Powerline Networking Review (Homeplug AV)


OK, it’s time to give a quick review on something that’s saved my sanity. I’ll preface this by saying when we built our house almost 8 years ago, I made a bone-headed decision not to wire it properly for a network. Well, now we are a cable free, Netflix/Hulu/Amazon only family and I’m finding that hard-wired network appliances are much more reliable than their Wi-Fi alternative . . .

I say that to say this . . . if you live in a home built before the last decade, there is a very good chance it is not wired for a home network and you rely on good ol’ Wi-Fi to get by. Well, there is a very cost-effective way to get reliable, speedy* networking so your Playstation/Roku/AppleTV/XBox/whatever can efficiently talk to the net.

I started with the Zyxel PLA407 set (cheap at Amazon) a couple of years ago and they have been rock solid. You can even encrypt the signal if you’re super paranoid. They only run at 200 Mbps. Of course, that’s double a standard network speed, but far from the now standard Gigabit speeds. However, I’ve found it’s more than enough to stream across devices (server to apple TV or television, talking between devices). Plus, it’s MUCH cheaper than wiring your house.

Setup is dead simple: Plug in one network device to an outlet near your Wifi-router and plug it into the router. Then, in any other outlet in your house, plug the other network adapter. You can then plug it straight to the device (i.e., Playstation, etc.) or, as I do, use a simple 5-port switch to distribute to other devices. That’s it . . . all done with much better speed and less lag time than your wifi can provide.

Oh, and another plus:

  • You can use other brands if they are “Homeplug AV” certified. For instance, I have a 3rd homeplug adapter from Trendnet that is located at the far end of the house and plugged into an old Wireless N Wifi router. It gives a good connection to the outside garage about 100+ feet away for my treadmill TV.

So, there you go . . . if you think you need more speed, they offer these up to a gigabit – click here to see ’em all.

Have a blessed week, everyone,

LM

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One Response

  1. I hired a contractor that said they understood data wiring and asked them to do two strands of CAT5 to every room of my house during construction. Turns out they daisy chained it instead of home running it and I didn’t find out until the walls were up. We ended up going with Powerline networking as well. It works very well in our house, but it’s one of those things where it either works or it doesn’t. If you have an older home it’s sometimes problematic.

    Ours works very well. I used to use it with Xbox Live without lag issues and we have tested streaming to 6 simultaneous units with only minor hiccups.

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