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What is Powerline Ethernet?

We often want to extend our home or office network to a location that has bad WiFi reception, usually because WiFi won't go through walls.

Running ethernet cable will fix this, but it's a lot of work to run cables.

An easier solution is to use a "powerline ethernet", which uses your building's AC power wires to carry an ethernet signal.

Setup

Setting up powerline ethernet is super easy. It can be completed in ten minutes.

You will need to buy a pair of powerline adapters such as the TP Link AV600 or the Netgear Powerline 1200.

Plug one adapter into the wall socket near your main router. Connect an ethernet patch cord from your router to the powerline devicr. Plug the second powerline device into the other spot in your building that needs a connection.

powerline extension

Instantly you have an ethernet extension that you can use for a second router or a computer. Your signal goes over the power wires in your building.

It's completely easy and totally works.

Detailed instructions are here:

TP Link AV600

Netgear Powerline 1200

Speed limitations

First generation powerline devices were slow, but the latest generation of devices offer speeds of 300mb, 600mb, or even gigabit ethernet. Since this is probably a lot faster than your internet connection, speed is usually not an issue.

Distance limitations

We have tested powerline devices in limited situations, and there are several factors that affect the maximum distance

Surge Protectors

Surge protectors block the "powerline" signal. You cannot connect a powerline device to a surge protector, it will not work.

Security

Powerline devices generally can be "paired", just the same as Bluetooth devices. This means nobody can listen in on your traffic, even if they have a similar device. This could be important in an apartment building where more than one unit might have these powerline devices, and we don't want people listening to each other's traffic.

Brands

We have tested TP-LInk and Netgear brand equipment. They work as promised. Other brands may be fine too.

Sources

You can buy this type of equipment from the following stores:

More Information

Wikipedia has some nice articles on powerline eqiupment.

"Powerline Communication" is the general technology:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power-line_communication

"Homeplug" is the type of equipment we generally use:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HomePlug

Support

At Brand X Internt we try to be helpful. We will answer questions about powerline equipment from our customers, but can't take any responsibility for equipment we did not provide.

If you would like us to come out and set up your network extension, we can usually do this within a one hour minimum charge.