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Powerline adapters v. wireless

Last response: in Networking
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December 29, 2012 9:35:11 PM

Hello,
Would like to set up a McTiVia wireless Mac-to-TV box in a separate though adjacent room from the wireless DSL modem-router. However, even the Mfg. says the McTiVia (receiver) works better if it can be ethernet-wired to the transmitter (modem-router) - which kinda nulls the whole idea, i.e., no long cables. My thought is that perhaps a set of powerline adapters might work as the “wired” portion of the net? Anyone have any experience along these lines, or suggestions?

Thanks!
a b F Wireless
December 29, 2012 9:44:56 PM

They actually work pretty good...most the time... Some houses like wireless they refuse to work well. It is worth a try just be sure you can return them. The key advantage over wireless is you get less interference and random outage like you do on wireless. They are not any faster than a "good" wireless signal though.

If you have TV coax between the rooms you may also consider MoCA devices.
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December 29, 2012 10:30:25 PM

john-b691 said:
They actually work pretty good...most the time... Some houses like wireless they refuse to work well. It is worth a try just be sure you can return them. The key advantage over wireless is you get less interference and random outage like you do on wireless. They are not any faster than a "good" wireless signal though.

If you have TV coax between the rooms you may also consider MoCA devices.




Thanks, John!

Old house, no coax, no cat-5, just Romex! I guess I'll go ahead with the McTiVia project; I was loathe to do so before, since I've spent lottsa bucks on things that didn't work in the past! As you say, I'll just be sure I can return them - if the wireless doesn't work out. (I have no particular reason to believe the wireless _won't_ work, just trying to cover as many bases as possible...)

Regards,
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a c 204 F Wireless
December 30, 2012 7:30:16 PM

A good pair of 200-500Mbps powerline adapters on the same circuit breaker box will usually get 40-80Mbps and be pretty reliable. If you have interference, most commonly from motors like floor fans, just put the motor device on a different socket or stick a 6 foot extension cord on it (that attenuates the interference as well as expensive devices specifically for that job).

I have installed dozens of wireless access points that are connected to the main router by powerline adapters and they work very well as long as you are not trying to stream full HD (BluRay) video.
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December 31, 2012 5:51:29 AM

RealBeast said:
A good pair of 200-500Mbps powerline adapters on the same circuit breaker box will usually get 40-80Mbps and be pretty reliable. If you have interference, most commonly from motors like floor fans, just put the motor device on a different socket or stick a 6 foot extension cord on it (that attenuates the interference as well as expensive devices specifically for that job).

I have installed dozens of wireless access points that are connected to the main router by powerline adapters and they work very well as long as you are not trying to stream full HD (BluRay) video.


Thanks, RealBeast! If I end up having to use "wired" connections, use of powerline adapters is about my only choice - without a lot of wallboard work - I'll get back to the group with my experience, one way or the other.
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January 4, 2013 6:18:35 AM

I've had bad experiences with powerline adapters, supposedly powerline is faster, but in both in ping (gaming) and download/upload speeds it is much worse and the speeds jump around much more than wireless.

My ping when gaming with my wireless is around 30ms or so from a server in Chicago, with powerline this never gets below 100ms and often goes past 600 to 700ms. Connection to my home network is slightly faster however.

Apparently this isn't typical but I would suggest a wireless connection if one solid Cat5/5e/6 ethernet cable is out of the question.
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a c 204 F Wireless
January 4, 2013 1:17:51 PM

Cp3o613 said:
I've had bad experiences with powerline adapters, supposedly powerline is faster, but in both in ping (gaming) and download/upload speeds it is much worse and the speeds jump around much more than wireless.

My ping when gaming with my wireless is around 30ms or so from a server in Chicago, with powerline this never gets below 100ms and often goes past 600 to 700ms. Connection to my home network is slightly faster however.

Apparently this isn't typical but I would suggest a wireless connection if one solid Cat5/5e/6 ethernet cable is out of the question.
It really depends on the house. Ethernet is always best if you can wire it, but that is usually the issue. Next choice is MOCA (fairly expensive and that depends on the quality of your coaxial cabling), then it is pretty much down to wireless v. powerline depending on the distance and home. Try doing basement to third floor wireless without running a cable -- powerline is the only choice left. But then again it really comes down to the quality of your wiring and construction materials/layout for the final choice.

My routine is to try a wireless and powerline setup side by side and let the customer decide when it looks to be a toss up.
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January 4, 2013 11:30:51 PM

Thanks much, folks! I guess the take-away here is "try it and see; the chances are fair to good."

So I will.

I'll try to keep the forum informed on progress...

Thanks again, to all repliers.
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February 27, 2013 3:20:31 PM

RealBeast said:
It really depends on the house. Ethernet is always best if you can wire it, but that is usually the issue. Next choice is MOCA (fairly expensive and that depends on the quality of your coaxial cabling), then it is pretty much down to wireless v. powerline depending on the distance and home. Try doing basement to third floor wireless without running a cable -- powerline is the only choice left. But then again it really comes down to the quality of your wiring and construction materials/layout for the final choice.

My routine is to try a wireless and powerline setup side by side and let the customer decide when it looks to be a toss up.


**Hello,
Home I bought has coax outlets everywhere - and a DirecTV dish on the roof. But I don't have active service with them. House has only 2 phone jacks - neither one where I can use my home theater or computers.
Can I use 2 MoCA adapters on my coax outlets, even though I don't have active service? If not, what is my best option?
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a b F Wireless
February 27, 2013 5:16:47 PM

What do *phone* jacks have to do w/ it? All you need for powerline is an AC outlet, which you surely have nearby. That said, MoCA is probably more reliable than powerline, and less likely to have compatibility issues w/ your home wiring. And as long as you're not actively using coax w/ DTV, I don't see it as a problem. To be fair, the powerline technology has gotten steadily better over the years, esp. w/ the 500Mbps and up generations. So the choice between powerline and MoCA has become a close call.
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February 27, 2013 5:49:28 PM

akwildflower said:
**Hello,
Home I bought has coax outlets everywhere - and a DirecTV dish on the roof. But I don't have active service with them. House has only 2 phone jacks - neither one where I can use my home theater or computers.
Can I use 2 MoCA adapters on my coax outlets, even though I don't have active service? If not, what is my best option?


Okay let's not hijack this thread. I am actually replying to your query as it helps me reply to the OP as well...

There are better than fantastic reasons that businesses / enterprise networks are based on specifically cabled fast ethernet, gigabit, or 10 gigabit networks. Cabled ethernet does take a little bit of effort, and some cost, but if you want the best results, it really is the way to go with computer networks.

The very concept of powerline networking scares me. Power around here fluctuates so much that to keep from frying my electronics I use battery backup / voltage regulating UPSes everywhere... (Really ought to invest in a whole house UPS system, but those are STEEP). I seriously doubt I could get a reliable network connection out of those power lines. And if I did, what is to protect my equipment from the power surges and drops that happen all the time?

If your house has coaxial cable, or telephone cable in the wall, you can use that, and heavy poly twine to "back pull" new ethernet cables through the wall, and share a common wall plate with the phone or coax. If you are afraid of terminating cable, just get pre-terminated cables and female / female keystones. Everything just clicks together. Another option is if you know any admins that want to do some extra work on the side, have them design out and install your network. Guys doing this stuff on the side charge a lot less than the companies, and will typically work with what you want, not what their boss wants to sell you.
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March 6, 2013 12:35:00 AM

Best answer selected by dugga.
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