Powerline vs Wireless

#1 Edited by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

I am currently using a wireless adapter for my PC but my download speeds are absolutely atrocious. Wired isnt an option for me as my PC is upstairs and my router is downstairs. I've heard a bit about powerline (or power over ethernet?) but I don't really know anything about it. Is it significantly better than wireless? Has anyone got any first-hand experience with it? Would it be sufficient for gaming?

#2 Edited by FelipeInside (25042 posts) -

@MylesB93 said:

I am currently using a wireless adapter for my PC but my download speeds are absolutely atrocious. Wired isnt an option for me as my PC is upstairs and my router is downstairs. I've heard a bit about powerline (or power over ethernet?) but I don't really know anything about it. Is it significantly better than wireless? Has anyone got any first-hand experience with it? Would it be sufficient for gaming?

I've had experience with it for both homes and companies.

To be totally honest, it's all luck at the end. It depends on a few factors:

- How good the electrical circuits are in the house

- How many different circuits there are in the house and if they are connected to each other

All I can say is that you try it and then compare speeds between wireless and powerline. I've tried different brands and the best performance I've noticed always comes from Netgear Powerlines: http://www.netgear.com.au/home/products/networking/powerline/

#3 Posted by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

@FelipeInside: I suppose it's really my only option as like I said, my current wireless connection is absolutely awful. I'll definitely look more into it, it's seems pretty affordable. Thanks for you help!

#4 Edited by General_X (9023 posts) -

I'll repost a review of a powerline kit that I had posted in another thread:

Alright, I'm back to report my findings. I ordered this powerline kit from Newegg on sale for $20 so I figured I didn't have much to lose. As you can tell it's pretty much the starter kit so it's only the "200mbps" version, I know there are several steps above this type of model including "500mbps" and "600mbps" versions.

Set up could not have been easier, plugged my router into the unit in the first socket, plugged its mate into a socket in the same room, pushed a button on both to pair them, then moved the second one out to my living room where my HTPC is. The connection now shows up as a standard LAN connection on my HTPC.

Performance however for this kit is just "okay". Using LAN Speed Test Lite which tests the transfer speed sending files between my computers, it appears that this "200mbps" kit gets about 25mbps download in actual testing which translates to 3.125MBps. For upload they tested at about ~19mbps which translates to 2.75MBps in real world file transferring. Pinging Google with the command prompt reports an 18ms ping, which is directly in-line with my computer that's hooked up directly to the modem, so no negative impact on ping.

My powerline kit is at a bit of a disadvantage because my units are on separate circuits, but for most people if they were on the same circuit the units would probably be close enough to just run an ethernet cable. For me this kit represents a minor boost in stability and speed over my wireless connection in my apartment due to the amount of wireless interference with the 9+ four bar networks that are surrounding me.

Conclusion: I recommend powerline kits for a certain set of circumstances. If you're like me and have to fight your neighbors for airwaves, or if your walls are extraordinarily thick and a single wireless router doesn't fullfill your needs, then powerlines can definitely be a major player in your network. Though I don't have experience with them, I would recommend the 500mpbs kits if you want to do some serious file transferring on your network, because 3MBps doesn't get you very far very fast.

If you find yourself in a modest-sized home, with a sparse population of neighbors nearby and your standard wood frame + plaster walls, a decent wireless N router will give you a lot more utility for the price than a powerline kit, transfer speeds for wireless N can fairly easily achieve 10MBps within 20ft or so.

#5 Posted by KHAndAnime (13161 posts) -

Coming from a Wireless G connection, it's a night and day difference. On my basement PC, which is one room below my wireless router, my download speeds would be 20% of what I'd get from my wired connection. I'd also inference every once awhile, causing me to lose connection from my games and to have a poor ping. With my powerline adapter, I get 90% of what I'd get from my wired connection, with no lagging. I get disconnected once or twice a week, but I suspect it's because my adapter is plugged into a power strip with tons of things plugged into it.

#6 Posted by FelipeInside (25042 posts) -

Coming from a Wireless G connection, it's a night and day difference. On my basement PC, which is one room below my wireless router, my download speeds would be 20% of what I'd get from my wired connection. I'd also inference every once awhile, causing me to lose connection from my games and to have a poor ping. With my powerline adapter, I get 90% of what I'd get from my wired connection, with no lagging. I get disconnected once or twice a week, but I suspect it's because my adapter is plugged into a power strip with tons of things plugged into it.

It is. The instructions on powerline adapters actually say you are not supposed to connect it to a power board, it needs to be connected straight to the wall with no other devices.

#7 Posted by KHAndAnime (13161 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:

Coming from a Wireless G connection, it's a night and day difference. On my basement PC, which is one room below my wireless router, my download speeds would be 20% of what I'd get from my wired connection. I'd also inference every once awhile, causing me to lose connection from my games and to have a poor ping. With my powerline adapter, I get 90% of what I'd get from my wired connection, with no lagging. I get disconnected once or twice a week, but I suspect it's because my adapter is plugged into a power strip with tons of things plugged into it.

It is. The instructions on powerline adapters actually say you are not supposed to connect it to a power board, it needs to be connected straight to the wall with no other devices.

Well - it doesn't necessarily need to be, as I've had it plugged into a tiny power strip (with another power strip plugged into that) for awhile and it works 99.9%. I just ordered a new larger power strip so I can put it right into the wall to see if it runs any faster (and doesn't disconnect anymore).