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Thread: Powerline Networking

  1. #1
    Elite Member BaLa's Avatar
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    Powerline Networking

    Anybody have any experience with Powerline Networking devices/adapters?

    I'm just about to throw my stupid Soundbar out the Door.
    Thinking if I can get one with a 2 port receiver unit. I can connect the TV and this POS Soundbar to it.

  2. #2
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Powerline network adapters are good, just have some limitations (they're slower than Ethernet and current generation WiFi, they can't jump over different circuits in the house). If you use them for shorter distances on the same circuit they work just fine.

  3. #3
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Yup been using them for ...eh, 15 years....installed a few, and currently using a pair in the house we're in. For the bedroom TV...the wifi is "decent" in our bedroom but the TV is up against the wall ...which is behind a couple of bathroom walls, so the wifi for heavier demand streaming like Netflix is poor. Powerline is rock solid.

    Like Philip mentioned...different circuits can be a factor.
    Quality of wiring another factor...although for a couple of years back a bit we rented a house that you could tell have "cheaper rental grade" contract work done, the wiring wasn't great. Two or three times a year the powerline adapters would drop...and just power cycling them brought things back.
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  4. #4
    Elite Member BaLa's Avatar
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    Sounds like it might not work very well in our house.
    Since it's a 100+ year old house.

    We also have a couple of ungrounded outlets...so I would guess the wiring is probably not very good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaLa View Post
    Sounds like it might not work very well in our house.
    Since it's a 100+ year old house.

    We also have a couple of ungrounded outlets...so I would guess the wiring is probably not very good.
    You might be surprised at how well they work. I've just used some in a house with 1965 wiring and some ungrounded outlets and still able to hit nearly 100Mbs on iperf tests and our netflix test show 60Mbs. The newest powerline units work really well and get around a lot of the limitations of previous generations. However, if you are using them with only 2 prong outlets, I would recommend to get a set that has only 2 prongs. I'm using the TP-Link TL-PA9020 and one is plugged in where there is grounding and another is plugged in where there is no ground--and still getting these great results.

  6. #6
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input SamirD !
    Interesting to hear real-use reviews of Powerline networking, these days most people seem to just opt for Wi-Fi.
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    Welcome! Wired > wireless any day of the week. And with moca, powerline, and vdsl ethernet extenders, it's easier than ever to get wired ethernet where you need it.

    Even when wireless works, it has two major flaws--a single collision domain (so it is using the old 10Mbit ethernet CSMA/CD method to manage it), and latency.

    I recently tried an experiment with 802.11ac access point versus a TP-Link TL-PA9020 powerline to a Samsung SmartTV. Both had good connections and in the netflix speed test the wireless had more bandwidth--but when it came to loaded latency, the powerline simply blew the wireless away when loaded with sub 30ms versus nearly well over 100ms for wireless. Probably won't make much of a difference for netflix, but for the other IPTV features like pluto tv and tv plus, channels pop up quicker and are a lot more stable since it has a nice dedicated path over wires. And considering that the powerline units had this fast of a connection between two different parts of the house with differently aged and installed wiring (1965 vs 2000 and grounded vs open ground), it just shows that even in the worst conditions the newest powerline units can still get the job done.

    I've been using powerline technology since gen1. Well, trying since gen1. The gen1 85Mb units couldn't get a link between 2 outlets just 20 feet apart so I returned those immediately. Gen2 200Mb was a bit better as they could connect, but would only get 1-2Mb which was useless for what I needed, so those too went back. It was 500av nano by Netgear that turned my eye back to powerline, and these worked very well even in a commercial environment between panels. In fact, they worked so well that I still have them and only in the last few years picked up some 600av, 1200, and 2000 units. And each time the speed has increased. Today's powerlines can do the job of fast ethernet cabling with similar performance characteristics, which is enough for most things including smart tvs, which generally still just have a fast ethernet port (even 4k uses only a fraction of fast ethernet bandwidth).

    I've also worked with vdsl ethernet extenders that can run over telephone wire, even really old telephone wire. I used some boxes from netsys-direct to replace flaky wireless bridges that went between 4 different buildings at a hotel. There was 30yr old, 100 pair, water logged POTS wire between the buildings, and I was able to use a single pair to get 10Mb+ wired ethernet running between all the buildings reliably. I paired that with the now discontinued Meraki OD2 access points, which were the first 'mesh' access point ever in production and they used the wired ethernet as a backhaul. The system was so reliable that the only time I knew when something was broken was when the Meraki dashboard told me as it would self heal or switch to the second wan without a customer even noticing. The vdsl extenders would need rebooting occasionally every few years and the power supplies died in the 100F+ demarc room, but they were easy enough to replace since they were standard 12v.

    The newest thing I've played with is moca, and it's by far the most impressive--the ease of powerline setup with the full speed of ethernet. And now speeds are all the way up to 2.5Gb on moca! The only trick with moca is the wiring as you need to have a nice point to point connection without any interference like older splitters that block the moca signal. Of course if you're only doing a single point to point, you can just remove the cables from the splitter and put a barrel connector and you're good to go. The best part is literally wired ethernet speeds and latency. You can't get better than moca, and it's great because almost every home has some sort of cable wires. Plus cable wires are pretty easy to run compared to ethernet since they are a lot more robust for the novice.

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