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How to Get Internet to a Basement (2022)

Learn how to extend your home Internet or Wi-Fi to reach your basement.

Finished Basement Adam Winger / Unsplash

Last Updated: December 30, 2021

Written by Kevin Jones

Perhaps you want to turn your basement into a living space with the ability to stream TV shows and use a computer. Or maybe you use your basement for storage and want to have Internet access to entertain yourself down there while cleaning up. In either case, you have a few options for extending your Internet to your basement.

For this article, I'll assume that you have Internet access in your house and want to extend it to your basement.

There are two main categories of strategies for extending your Internet connection to a basement. These strategies include connecting the basement via wireless communication or connecting it via wired communication.

In the remainder of this article, I'll show you how you can use each strategy and its advantages and disadvantages.

Wireless Network Extension

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The primary advantage of using a wireless solution for connecting your basement to your network is that it may not require drilling holes in the basement ceiling.

Wi-Fi Repeater

The simplest way to extend a Wi-Fi network is via a Wi-Fi repeater (range extender). A Wi-Fi repeater connects to your Wi-Fi devices and a Wi-Fi router in your home and retransmits any data it receives. A Wi-Fi repeater will only work if it can connect to your home's main Wi-Fi router with a good enough signal.

You have two options using a Wi-Fi repeater. Your first option is to place the repeater in a different room on your main floor, which could provide enough wireless coverage in the basement.

If you have a Wi-Fi signal in some areas of the basement but not others, your second option would be to place the Wi-Fi repeater in the basement.

Wi-Fi repeaters may also have Wi-Fi bridge capabilities, allowing you to connect wired network devices.

Advantages of a Wi-Fi Repeater:

  • No or minimal wiring

Disadvantages of a Wi-Fi Repeater:

  • Connection speed and reliability will drop with distance
  • Obstructions will reduce signal quality
  • Wi-Fi adds some latency, which isn't great for fast-paced online games
  • Requires power in the basement (if located down there)

Mesh Wi-Fi System

A mesh Wi-Fi system is similar to a Wi-Fi repeater. However, it may replace your primary router and work with multiple satellite repeater devices. With more satellite devices, you can ensure coverage throughout your basement.

Advantages of a Mesh Wi-Fi System:

  • No or minimal wiring
  • Can help to ensure that there are no coverage dead-zones

Disadvantages of a Mesh Wi-Fi System:

  • Obstructions will reduce signal quality
  • Wi-Fi adds some latency, which isn't great for fast-paced online games
  • Requires power in the basement (if located down there)

Wired Network Extension

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Wired solutions generally provide faster speeds and lower latency than wireless solutions.

Wired solutions often require drilling some holes, although we'll go over a few solutions which don't require doing this!

Some of these solutions only provide a wired Ethernet connection. If you want Wi-Fi, you'll need to use these in combination with a Wi-Fi access point. The Wi-Fi repeater and mesh systems I listed above can also be configured as access points.

Ethernet Over Coax (MoCA)

Example MoCA Home Network Example MoCA Home Network Kevin Jones / TechReviewer

A pair of MoCA adapters allows you to use a coax cable for Ethernet communication. Coax cables are the cables that are typically used for cable Internet or TV. MoCA adapters behave like an extension for an Ethernet cable. Multi-node configurations can also function as an Ethernet hub.

Some modems may include built-in MoCA support, making it so that you only need a single adapter.

Learn more about MoCA adapters in my article, Ethernet Over Coax?! A Complete Guide to MoCA Adapters.

Advantages of Ethernet over Coax (MoCA):

  • Use a home's existing coax cables for wiring
  • Fast throughput of up to 2.5 Gbps
  • Plug and play setup (no configuration required)

Disadvantages of Ethernet over Coax (MoCA):

  • Requires a Point of Entry (POE) filter for improved security
  • Requires power in the basement
  • While older versions only use a 1 Gbps network port, the ECB7250 uses a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port, allowing for maximum network utilization.

  • I own a pair of these adapters, and they work great!

