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Is a Powerline what I need?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We live in a 2 BR apartment with the 2nd bedroom being used as my home office. Until today, I had my cable modem and router located in my home office. Due to wireless network issues with a Roku box in the living room, I moved the modem and router to the living room and hard wired the Roku and BD player. Those things work great now. Unfortunately, the desktop PC in my home office has a much weaker wireless signal now. It usually sits at 3 out of 5 bars. Keep in mind that all that I need is to allow my PC to have a strong and reliable wireless signal. I am not a gamer or anything like that. I was looking at something like this:

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=310

If there is another device that I can use instead, I'm all ears. Feel free to dumb down any explanations so I can understand.biggrin.gif

I need to be able to use the other plug in an outlet.

What about using an extender like this:

http://www.netgear.com/home/products/wireless-range-extenders/WN3500RP.aspx#one
Edited by Doctego - 2/16/13 at 11:42am
post #2 of 12
I personally like the Netgear AV500 powerline adapters. I have 4 of them around the house to extend my main network. The biggest impact on their performance is whether you are connecting across the poles in the breaker box or you are on the same poll. Across the poles I get about 30-35 Mbps; on the same pole I get about double that. I typically stream video over them, including BluRay. Their throughput is more than enough for Internet transport from a router.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I personally like the Netgear AV500 powerline adapters. I have 4 of them around the house to extend my main network. The biggest impact on their performance is whether you are connecting across the poles in the breaker box or you are on the same poll. Across the poles I get about 30-35 Mbps; on the same pole I get about double that. I typically stream video over them, including BluRay. Their throughput is more than enough for Internet transport from a router.

Thanks for the reply. Due to the fact that I only need to boost a weak signal, do you think that I need a powerline or would an extender do the trick? A powerline looks like it might be a little bit of overkill for my needs and I'd like to minimize devices, if possible.
post #4 of 12
Here's another single-ended solution similar to the Netgear extender. This one is from D-Link, and I got mine from The Source for $50.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on4a_Ds1ku0
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffschallenberg View Post

Here's another single-ended solution similar to the Netgear extender. This one is from D-Link, and I got mine from The Source for $50.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on4a_Ds1ku0

Interesting. Since my router is 300 Mbps, would I want to look at an extender that was also 300 Mbps?
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

Interesting. Since my router is 300 Mbps, would I want to look at an extender that was also 300 Mbps?

Using theoretical maximums for anything is illogical. It doesn't matter what the theoretical maximum is, it matters what actual performance is. That, and Powerline would be running in parallel to wifi, so why would it even matter what speed one leg versus the other is? As long as each leg has the bandwidth for what it's used for, then it would work fine for that application.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

Thanks for the reply. Due to the fact that I only need to boost a weak signal, do you think that I need a powerline or would an extender do the trick? A powerline looks like it might be a little bit of overkill for my needs and I'd like to minimize devices, if possible.
Sorry. I don't do wireless other than simple laptop connections for Internet access.
post #8 of 12
The Netgear AV500 powerline adapters work well for me. I also have my router in my living room hardwired to me blu ray player for better performance streaming HD video and I had the same problem my PC is right on the edge of wireless range (in my case in a detached studio in the back yard). According to Vudu speed test I get around 18 Mbps down which is plenty for my purposes and way better than I would get via wireless.

Another option you might want to consider though is a coax adapter which does the same thing as a powerline but through coax instead of through your power outlets. So if you have a cable jack in your bedroom / office you can run it through that instead which is supposed to give you better speed than powerline. I've never used one myself but check it out and see if it might work better for you.

http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Ethernet-Adapter-Service-ECB2500CK01/dp/B008EQ4BQG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pdT1_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2DJ0Q331U7UL7&coliid=I1AU5A1M1G0FD8
post #9 of 12
Been running the WD Livewire powerline adapter for six months after moving to a new house. (50+ y.o. house, ungrounded outlets, some updated electric) I'm very happy with it. The internet connection and switch are upstairs in the spare bedroom/office, all the a/v components are downstairs in the living room. All four ports are in use. (Roku, BD Player, AV network reciever, TiVo) No issues with internet sourced streams. Zero problems with accessing DLNA content- both MP3s, MP4s & WMC recordings viewed through the BD Player. So the 200MB is sufficient for most A/V uses.

Only minor complaint- the adapter isn't happy with brownouts and power dips. I've had to unplug/re-plug both halves of the adapter each time they've happened. But it may simply be that the adapter resumes faster than the switch it's hooked up to.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by calculon68 View Post

So the 200MB is sufficient for most A/V uses.
Just a note, the AV200 or AV500 designation does not mean 200 or 500Mbps throughput. The marketing guys got their hands on this -- they are adding the bi-directional paths of the adapter to make it sound better. So AV200 = 100Mbps up + 100Mbps down. Same goes for AV500, 250Mbps up and down. In reality, you will never get that speed anyway.
post #11 of 12
Apartments are very tricky in that you may find that one room is not on the same line as the next room or the actual connection is far outside the apartment.

I have a flat that is more studio style. I have used an AV500 that was no better than direct line wireless other than appears to be fairly consistent. The only way to find out is to try the powerline units. In the meanwhile, I opted to go for cabling along the walls. I would strongly suggest the same or a combo of wireless and cable. If you are inclined, also consider wifi access points place in logical locations. The best wireless experience I have had is the use of two routers bridged wirelessly. This always worked better than one wireless router for me over distances. The routers do the heavy lifting and the devices connect to each respectively via cable.

For now, I use a WDN900 (has 7 cable ports) and works better than expected with wifi (iPhone, iPad etc.). All of my 7 ports are used and one line leads to a switch that breaks out into 3 more cabled devices.
post #12 of 12
Also, real-world, the variations is bandwidth are huge due to the quality of electrical wiring, but in an apartment, I'm getting around 20mbps. I used to get more like 25-30mbps, but for some reason it's gone down.
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