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Old 04.12.2013, 08:03
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Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

I will soon likely be interested in buying some Powerline network adapters to connect my internet connection between rooms, so as per title I am looking for some feedback from people who have experience with the Powerline networking adapters here in Switzerland.

For those wondering what one is, read here: http://www.howstuffworks.com/power-network.htm

Basically, they allow you to use the electricity wires in your house to pass data through them. The speed of which depends on:
  1. The age, quality and length of your electricity wiring
  2. The speed and quality of the adapters you buy

This is what they look like... and you can get models with or without a "passthrough" connection, so that you don't lose an electricity socket.

Quote:

So, to those who own them, what I am wondering is:

1) What brand and model do you have?
2) How old is your house?
4) What average speeds do you get?
5) Is it enough to reliably stream HD media?
6) 3) Are you happy with them? Any issues?

Cheers,

Rich.
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Old 04.12.2013, 08:17
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

1) What brand and model do you have? the Swisscom ones
2) How old is your house?20 years
4) What average speeds do you get?less than wireless
5) Is it enough to reliably stream HD media?nope
6) 3) Are you happy with them? Any issues?sent them back

I tried them but they simply never worked for me, the speed was less than what I was getting through wireless. I read up on them afterwards and for some reason in some houses they simply don't work with no real explanation apart from it must be the wiring.

It is certainly worth a go and trying them as when they do work apparently they are fantastic, however make sure you have a full refund policy in place just in case.
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Old 04.12.2013, 08:23
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

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1) What brand and model do you have? the Swisscom ones
2) How old is your house?20 years
4) What average speeds do you get?less than wireless
5) Is it enough to reliably stream HD media?nope
6) 3) Are you happy with them? Any issues?sent them back

I tried them but they simply never worked for me, the speed was less than what I was getting through wireless. I read up on them afterwards and for some reason in some houses they simply don't work with no real explanation apart from it must be the wiring.

It is certainly worth a go and trying them as when they do work apparently they are fantastic, however make sure you have a full refund policy in place just in case.
Hmm interesting thanks for the feedback... maybe yours were the slower 200MB models? They cannot stream HD compared to the newer 500MB ones.
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Old 04.12.2013, 09:13
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

Make sure they are on the same circuit - don't use them across power breakers.


Make sure that they are on a different circuit to electrically noisy devices - fridges, microwaves, boyfriends hair drier.


And don't expect anywhere near the speed claimed by the makers.


But please let us know how you get on.
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Old 04.12.2013, 09:17
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

I've had some experience with them in the US, and could only say I was largely unimpressed with them. Unless you are looking for a wired connection, I would lean more towards a wireless repeater to extend network coverage.
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Old 04.12.2013, 09:25
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

I had them before and they would stop working whenever I turned on a particular lamp. Maybe they have improved since then?

Dan
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Old 04.12.2013, 09:26
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

I bought some of the newer Develo ones (600mb?) with the intention of connecting basement. Unfortunately, this was rather optimistic given that I'm in a unit with many flats and the route is long and crosses multiples sources of noise. In the end, it resulted in around a 10mbit connection.

Within the flat itself was much better and also varied from point to point.

I was too lazy to return them, so if you're interested in once-used units, let me know.

I'd definitely go for standard LAN if it is an option. Failing that, you'd probably need to test whether wifi or powerline would give better results.
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Old 04.12.2013, 09:33
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

Hi Richdog,

I have this one.

http://www.devolo.ch/consumer/106_dl...er_8.html?l=de

so I can surf wireless in the garden. I live in a modern home. My colleague (who lives in an older house) says he can't use this technology because of the different circuits so you'll need to check this out.

Setup is easy (even WPA2). Speed is brilliant, both wireless and fixed line.

Digitec has it for 109 CHF (in stock)
https://www.digitec.ch/ProdukteDetai...Artikel=273204

Brack has it for 149 CHF
http://www.brack.ch/devolo-dlan-500a...rterkit-238262

I can wholly recommend it.

Harry

1) What brand and model do you have? devolo WLAN duo starter
2) How old is your house? BJ 2008
4) What average speeds do you get? 100% (dogs bollox, even kills my neighbours WLAN noise)
5) Is it enough to reliably stream HD media? Not tried
6) 3) Are you happy with them? 100% Any issues? No, should have bought them sooner.
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Last edited by HarryBosch; 04.12.2013 at 09:38. Reason: Filled out questionairre.
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Old 04.12.2013, 09:33
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

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I had them before and they would stop working whenever I turned on a particular lamp. Maybe they have improved since then?

Dan
I have a set of TPLINK TL-PA511, rated for up to 500mbps.

What I was able to get out of it in practice is a maximum of approx. 70mbits. The house is approx 20yo.
Currently I'm getting 40mbits flat (stable) and have no idea why, perhaps the neighbors got a new TV :-).

It was next to impossible to set up a stable wireless connection in my house due to thick walls and I've tried a lot of things(different routers, channels, 2.4g, 5g and so on). Even when I got seemingly good transfers, there was plenty of lost packets and delays.

The good thing with the Powerline it is always rock stable, ping to router <1ms. No problems with online gaming whatsoever . Also fine for HD media.
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Old 04.12.2013, 09:37
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

I'm using a Devolo kit to supply my Swisscom TV box from the router. It's supposed to connect at "up to" 600 MB/s, in practice it's at 80 MB/s, which is however more than adequate for Swisscom TV.
The number 1 rule for powerline communications is to ensure that all your devices are on the same phase.
Most Swiss electricity installations are 3-phase installations and generally electricians will split up phases between different floors of a house, or the different areas of a flat. Your fuse box should normally have 3 primary circuit-breakers and there should normally be an indication of which areas of the house/flat they each control. If there isn't any indication, there's always the method of seeing which lights go out when you toggle the breakers.
If you connect powerline devices across phases you are doomed to poor performance.
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Old 04.12.2013, 09:47
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

Live in an old house Powerline or Netgear boxes are no good, it is three floors up to the junction box and then back down again. These boxes from Swisscom are expensive but work.

http://www.swisscom.ch/en/residentia...-standard.html
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Old 04.12.2013, 09:56
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

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Make sure they are on the same circuit - don't use them across power breakers.

