Need help choosing how to extend my existing home network to my detached garage?

10-11  Source: Network gathering  Views:1 

Advertisement
I have done as much research as possible on this scenario but cannot seem to match the ideal solution with my wants.  Perhaps I simply just do not understand networking as well as I thought I did.  Either way, any helpful information or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Objective:  Extend my wireless network to my detached garage.
My current ISP provider is Time Warner Cable.  I have RoadRunner Extreme, which in my area gives consistent speeds of 50 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload when I am connected via ethernet cable.  When I upgraded to the "Extreme" package i found out I was forced to use their Motorola SB6580 ... its a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem + wireless router.  I was able to access the Motorola's setup options on the internet and I disabled the wireless function.  This has allowed me to use my Time Capsule as the primary router to provide wireless access on my home network.  I have not had any issues with this setup and is my preferred way to operate.
I have recently moved my home office to the 2nd story of my detached garage and need to extend my wireless network to meet the demands of all my gear.  I have decided to achieve this goal by going with one of the following 3 options:
1.)  enable the wireless function on the motorola modem making it the primary router.  move my time capsule out to the office and use it in bridge mode.  However I do not think I understand bridge mode correctly.  I thought the secondary router (in this case my TC) in bridge mode needed to be connected w/ an ethernet cable at all times to enable this feature?  If I understand similar networking discussions I will lose the ethernet ports with this option?  If this isnt called Bridge mode once i take away the ethernet cable what is it "technically" called?
2.)  buy a 2nd airport extreme base station and create the same type of wireless network extension setup.  The difference here is I would leave my motorola's wireless features disabled, use 2 apple products that speak apples to apples wirelessly and relieve myself of all the headaches involved with a neopolitan setup.  This seems like the obvious choice b/c Apple products are much more user friendly, but I dont want to spend the $200 on a new router if I can achieve a comparable setup by just enabling the equipment I already have. 
3.)  use either of these 2 scenarios above & go buy a 150' ethernet cable to join them together.  if this is the case wouldnt a $50 hub suffice on the end of the cable?  I dont necessarily need to have wireless, just reliable connectivity.  I can access the existing wireless network now, but download speeds are not great and things really start to slow down when i have multiple clients connected.  I would rather not have to drill through exterior walls, bury conduit and install learn how to install data wall plates, but i will if this is the pros far out way the cons.
Current modem/router placement:  if standing @ the front door of my 1 story house facing out towards the street my motorola modem/router is in the front right-hand corner of the house.
Distance location of the detached garage office setup:  if standing @ my front door my my work area is in the far back left corner of my property.  it is approx 175' from the router and on the 2nd story of the garage.  I said 150' cable earlier b/c i could relocate the router to a bedroom on the opposite end of the house, however this would eleminate the current wired status of the items connected to it and I would prefer to keep them wired in.
clients connected in the house: (4) apple tv's; Roku; Xbox; Wii; Playstation 3; (2) Lenovo laptops; iPad; (2) Blackberry's; (2) iPhones; iPod touch; (2) wireless netowrk printers; (2) smart tv's ... a handful of these are currently wired into the time capsule now which provides an uninterupted viwing experience for the MLB package.  This of course trumps all opportunity costs involved with moving the router.  There is nothing more frustrating than a screen buffering in the botton of the 9th inning after you've sat there for 3 hours.
clients connected in the office: (2) 27" imacs; apple tv; iPad; network printer; Wii; Harmony Link universal remote; Mac Book Pro ...
I have approx 5TB of digital media that is shared over the network via shared iTunes libraries that I would like to access as well.  iCloud helps with all of our household gadgets as far as acessibility but with all the backups going on simutaneously it also creates headaches when you need the throughput.  I need to do a better job of managing those settings.  nonetheless, I would like some guidance on the best way to extend my current netowrk, suggestions for better scenarios i did not mention and thus am probably not aware of and any networking 101 schooling if it doesnt sound like i understand the way bridge mode/network extension works.  sorry for the long post and thank you for your time & help.
Ethernet beats all other solutions hands down..
A single ethernet connection from wherever is the closest point in the house to the garage office... wins. You can plug a router working as AP and switch or pure switch on to it. Get a cabler in to do the job.. and they can probably figure it out and do the whole job whilst you scatch your head.. yes you will pay for it.. but a cabler knows how to do it. And most likely leave the inside network exactly as it is. Since office is important to be reliable.. there is one and one only reliable method.. ethernet.
If the garage and house are on one electrical circuit.. which is doubtful if it is a separate building then EOP adapters can often work well.. They do not handle earth leakage protection, breakers (rather than fuses) or meters at all well.. but if they are simply all connected to power.. behind the same meter and using old fashioned fuse box.. EOP rated at 200mbps or some now are 500mbps can work reasonably well. Speed about the same as wireless at its best but if it works when installed will generally not change with the weather, moon, and wind direction which wireless is liable to do.
Wireless bridging.. hmm avoid if possible. For reliable connection no.. apple products can do wireless repeater but as you mentioned that turns off the ethernet ports except for the Express.. that is the only unit you can use as a bridge and plug a switch into it. Why Apple why??
So if you want to bridge two points by wireless buy specialised wireless bridge.. that means an AP in the house plugged into the existing network.. and AP unit perhaps on the outside of the garage.. or in windows if you have a window in the house that looks at a window in your office. Look at products from companies like ubiquiti.. they are not too expensive but professional equipment and designed for precisely this kind of work.
Hence the reliability is dramatically better than domestic stuff.. and will require a lot less work to maintain the link.
Conclusion.. wire it.
Unless you rent the house.. an investment in ethernet cabling install once properly and forget .. beats every other solution even if it costs x5 as other solutions.
Related articles