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Question from James: My wife has accepted an offer from her employer to work remote from home.
She will be setting up her office in a small 12′ x 15′ detached guest cottage that’s just a few feet from our house.
Our cable modem and router are in our living room.
Since the cottage is separate from our living space we do not have the ability to just run a long enough Ethernet cable and phone cable from the router to that space.
What essentially I’m asking is should she set up her own internet service in that room and have the ISP just hardwire the space?
Or is there another cost effective way to get some type of adapter to connect her Ooma VOIP phone and non-wireless computer to our router?
The cottage gets a very weak Wi-Fi signal from our router but she has to have a wired Ethernet connection in order to use the devices she has.
What we’re trying to do is avoid two internet bills if at all possible.
Thank you so much in advance for any help you can give.
Rick’s answer: This is a fairly common situation James, and there are a couple of possible solutions depending on the answer to this question:
Is the electricity in the cottage provided by the same electrical circuit breaker panel that serves your home? In other words, is that external building drawing its power from your house’s electrical service panel?
If it is your wife can use a Powerline Wi-Fi Extender to piggyback off your home’s Internet connection. These devices are extremely easy to use and they work amazingly well.
The advantage of using a powerline Wi-Fi extender instead of a simple powerline networking adapter is it will provide both wired and wireless connectivity in the external guest space.
This post has more info on using a powerline networking extender to provide internet service to a distant room (if that separate building is on the same electrical panel as your home, then it’s a “distant room” in the context of your situation).
However, the above being said, if the cottage is served by it’s own electrical panel your best option is to have a second Internet connection installed in the cottage.
I hope this helps, James. Best of luck to your wife on her new work arrangement!
Update from James: Thanks so much, Rick! The cottage is indeed wired to the house’s electrical panel so this looks to be the perfect solution. I ordered one of the WiFi extenders you recommended and I’ll let you know how it goes after it gets here.
Bonus tip: If your wife’s office does end up sharing your Internet connection you’ll want to make sure an outdated modem isn’t throttling your download speeds without your knowledge.