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Modem and router in separate locations connected by powerline network?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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December 16, 2013 3:23:19 AM

Hi there,

I have a Vigor v120 modem setup in my basement next to the incoming phone line, connected to the WAN port of a Belkin wifi router that provides the modem with the ISP details as well as handling all the usual network services to devices on a powerline network.
Obviously the wifi signal's not great, so ideally I'd like to have the router upstairs - but I've no idea how to setup the devices. I've no networking expertise so have spent quite a few hours now trying almost randomly to get them to work - assuming that it's even possible!

Any assistance would be very gratefully received!
December 16, 2013 7:04:09 AM

First thing to do is leave the modem and router where it is and hook the powerline devices to the LAN side of the router. Now hook a wired PC to the other powerline device. This is just to test that the powerline works. You want to run a speed test to the internet to insure you get ok speeds.

Once this works it should be as simple as plugging the powerline into the modem and the router into the other powerline device. Powerline devices are transparent to the equipment they should think they are still connect with a ethernet cable.
December 16, 2013 7:55:34 AM

Ah - I didn't make it clear in my original question - there are five powerline adapters on the network, linking the modem and router, two PCs and a couple of Xboxes. Adding the router on a sixth separate powerline and the various devices seem to get confused. I guess I need to give the router the modem's IP, and give the other devices the router's IP as their gateway, but I don't seem to have got it functioning.
To give you an idea how clueless I am, I'm not even sure if I should plug the router to the powerline using the WAN or LAN port, given it needs to go to a specific location to get the modem's feed, rather than just taking the direct connection to the WAN port...
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December 16, 2013 8:50:50 AM

So many people have issue just getting 2 of these devices to work properly together it is surprising that you get 5 to work.

First there is a limitation of how many devices these powerline things can support. It varies between manufacture so its hard to say if 6 is too many.

Next there is a limitation on the total bandwidth. These devices try to divide it up but at some point none of the devices will get enough bandwidth to function because they are all fighting over it. This limit will depend on your house and how much bandwidth they can get in the first place.

Now in addition to all this you have another problem.

The common configuration of a router is to have a WAN network that is between the internet and the router and a LAN network that is between the router and the end user devices. These 2 network really need to be separate. So to do what you want you need 2 run 2 different powerline networks. This is done by using 2 different security keys. You would use a pair of devices one hooked to the modem and a second hooked to the router WAN port. This give you you WAN network. So now you take another powerline device and hook it to the LAN port of the router. This powerline and the ones you hook to your end devices will be on a different network because you are using a different key.

I am sure the web sites for the manufactures that make powerline devices will say this is perfectly valid configuration. Sure it might work in a lab but will it work in your house who knows. Complex designs tend to be more unstable and hard to troubleshoot.

If you have any option of using ethernet cables for the modem-router I would do that rather than try to run all these powerline devices.
December 17, 2013 2:20:31 AM

That's hugely informative, many thanks. I will give it a go tomorrow evening when I've got some time to play!
!