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Powerline networking question

By spydercanopus ยท 6 replies
Nov 19, 2011
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  1. Can anyone please answer a question about using Homeplug powerline networking devices such as this:

    Netgear 1-port Powerline Adapter Kit

    1. Does this act as a switch or does it create a new network like a router would?
    2. Can multiple computers connect to a single source adapter?

    I have a server that needs file sharing to other computers, not just port 80. Can I plug one of these into my existing router and the workstations into other Homeplug adapters and still access files on the server?
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    I played around with powerline ethernet at one point. here's what i can tell you

    > Think of the powerline connection as tho it were an ethernet extension cord. It's like running a longer ethernet cable

    > I did do some benchmarking and the speed over powerline was slower then if it were truly a simple cable extension

    > Depending on how your house electrical is wired, it IS possible powerline ethernet won't work (no connection can be made between the two outlets) so i'd advise buying from a brick and mortar store, or at least somewhere where you can return easily if any problem or not works the way you want
  3. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 846   +102

    Thanks LookinAround.

    Do you think there would be a problem connecting like 5 clients to a single source adapter connected to the router using homeplug?
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    1) I think the only way you'll know for sure is to try it
    2) It also depends on how much bandwidth each client needs (which may vary)

    In my own crude testing, i found the network speed over powerline was about the same as my Wireless G signal. Of course, results (and "mileage") may vary so you're really best to try yourself and make sure the powerline stuff is returnable if it doesn't meet your need (in my case, i had the option of running a long cable through the wall and behind the vents, so i did that instead)
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    there may be an issue for the house wiring.

    Consider domestic power: 240v, 1phase~. The common goes to ground and one wire each goes to the left / right bank of breakers.

    The ethernet signal can move up & down on one side of the box, but can have problems if the receiver is on the other branch of the a/c. The issue is noise via the three breakers, one on the tx side, the main, and then the recv side. We assume 100% connectivity thru a breaker, but A/C connectivity is different than RF (ethernet) connectivity.

    This is not just academic, it has been reported :(
  6. jameslangley

    jameslangley TS Rookie

    Also keep in mind that on a PLC, the point where you connect it is on an isolated simple circuit. This means that if you are in your lounge (which is usually on a separate fuse from the house, with the laundry attached), you will not be able to plug a receiver into the kitchen, or your bedrooms - unless the power circuit runs through there.

    PLCs are very reliant on the power stability. This means that if your power is jumpy, or low, then the connection will - very likely - drop out.

    Keep in mind that you are connecting a sensitive piece of equipment to the power line, if you get a blackout, and the power comes back with a slight surge, you have a fair chance of blowing it - destroying a ~$200 unit.

    It is cheaper, but not as easy to just run a switch from the back of your router, straight to the through the roof, to where it needs to go down the wall.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    I added a Netgear EoP from my router to provide access across the house for a WDTV device (HDMI->TV)
    and it works just swell :)

    I have UPS on both ends, but needed to connect the EoP devices directly to the house a/c to avoid the UPS circuitry
    which will sacrifice them if there's a spike on the link.

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