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How many phone sockets does an average 3 bed, 2 floor house need? Does wi-fi make a difference?

(6 Posts)
TheEarthIsFlat Mon 19-Sep-11 14:48:01

Our master socket is damaged & needs replacing, so at the same time I want to make sure we've got what we need & are up-to-date. We only have the master socket plus a very long annoying extension cable running along the carpet to the dining room, where it links to a double socket lying on the floor & attached to the phone and the computer.

dp has finally agreed to wifi (he's hyper cautious about being hacked into), if that makes a difference.

Ideally, I'd have a phone in the hallway and another one either in the living room or upstairs (one of these would be a phone only, the other would have a answer machine running off electricity). Computer wised: a desk top in the dining room and wifi allowing us to use laptops (or other exciting modern things that we don't yet own) throughout the house.

What do I need, where, & do I buy the wifi stuff from a shop or do I get an engineer to fit it?

niceguy2 Mon 19-Sep-11 16:42:35

What I'd suggest is get yourself some DECT cordless phones like this BT Synergy

The main unit can plug into your replaced master socket and the rest you can put whereever you like near a electric socket. This removes the need to get anyone to put you extension sockets. Of course if you lost power you'd lose all the phones but nowadays power is reliable and everyone has mobiles so its not a big deal anymore.

Your desktop computer, you can still use the extension lead and get a router plugged into it. Any modern router will use WPA/WPA2 security which is pretty secure. Could a determined person break in....yes. But bear in mind you don't have state secrets, worst case scenario they see you surfing Facebook.

ADSL routers you can get from any reputable computer shop. Or you can go to PC World too. Expect to pay around 50quid give or take a bit depending on what features you want. To be honest I usually recommend the cheapest for most people as most will never use the other features.

You should be able to fit the router & phones yourself but best off calling a qualified person to replace the master socket. That said, its two wires. It's not rocket science.

BikeRunSki Mon 19-Sep-11 16:46:18

We have a 3 bed , 2 floor house.
1 socket.
1 pair DECT phones - 1 up, 1 down.
Wifi.
Works fine.
But don't use Talktalk if you do go Wifi.
Hard floors, so no carpet to hid cables under!

nocake Mon 19-Sep-11 16:59:49

With a cordless phone you need fewer than used to be normal. My parent's house has loads. We used to have two, the master socket with the phone plugged into it and another in the alcove containing the router and other computer stuff. Recently I added another when I moved our router to behind the TV, so I can plug the Freesat box into it.

If you're using a desktop PC I'd recommend having the router close to it, if you can, and connected to the PC via a cable as that improves speed.

Our phone cables run in ducting round the skirting boards in the sitting room then under the floor boards and across the ceiling in the cellar. If you have carpets you may be able to run the cable under the edge of the carpet. If you're going to fit the extension sockets yourself can I recommend buying a good quality IDC Insertion tool, not one of the £2 plastic ones. I paid a few quid for one from eBay.

BadgersPaws Mon 19-Sep-11 19:25:37

"dp has finally agreed to wifi (he's hyper cautious about being hacked into)"

As NiceGuy has already said WIFI security is pretty good, not impossible to get in to but probably secure enough. Remember also that most important stuff is done through a secure web page anyway (which should begin https rather than http) and that encrypts things between your computer and the web page. So even if someone can get into your network (which is far from trivial) all they're going to see is encoded garbage for the most important secure pages, e.g. buying things online or banking.

"But don't use Talktalk if you do go Wifi."

If you do go WIFI most providers are pretty much the same, the kit they offer is usually the same sort of thing and there's no real reason to choose one over the other.

NetworkGuy Sat 24-Sep-11 21:06:46

Had meant to post this the other day...

I'd always recommend having a corded (old-style) phone, perhaps one per floor, as the cordless phones won't work if you have a power cut (the phone handsets will be OK, but the 'base' unit will be off). I know people often have mobile phones, too, but a landline number is 'static' from an emergency services viewpoint.

An alternative to wireless for the internet connections would be to use data over the mains, sometimes called HomePlug (searching for it will come up with some brand names too)

> Solwise < near Hull offer kit and you might find a dual or treble homeplug "starter pack" on Ebay or Amazon if you want to be able to connect from several rooms.

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