General Question

drClaw's avatar

How to Split an Ethernet Cable Without Losing Signal Strength?

Asked by drClaw (4437points) April 30th, 2010

I recently purchased a Samsung Blu-Ray player that connects to the internet for Netflix streaming. It is wifi enabled, but requires I buy an $80 USB wifi dongle before it will actually connect (link to dongle).

Luckily my new DVD player is right next to my internet setup, making a direct connection from my modem very convenient (I have one cable modem that connects to an Airport wireless router). Unfortunately my modem only has one outgoing Ethernet connection, so I am stuck having to manually switch the Ethernet cable between my DVD player and my router.

Can anyone tell me the best way for me to split my Ethernet cable coming from my modem so that it will connect to both my DVD player and my router? Preferably in a way the wont degrade the quality of the signal to either.

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10 Answers

RocketSquid's avatar

I don’t think you can split an ethernet cable, honestly. You could try a switch, which would let you plug in both your DVD player and router to the modem without causing some kind of IP address conflicts.

Are you able to plug your DVD player into your router? Unless you’re already using all 4 ethernet ports on the back, you should be able to plug the DvD player directly into that. Might save you a headache and a couple of bucks to boot.

drClaw's avatar

@RocketSquid Unfortunately I use an Apple Airport router which doesn’t have any outgoing Ethernet ports. Also I was looking at a switch, but am unfamiliar with how they work or which one to get.

majorrich's avatar

A small router will take the single ethernet connection and will allow multiple devices to share that connection. It should also be pretty easy and inexpensive. When I wired my house, I put two drops in each room with a home run to my mechanical closet. I failed in that where I did put a 24 port router in, I failed to get a 100mb router so my performance isn’t as good as it could be. fail….

janbb's avatar

Losing, losing, losing – goddammit; why can’t Jellies get that straight!

majorrich's avatar

Well, if you have a loose connection you could lose your internet? XD

jaytkay's avatar

Most wireless routers include a switch inside – that’s the extra 4 or 5 ethernet jacks on the back. If you plug your Airport Express into a switch, you have exactly the same function.

The Airport Express router and its Internet connection will be shared with anything plugged into the switch as well as the AE’s wireless clients.

A separate switch has no settings or configuration. An actual plug & play device.

UScitizen's avatar

Your solution is a switch. Get a 10/100/1000 switch and it will serve you for years to come, through many possible network configurations. For an item like a switch, I would get a no name cheapest I could find. I’ve had good luck with that approach. However, if you go with a brand name product, I recommend D-Link. I’ve had very good results with D-Link products for over 17 years.

RocketSquid's avatar

@drClaw Ah, I thought you might be using one of these. I take it the modem plugs into the ethernet port?

A switch is basically like a router, but instead of assigning IP addresses to the attached devices itself it relies on a device higher up the chain to do so (in this case, your cable modem). Essentially it would act like adding extra ethernet ports to your modem, thus hopefully avoiding network collisions or IP conflicts. You might want to call your internet company to make sure this will work, they might have a weird set up where even a switch could confuse the modem.

drClaw's avatar

@RocketSquid You’re correct. The one ethernet port is for the modem.

So a switch it is. Thanks for your help.

njnyjobs's avatar

You can either continue to use your Apple Airport router for WiFi connectivity in conjunction with an Ethernet Switchor or Hub or replace your Airport with a Wireless-N Router that already features ethernet connectivty as well.

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