I was involved in a recent discussion on “running systems over power line adapters”. My previous experience of using power line based ethernet adapters was terrible, unreliable and affected by other equipment connected to the circuit. Intermittent networking problems with a powerline device connected to the network became the obvious point of concern, and we were determined to find a way of cabling around the issue.
A Powerline adapter is a device that uses your homes electric wiring to transmit computer networking information. The system required two adapters, one at each end of the connection. One end will join the powerline network to your computer network, and the other end will connect a wireless access point, tv or another networking device. When connected, you have a physical computer network using your house power wiring.
Ethernet will always work at the fastest possible speed for the devices at either end; Powerline devices are affected by lots of environmental factors and will always be substantially less than wired.
In setups where wiring to certain building areas are extremely difficult (prohibitive), resorting to ethernet over powerline bridges or ethernet over coax bridges (MoCA) has been necessary. With powerline bridges, your mileage can vary based on the quality of electric wiring in place and how many breaker boxes (panels) are in the way. As long as you can get a decent ethernet connection tested with a computer, it will be a viable option.
If you need power over ethernet (POE), Ubiquiti has a new product labelled EtherMagic that does powerline enhanced with a PoE jack. An excellent device for cleaning cabling that requires both power and ethernet and can use POE.
The ideal situation is to get advice from a professional electrician and, where possible, install Cat6 cabling as close as possible to the area of the building that can use a WIFI access point.
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