Networking help.. need a stronger signal through house

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I need some advice/help with a network that I’m trying to setup in my house. I need to beable to use my xbox 360, mac mini (g) and macbook pro (n) aswell as my ipod touch(g).
Up until we finished the basement last week, I was running the modem/Linksys wrt54g router on the 2nd floor of the back of the house. I had an Ethernet cable going through the wall into the next room so that my xbox 360 was hardwired. I was able to use the laptop or ipod touch anywhere in the house. Now that the basement is finished, I wanted to move the xbox360 into the basement with the modem/router. It works however the signal is now passing from the basement, mainfloor and to the top floor. I’m getting signal strength of about 35% which isn’t useable.
I went out and bought an airport extreme as its dual band first off but I was hoping it would give a better signal. The mac mini in gets a signal of 35% in g mode and the macbook pro is getting signal of 52% when both of these are on the top floor. I’m frustrated and wondering if maybe returning the airport extreme and getting a d-link that has 3 antennas would be better signal to the top floor or if Im going to have these problems no matter what router I have.
I was thinking of a couple of options:
1) Getting an airport express for the top floor. Would that give a better signal to the mini or other devices on that floor?
2) Seeing if there is a way of using the Linksys router I already have as an access point for the mini to improve signal to the top floor (mind you that would be g only)
3) Move the router and modem to the main floor and get the xbox wireless adapter.
4) Move the router and modem to the main floor and see if I can use the Linksys router as a bridge or access point in place of buying the wireless adapter
I’m really confused and don’t know what to do…
Any thoughts or ideas?
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The primary problem with attempting to wirelessly extend a wireless network is that if a client is not able to pick up a "good" signal nor will the wireless router. With that said, is it possible to run Ethernet between floors? Ideally you would want something like the following:
o Wired or Wireless (w/built-in Ethernet switch) router connected directly to the Internet modem.
o Have this router provide Ethernet connectivity to wall jacks on each floor that you would want network / Internet access.
o Connect a Wireless Access Point (WAP) to each of these wall jacks to provide wireless coverage in that location.
Again, that would be ideal, but may not be something easily accomplished if you won't be able to run Ethernet between floors.
So to address your questions:
1) Getting an airport express for the top floor. Would that give a better signal to the mini or other devices on that floor?
I assume that you will keep the AirPort Extreme Base Station (AEBS) in the basement ... correct? Again, the problem here is that the AirPort Express Base Station (AX) will see the same signal strength as any wireless client on the 2nd floor. Although it may be able to extend the AEBS and provide a strong signal, the overall bandwidth will be significantly lower because the AX will not "boost" only repeat the bandwidth which it receives.
2) Seeing if there is a way of using the Linksys router I already have as an access point for the mini to improve signal to the top floor (mind you that would be g only)
It will be highly unlikely that you will be able to extend the AEBS with the Linksys as very few non-AirPort routers are WDS compatible. Only a very few Linksys models are, like the WRT54G & WRT54GL, but at only certain firmware revision levels.
3) Move the router and modem to the main floor and get the xbox wireless adapter.
This would probably be a better option if you can't go the Ethernet route I mentioned at the beginning of this reply.
4) Move the router and modem to the main floor and see if I can use the Linksys router as a bridge or access point in place of buying the wireless adapter
Again, same problem as #2.