I have a very difficult house for Wi-fi due to very thick walls and long distances. For years I have "piggy-backed" my old routers successfully, with ethernet cables connecting each one of them separately to the main newer Plusnet Plusnet Hub One. It works without issue, with good fast speeds - I have two TVs running on them, and one of the routers is in a separate building with a cable run of about 25 meters distant under the drive. Two routers are Plusnet Hub Ones, one is BT Homehub 5A and the rest are old Plusnet Thomson, Sagecom and Technicolor !
I ran out of sockets some time ago on the main Plusnet One router which is near my main workstation. So I disconnected my desktop computer and added a 2 meter ethernet cable to an old Linksys EW5 hub 🙄 which I had still from the 1990s ! This Linksys hub now serves my desktop computer and my two printers using ethernet - not a fan of WiFi, although I could have tried that. The system works well - until recently, that is when I have noticed the desktop computer buffering a lot.
I googled for the spec. of the Linksys hub, and realise now that the data transfer speed is only 10mbps. I had never noticed any sort of deterioration until my Plusnet One broadband speed also started to drop, which drew my attention to it. I am in a rural area with fibre to the cabinet only which is a mile away, so the final connection is copper. That means the maximum speed is 27 mbps, but usually I only get 15-19 with the router connected directly into the Openreach socket and a laptop plugged directly into the Plusnet One router - so no other resistance. That in itself is a problem which I have reported to Plusnet in its own right, but I expect to get the usual brush off.
Meanwhile, back to the Linksys hub. With the incoming speed down to under 20 mbps and the hub limited to 10 mbps. all I am actually getting on my desktop computer is 6 mbps. So it is obviously time to chuck out the old Linksys and get something else.
I have seen several BT Smarthub 6 hubs advertised at reasonable prices on ebay, and I am thinking therefore of adding yet another router to my network to replace the Linksys. This will only serve the desktop and the printer, but I am hoping it will speed things up a bit.
Does anyone have any better suggestions ?
Fixed! Go to the fix.
Re: Piggy-backing routers
Yes, throw away all these routers except 1 and get an Ethernet switch or two, see here for an example. They are designed for the job and use less power. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07HP6ZLSM/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07HP6ZLSM&pd_rd_w=80zXG&p...
Smarthubs are good modem routers, not switches.
Re: Piggy-backing routers
Thanks Baldrick1. Very helpful.
I see from your link that they are not expensive. So would I simply plug the main Plusnet Hub One router into the Ethernet Switch ?
Presumably no need to change the IP addresses of two of the routers which I actually use for local Wi-Fi in a couple of rooms ? I have tried all sorts of things like Homeplugs and TPLinks etc. but none of them work either as well as routers because the signal often fell out, nor was the WiFi much good. The HomeHub 5A routers do the remote jobs excellently in both respects. So I would want to keep the two better routers in those two areas, and then use the Ethernet switch for my desktop computer, printer and two other ethernet locations where I do not use WiFi.
Is that ok ?
Yes, just connect one of the LAN sockets on the Hub to one on the Switch. There's no need to change anything on the routers that you keep, they are just 'plug and play'. You can treat them like the Ethernet version of electrical adapters. Note that you can get them from 4 channel up.
Do not confuse them with Ethernet splitters, which are not recommended.