Bridging Wifi Routers Through Powerline Adapter

Good morning everyone. My main computer has a Verizon Actiontec MI424WR Router. The wifi cannot reach upstairs, so I use two ZyXEL PLA-407 powerline adapters to bridge the Actiontec to a Linksys E3000, which is plugged into my brother's computer (his is the only computer upstairs that does not have a wireless card). This worked fine for more than a year. Then my brother built a new computer, and now there are issues. For the most part, when his computer is turned off, the wifi works ok (not as well as it used to, but still ok). However, when he turns his computer on, the wifi stops working no matter what we do.

Does anybody have any ideas? His computer was self-built and is a resource hog. He also has a lot of electronics plugged into a power strip that uses the same outlet. What I am wondering, is whether I have something incorrectly set up in the bridge between routers in the configuration (although I don't think so, because as mentioned, this worked fine for more than a year up until he built his new computer), or is it possible that because I am using a powerline adapter to make the bridge, his computer and/or all of his electronics are sucking away all of the available electricity and are preventing sufficient electricity from getting to the Linksys router in order for it to be able to broadcast?

Hopefully someone can help and I thank you in advance.
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  1. It is possible that the new computer is injecting noise into the power lines. A way to test is to move the powerline and wireless device to another area of the home. Does your powerline device have indicators of signal quality? This would be another test.

    Another approach is to buy a wifi extender like a NETGEAR RPT2000 or NETGEAR EX6100. These will repeat the wireless signals so other devices can connect.

    And lastly you may consider a high powered router like a NETGEAR WNDR4500 or R7000. These will provide range enough to completely cover most homes.

    Bob Silver
    NETGEAR Networking Consultant
  2. Thank you for your response. Unfortunately they don't have indicators. I've tried extenders in the past, but unfortunately they did not work well.
  3. does only the WiFi quit working or do you lose all connectivity both wired and wireless. If something was messing up the powerline adapters it would take everything down. I am assuming you have the powerline adapter plugged directly into the wall and not into the power strip. They tend to have massive issues when plugged into power strips.

    It is not over use of the electricity you would blow a circuit breaker it would be some kind of interference. Placing a surge protection power strip between the computer and the wall tends to filter a lot of the interference. This is why you can not plug a powerline device into a surge protectors it filters the data signals.

    Now if your problem is only the wireless is going away but the wired works then I have no guess on that.
  4. Both the wired (the router plugged directly into my brother's computer) and the wireless go out. (Please note that the regular wifi downstairs still works fine; it is just the wifi upstairs through the powerline that stops working.)

    I have the powerline directly into the wall. The other socket on the same outlet has a power strip with a lot of electronics plugged into it (but not my brother's computer, which is plugged into a different strip/outlet. The router is plugged into the same power strip as the computer).
  5. You will have to unplug one thing at a time and see what is causing the issue. A long extension cord may help to plug into a different room just to test. It lest you still have everything turned on.

    Unfortunately powerline devices are a form or radio transmission just over wires and can get interference just like wifi. Finding the source of interference tends to be a tedious process. Many times it can be a combination of devices that only do it when they run. If it really turns out to be the new computer causing the issue it almost has to be the power supply in the computer. If a surge protector does not filter it then you are left with thinking about putting a different power supply in. You really need to try many combinations of plugging stuff into various outlets and power strips to really be sure you know the device causing the issue before you go to steps like replacing a power supply
  6. Ok, thanks, I'll try to play around it with it. What's strange is that everything was working fine for a long time, and then suddenly it just stopped working well.
  7. That is not uncommon for powerline. It is a radio. I had a pair that randomly failed in my rental house. After a long time we finally tracked it to a ceiling fan that only did it when it was on medium speed. Eventually the fan failed and I replaced it with a identical model and it did not do it. Hard to say my new tenants do not have powerline....or they have not said anything if they do.
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