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Powerline Adapters advice sought

Grafter
Posts: 1,375
Registered: ‎17-11-2012

Powerline Adapters advice sought

If I do decide to buy a pair of powerline adapters, I'm not at all sure which I need. Many of the various options don't really make any sense to me.
I was looking at TP-Link TL-PA211KIT. Then noted something about ethernet port and gigabit port, so looked at the TL-PA411KIT. I am not at all sure if I really need the 500s with this gigabit port. I'm just on an ADSL2+ connection with no sign of anything fibre in sight currently, if ever.
I noted some reports of failures with TPLink, so looked at some NetGear made adapters. XAVB1301-100UKS They're 200s.
Does anyone have any experience with these things, and perhaps these specific brands/model numbers?
I also can't help wondering: If REIN is bad, how can running an internet connection through the electricity circuit be a good idea? Surely I am still going to lose something of download/performance and that using powerline adapters would be no better than using a wired extension.
26 REPLIES
Moderator Moderator
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

I have 4 TL-PA551 units connected at between 337Mbs and 92Mbs depending on their distance from the master unit connected directly to my router (according to the TP-Link software).
My router is downstairs and the 92Mbs unit is upstairs. All units are on the same ring main but a couple are also on mains extensions.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

Have you considered Devolo adaptors ? -  http://www.devolo.co.uk/consumer/dlan-mains-supply-network-via-powerline.html?l=en
I have about a dozen of their 200Mbps adaptors, in various models all second hand from eBay, and am very happy with them.
The Devolo Cockpit is very useful to see how the network is performing - http://www.devolo.co.uk/consumer/dlan-cockpit-most-simple-configuration-software-for-your-dlan-netwo...
Grafter
Posts: 1,375
Registered: ‎17-11-2012

Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

@Strat. Wouldn't they be overkill for me? I don't really know, but I'm tending to think that the 500s (of whatever brand) are for fibre (though could be used on ADSL), really. And do you HAVE to install and use the software with these things?
@Purleigh. I've never heard of Devolo. Having a look on Amazon I'm reading reports that if you have double sockets you can't (or shouldn't) use the adjacent socket. That makes them a no-no for me. I hope it's not true of all such devices.
What's really confusing me, or at least just getting on my nerves, with all that I'm reading in online reviews and product websites etc. with these devices is that everybody keeps going on and on about wireless - 'you'll get better speeds than you do with wireless' etc. 'Really great for wireless N devices' blah, blah, blah. That doesn't help me because I'm not looking at them as a replacement for wireless, or to aid wireless, I'm looking at them as a replacement for wiring, so I'm not finding anything in that sense that let's me know they're a good idea. I only need to span about 5m on one level and it would be nice to cut out a cable (really, cables are such a bane for me that to cut out just one is a tremendous pleasure lol). It would be infinitely cheaper to buy a 5m cable for a few quid than pay for these devices, but, but, oh, just to have one cable out of the way. What I don't know is how much would I lose with a 5m cable as compared to a pair of these devices. That is, speed, functioning, error rates, etc. Is it even possible for me to know that without actually trying both? Huh
Community Veteran
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Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

Have you even tried using wireless?
Or alternatively, get a long ethernet cable. That would be the best solution.
Community Veteran
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Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

I bought a TL-PA211KIT pair and then later added a third. I've used them across different ring mains (which they say you shouldn't do) and also on trailing extension leads when I ran out of sockets (again not recommended). I have no issues with them at all.
At the time I bought them pass through models were a lot more but you might consider these for convenience.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Speed Wave
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Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

Quote from: Razer
@Purleigh. I've never heard of Devolo. Having a look on Amazon I'm reading reports that if you have double sockets you can't (or shouldn't) use the adjacent socket. That makes them a no-no for me. I hope it's not true of all such devices.

I just checked all the different Devolo adaptor types that I use, and they definitely don't interfere with the adjacent (double) socket, I even have some plugged in next to electronic timers which are wider than the Devolos and there is no problem there.
As Jelv said, there are 'pass though' models, which also have the benefit of adding mains filtering to the front mains socket.
If I wasn't happy with them, for whatever reason, I wouldn't have expanded my collection to a dozen devices.
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Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

Quote from: Razer
@Strat. Wouldn't they be overkill for me? I don't really know, but I'm tending to think that the 500s (of whatever brand) are for fibre (though could be used on ADSL), really. And do you HAVE to install and use the software with these things?

