Some advice/help needed please. UK Broadband user.
For many years i have had an informal home network running 'standard' ie non fibre broadband through a modern but basic router. 3 PCs plus various personal wifi devices (tablet, Kindle and phone). 2 of the PCs are wireless laptops, the third a desktop connected to the router by ethernet cable. Al;ways prefered to have one PC 'hardwired' to the internet for a more stable connection. As a result of this the router could not be connected to the master phone socket directly but via an extension phone lead to bring it closer to the Desktop PC.
Potential dumb question...what do you specifically mean by "via an extension phone lead"?
Do you mean that the router was connected with a "loose" phone extension line running out in the open? Or does you mean that you had a phone line in the wall that led from the main phone connect to a secondary phone wall plate near the desktop PC?
The reason I ask is because if it is the former, then I don't understand why you could not just have a "loose" ethernet cable out in the open running from the new router location to the desktop PC. You would just exchange having the loose (ugly) phone line running in the open to a loose ethernet cable running in the open. They look pretty much similar (the ethernet cable will be a bit thicker).
Now, if it is the latter, then I understand as it would require running a new, hidden ethernet cable, which you may not want to do or even no be able to do (I have some devices at a location where I would like to have an ethernet connection, but it will be a major pain in the rear to run it, so I don't really want to do it).
Recently poor speeds and connectivity have required us to switch to fibre broadband. This required a visit from a telephone engineer as there were problems with the switchover. Engineer saw my set up and recomended connecting the new fibre router to the master phone socket and making the desktop pc wireless in some way as there was no easy way to maintain the ethernet connection to it.
The desktop PC has no built in Wifi so a way of adding it had to be found. I thought to options were either a wifi card into the machine or a USB dongle but i discovered a mains Wifi extender/repeater i already had could be used in conjunction with an ethernet cable to give the desktop a wifi connection. This I have set up and seems to be working ok.
My query is twofold. Firstly is this a good way to add wifi to my computer or would one of the other methods be better.
It is in theory as good as any other method depending on what your new router model (i.e. is it 802.11ac, 802.11n, 802.11g, etc) and the model of the extender/repeater.
In practice, it will depend on if the extender/repeater gives you a solid connection that is secure enough for your tastes and provides the speed works for you. And whether or not another option, whether a USB adapter or PCI adapter (assuming your desktop has PCI slots...i.e. is NOT an "all-in-one", but rather a tower with empty slots), may or may not improve on one of those aspects due to it potentially being newer (and thus support a newer, faster WiFi protocol and potentially a newer, better encryption method).
And so, even in theory, we would need more information on both the router and the extender/repeater.
Secondly how secure is my connection/network whilst using such a device to make the link? The router is brand new with fully up to date wifi security but will this extend to the extender/repeater device which simply copies the settings from the router?
Unless i can be fully confident that my network is as secure as it was before going fully wireless, i cannot be fully comfortable using the PC as normal. as i said above i have always preferred one wired PC on the network but now it seems i cannot.
Hope this all makes sense. Not fully up on the technicalities of networking and so on.
I am in the UK. My ISP is TalkTalk (AOL). Thanks.
This again will depend on the model of the router and the extender/repeater.
Ideally you want to be running WPA2 encryption for your WiFi. That will be the most secure you can get. You should avoid WEP and even WPA/TKIP if you can.
If the extender/repeater is old enough, then it might not support WPA2 while your router might. OTOH, it might. If so, then it will likely be just as secure as getting a new USB adapter or PCI card.
And keep in mind that it is effectively not just the connection between the desktop and router to worry about. Since the WiFi network and ethernet network are essentially the same (unless you have a WiFi guest network and set all WiFi devices, even your own, to use the guest network), even if the desktop were connected by ethernet, if someone breached your WiFi network, they could end up with access to your ethernet devices. So, it also becomes a function of what level of security overall you want for the desktop. If you are using WPA2 for all WiFi devices, then you are about as secure in general as you can be in terms of your WiFi connections (there are other things like making sure the router password is no set to default, care about updating firmware versions of the router, etc) and likely fine for things a typical user would do (i.e. this is effectively my setup...I use WPA2 for my WiFi, but try to use ethernet where I can...but my WiFi and ethernet networks are effectively linked). If you are really paranoid about the desktop, you could separate it from the WiFi network (as I mentioned, I don't).