Make sure that they are on a different circuit to electrically noisy devices - fridges, microwaves, boyfriends hair drier.
And how do I know if they are on the same circuit? I just know which sockets they will go in, and that's not going to change due to the limited options I have.

Quote:
And don't expect anywhere near the speed claimed by the makers..
Of course not.

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I bought some of the newer Develo ones (600mb?) with the intention of connecting basement. Unfortunately, this was rather optimistic given that I'm in a unit with many flats and the route is long and crosses multiples sources of noise. In the end, it resulted in around a 10mbit connection.

Within the flat itself was much better and also varied from point to point.

I was too lazy to return them, so if you're interested in once-used units, let me know.

I'd definitely go for standard LAN if it is an option. Failing that, you'd probably need to test whether wifi or powerline would give better results.
Hmm... so around 1.2mb/s in real terms. Well, I plan on using them to feed my living room, which will eventually house a PS4, so I guess I would hope to have more bandwidth than that considering how online-dependent it is. However, without testing them who knows.

I was hoping to use powerline as a minimum fuss, minimum effort solution... but maybe in the end I will just go to the effort of running ethernet cable from my bedroom through the adjoining wall into my living room. I'm plannong on modding my IKEA bedside cabinet to use as a router and modem station, so I guess I can run everything from there.

Those Devolo 600's are pretty damn pricey too, right?
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:12
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

We have a pair of the netgear ones. The first pair stopped working after a month but the exchange pair are great.
I use them to on line game FPS and there is no problem with it I get speeds of 75Mb (when cablecom decide to allow it )
It was a good buy for us , no cables running through the entrance hall.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:17
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

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Hmm interesting thanks for the feedback... maybe yours were the slower 200MB models? They cannot stream HD compared to the newer 500MB ones.
Can't remember but Swisscom guaranteed they would stream HD so I presume it was the faster ones.

You should buy get them but make sure you have money back guarantee.
Apparently if they work they are excellent.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:17
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

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And how do I know if they are on the same circuit? I just know which sockets they will go in, and that's not going to change due to the limited options I have.


Trip a power breaker and if both sockets go dead then they are on the same circuit.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:22
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

1) What brand and model do you have?
Devolo - 3 years old, but can't remember the model.
2) How old is your house?
26 years old
4) What average speeds do you get?
Don't know. Fast enough.
5) Is it enough to reliably stream HD media?
Yes
6) Are you happy with them? Any issues?

I've got three on three levels of the house. As they're older models, if I repeated the wireless from the router, it wouldn't be so secure (WAP). So the two away from the router maintain their own wifi point with a more secure protocol- that means I have three seperate wifi points on the same network (channels carefully chosen). Sometimes they need to be rebooted (maybe a couple of times a year), but essentially, it just works and I have coverage over the whole house. Very happy with them.

I plug them into triple-sockets, using an angle adapter to keep the other two sockets clear.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:29
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

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I plug them into triple-sockets, using an angle adapter to keep the other two sockets clear.
Yes the one problem with them is they seem to have been designed wrong. The pins should be the other way around. We got around it by buying a switched plug extension (not a trailing one,) for about 5chf which moved it away from the socket enough to use the other two sockets.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:45
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

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And how do I know if they are on the same circuit? I just know which sockets they will go in, and that's not going to change due to the limited options I have.



Of course not.



Hmm... so around 1.2mb/s in real terms. Well, I plan on using them to feed my living room, which will eventually house a PS4, so I guess I would hope to have more bandwidth than that considering how online-dependent it is. However, without testing them who knows.

I was hoping to use powerline as a minimum fuss, minimum effort solution... but maybe in the end I will just go to the effort of running ethernet cable from my bedroom through the adjoining wall into my living room. I'm plannong on modding my IKEA bedside cabinet to use as a router and modem station, so I guess I can run everything from there.

Those Devolo 600's are pretty damn pricey too, right?
The in-flat performance was much better, but pointless for me since I run gigabit lan at home.

The units are hassle free though. You just plug them in and it works (no messing with WPA keys etc.).

I can't remember the price, but i think it was <200chfs from digitec.

If you can run ethernet, I would go for that.

Last edited by Phil_MCR; 04.12.2013 at 10:56.
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Old 04.12.2013, 10:56
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

I got the Powerline adapters as sold by Swisscom...to be able to watch UK TV via Swisscom settop box, they do work really fine and where available, HD TV works well too.
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Old 04.12.2013, 11:05
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Re: Powerline networking adapters... give me the skinny, how are they really?

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So, to those who own them, what I am wondering is:

1) What brand and model do you have? two Devolo AVSmart 200+ plus one Devolo dLAN 500 WiFi Starter Kit
2) How old is your house? 25 years - not rewired
4) What average speeds do you get? see the image
5) Is it enough to reliably stream HD media? yes. 1080p 15Gb movies
6) 3) Are you happy with them? Any issues? yes. I once had to pull the Devolo dLAN 500 WiFi out to return to over 100Mbps performance
The picture now:
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powerline-networking-adapters-give-me-skinny-how-they-really-devolo.jpg  
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