1) Considering the devices never offer anything near their quoted throughput particularly when located well away from each other and you may have local traffic transfers on your network well in excess of ADSL speeds, no I don't think so.
2) No you don't have to install the supplied software. It's purely for monitoring the devices and maybe making some configuration changes like QOS and password if you choose too.
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎21-03-2013

Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

From a personal experiences I have always found Devolo to be very good.
Started some years ago with a couple of their original Homplug 10Mb devices which worked without a problem when my ADSL was only 2Mb.
When I moved house and got my Plusnet service at 14Mb I found that the Devolos had a max throughput of about 7Mb - time to upgrade . . .
Bought a number of Devolo 200s and the excellent Devolo Cockpit software shows that throughput is in the order of 70Mb.
Speed does vary slightly depending on distance and quality of mains wiring.  My printer is 15m (40ft) away in an external garage and still gets a link at 60+Mb.
Never had any problems with using twin sockets or mains extension leads.
As a big fan of TP-Link routers (installed quite a few) I would be happy to use their devices, but have no personal experience.
I would respectfully suggest that the devices given away by BT with their TV boxes are avoided.
Cheers
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: ‎21-03-2013

Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

Another happy Devolo (200Mbit variant) user here. I've had several other brands in the past, of which Zyxel were the worst (one had a spectacular PSU failure, the others just 'stopped working'), so avoid them like the plague.
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

fwiw, Currys doing a special offer on 'pass through' Devolo 200mbps powerline adapters as reported by hotukdeals
http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/devolo-200mbps-powerline-kit-with-ac-passthrough-19-99-currys-pc-wor...
I've not had any issues with TP-Link powerline adapters of various ages when installing them for friends and relatives, to overcome cabling issues, or to fixing previous wifi based problems.
The very earlier PA211 two tone coloured models are prone to bad capacitor issues.  None of the ones I've installed for a relative have died yet.
The newer PA211KIT (PA2010) and PA411KIT (PA4010) nano models work well, but not installed them long enough to assess reliability.

Grafter
Posts: 1,375
Registered: ‎17-11-2012

Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

Quote from: ejs
Have you even tried using wireless?
Or alternatively, get a long ethernet cable. That would be the best solution.

I don't want to use wireless. I won't use it, in fact. As to a cable, I would prefer to cut out a cable, as said, but a 5m ADSL cable, being more malleable than ethernet cables, would be preferable if I chose to have one as I'd have to route it round corners, skirting, door frames. If I keep sharp bending ethernet cable it will break quickly.
Quote from: jelv
I've used them across different ring mains ... and also on trailing extension leads ... I have no issues with them at all.

Yes, I've read often of people doing this with 'no problems'. I always prefer to have everything plugged into surge protector extensions, and would with these (though actually I couldn't with both in a pair), but do have concerns anyway with loss of speed, which I think might be worse with them on extensions. Then again, half of me thinks with such little distance to cover maybe I won't lose much at all.
@Purleigh. Thanks. Do you know how much you lose by using them, even though you say you're happy with them?
@Strat. Ok, great. Thanks.
Thanks for all your feedback, everyone. I really appreciate it. And thanks for the info about the cheaper deal zZz.
Community Veteran
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Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

For 5m a good quality twisted pair ADSL cable should be fine.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Speed Wave
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

I'm not aware of losing any speed, as my broadband is 8Mbps ADSL1, and PC to PC transfers are limited by destination hard drive writing speed - which is far slower than the link speed of my Devolos.
The only thing that is slower is the latency, but only by about 2ms at worst.
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Grafter
Posts: 1,375
Registered: ‎17-11-2012

Re: Powerline Adapters advice sought

I could live with 2ms loss, I think.
@jelv. Could you specifically recommend a cable from someone? I can look at plenty on amazon or ebay, or whatever, but really don't know whether they are quality or not.
I think it might be wisest to try an ADSL cable first, then if I'm not happy with that, I'll definitely go for the Devolo adapters. The more I think about this, the more worried I get because I will definitely have one of them plugged into my surge protector, and that already has five other items always plugged in, sometimes with a sixth. I'm just thinking this might make problems more likely. :S I did some testing in the last few days and had to run a wired in [behind master socket faceplate] extension through the surge protector in order to be able to use a filter. The results weren't good. Could be the cabling, but I can't be sure the problem there wasn't the surge protector. :S God, why does it have to be so bloody complicated?