to use it properly: I believe the USB wireless cards are purely meant for actual PCs.
william
Well, one thing you could do is use a wireless router as a client of the main router. So instead of having two wireless networks, you would have just one, with the printer and NAS attached to the client router. Even if you can't configure a stock router to function as an client, DD-WRT (custom firmware) will allow you to do so. So a router with USB ports and DD-WRT support might be a viable option.

Otherwise, for the printer you can grab a Wireless USB Print Server, like the Belkin Share. I have never been a fan of these myself since they are pretty expensive and these days you can get a decent wireless inkjet printer for about the same price, but they'll do the job. For the hard drive, well, something like Linksys' Network Storage Link will let you connect a USB external hard drive to a Wi-Fi network with great ease. Similar products are out there, I just don't remember any off the top of my head.

Neither of these options are cheap, I have to say. Maybe upgrading your printer might not be a bad option? I like the netbook idea mentioned in previous posts. Heck, you may just be able to find a dirt cheap or free computer on Craigslist or a garage sale to do the same thing.
Dennise
Got it!

We used a NetGear Universal Dual Band WiFi Range Extender (WN2500RP). This box offers 4X wired Ethernet ports that connect to an existing WiFi network.

So far, it works great!
Josso
Was the first thing I was going to suggest Mad

Brain malfunction. I've even got a couple in my house
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