  • Includes most of what you'll need, including two adapters and power supplies, two network cables, two coax cables, and a coax splitter.

  • The manufacturer could improve the instructions regarding using the MPS button for encryption, but that won't be needed for most installations.

  • Initial installation is very straightforward.

  • Check the latest price of the Actiontec ECB7250 Bonded MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter on Amazon (affiliate link).

    Actiontec ECB7250 Bonded MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter Actiontec ECB7250 Bonded MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
  • Suppose you are a cable Internet or TV customer. In that case, you'll probably want also to buy a MoCA POE Filter if your ISP didn't already install one (for improved security): MoCA 'POE' Coax Filter MoCA 'POE' Coax Filter Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Ethernet Over Powerline

Suppose your basement is on the same circuit as the rest of your house. In that case, Powerline adapters may be a great solution. I discuss this same-circuit requirement more in my article, Do Powerline Adapters Need to Be on the Same Circuit?.

A pair of Powerline adapters allows you to use AC wiring for Ethernet communication. Powerline adapters behave like an extension for an Ethernet cable. You can create an Ethernet network by simply plugging a pair of Powerline adapters into your wall outlets. Powerline adapters can communicate over the same wires as you use for AC power transmission.

Advantages of Powerline Adapters:

  • Easy wiring using existing power outlets (connect an Ethernet cable)
  • Low cost (compared to MoCA adapters)
  • Encrypted (some products)
  • Up to a 300-meter range
  • Some models have built-in Wi-Fi
  • Plug and play setup (no configuration required)

Disadvantages of Powerline Adapters:

  • Often a lower connection speed of around 150-350 Mbps compared to the advertised 1-2 Gbps
  • Powerline devices need to be on the same electrical circuit
  • May cause noticeable electromagnetic interference with some devices such as speakers (static sound)
  • Power strip, GFCI outlets, and AFCI circuit breakers may degrade Powerline network signals
  • Some models block an outlet when connecting directly into a wall outlet
  • Requires power in the basement

Ethernet Cable

Sometimes the easiest solution is to run a wire between your upstairs and downstairs. Ethernet cables can connect a single device with wired Internet access. For additional devices, you could use an Ethernet switch in your basement.

Ethernet cables such as Cat 6a can reach 100 meters before needing an Ethernet switch to repeat the signal.

Learn more about Ethernet cable types in my article, Cat 5e vs. Cat 6a - Which to Buy?.

Advantages of Ethernet Cable:

  • Fast Speed
  • Low Latency

Disadvantages of Ethernet Cable:

  • May require that you drill a hole in your ceiling/floor
  • Requires power in the basement
  • Finding Ethernet cables that comply with their category rating can be tricky. Some manufacturers use misleading or incorrect naming, and their cables do not allow you to get the maximum expected speeds. I recommend the Tripp Lite Cat 6a cable. Tripp Lite Cat6a Cable 10G-Certified Tripp Lite Cat6a Cable 10G-Certified Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
  • The TL-SG108 is a well-known and reliable network switch.
  • I own this exact switch model and have been using it without any problems for many years.
  • It supports Ethernet speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
  • Due to the fanless design, it is silent.
  • It uses solid capacitors, which means that it should last a long time.
  • It's an unmanaged switch, meaning that it's plug and play, and no configuration is required. TP-Link TL-SG108 - 8 Port Gigabit Unmanaged Ethernet Network Switch TP-Link TL-SG108 - 8 Port Gigabit Unmanaged Ethernet Network Switch Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

PoE Wireless Access Point

Using a Power over Ethernet (PoE) wireless access point, you can provide Wi-Fi access to your basement even if it doesn't have power.

PoE Wi-Fi access points are supplied power via the network cable.

Advantages of PoE Wireless Access Point:

  • It doesn't require power in the basement

Disadvantages of PoE Wireless Access Point:

  • May require that you drill a hole in your ceiling/floor

Building Your Network

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If you want to learn more about cable internet equipment, networking, wiring, or troubleshooting, check out these articles: