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Question from Eddie: We’re building a small cottage in our back yard for my mother-in-law to live in during her remaining years.
That will allow her to live more or less independently but still be close by in case she needs us in a hurry.
The question I have is about extending Internet service to the cottage.
She will have her own cell phone and satellite TV but the electrical will piggyback off of the main breaker panel in our basement via a buried cable. The distance between our house and the cottage is about 100 feet.
My question is will I need to run a long Ethernet cable from the router in our bedroom (which is on the side of the house facing the cottage) to the cottage or can we get by with a pair of powerline networking adapters?
The cottage is virtually complete as we’re now just finishing up the inside painting so we need to find a solution pretty quick.
Rick’s answer: The short answer to your question is yes, Eddie.
Based upon the situation as you described it I believe a powerline networking kit should work just fine.
The cottage will be drawing its power from your home’s breaker panel and the distance is relatively short, so I can’t foresee any reason why it wouldn’t work just fine.
Now the above being said, you potentially have another, even simpler option depending on how your mother-in-law will be using her Internet connection.
If she just needs basic Internet service for visiting websites, using email and pretty much any other non-streaming activity she’ll probably be able to simply piggyback off your existing Wi-Fi network.
You mentioned that your router is in a room that’s on the side of your house facing the cottage so I’m guessing that there will be a usable Wi-Fi signal inside the cottage as well.
This is easy enough to check – simply take a laptop and your mother-in-law’s phone inside the cottage and see how well they work using your existing Wi-Fi network.
If you ultimately determine that the Wi-Fi solution simply isn’t feasible you can always install a powerline Wi-Fi extender like this one to get the job done.
A powerline Wi-Fi extender would be an excellent solution because it would allow your mother-in-law to access your existing Wi-Fi network with her wireless devices AND plug in a computer that only has a wired Ethernet port.
Bottom line: I think it’s wonderful that you’re willing to do everything you’re doing in order to enable your mother-in-law to live as independently as possible.
I feel very confident that one of the above options will extend your existing Internet access to her new cottage without having to run an extra cable.
Update from Eddie: Thanks for the advice Rick. I checked the Wi-Fi signal in the cottage and it seems to be plenty strong enough.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this myself. Mom only has a MacBook and an iPhone so this should be the perfect solution.
Bonus tip: This post explains why you should plug your modem and router into a battery backup device.
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