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Wifi faster than powerline speeds

stewakeman
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 2
Registered: 11-03-2016

Wifi faster than powerline speeds

Hi,
Had my email the other day advising that my line speed after the 14 day period has been outlined as 77.4Mb against the estimated line speed of 80Mb (This may vary between 79.9Mb and 80Mb). It says in the email that the speeds are lower than expected, but to be honest it's not enough that I'd worry.
However, I don't feel as though I've been achieving actual speeds like this in daily use, particularly with my desktop which is connected to my HubOne using a TP-Link powerline adapter. Now, this adapter only has a 100Mb ethernet link on it, but the powerline utility states that full duplex throughput of the two units is in the region of 170Mb, which I should think would easily be enough to give me the full speed that my PN Fibre connection can provide.
I've done some speed tests using Ookla and what I've found is that my wifi speeds are actually better, by a significant margin, than my powerline connected desktop. See the attached images. I tested on the same server and the results are fairly repeatable.
Also, I did a BT Wholesale speed test on the desktop which came back with Download 23.3, Upload 15.36 and latency 28.63. Again this is repeatable and most of the tests I do from the desktop on the BTW speed test are within this range. Around 72Mb is the highest speed I've witnessed (using a synthetic speed test) and whilst I can't argue that this is fast, it does seem somewhat short of the estimated 79.9Mb to 80Mb (i.e. in the region of about 9%). I am new to phone fibre having previously been a VM customer, so perhaps this is actually completely normal and within an acceptable range?
9 REPLIES
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,748
Thanks: 230
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Wifi faster than powerline speeds

My desktop, over Gigabit wired via a couple of Gigabit switches before falling into a 100Mbps router gives, reproducibly

mikelahey
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 178
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Registered: 24-11-2015

Re: Wifi faster than powerline speeds

Power Line Ethernet adapters aren't proper Ethernet and speeds claimed on the side of the box are derived in such a way that they aren't the realistic achievable speeds in the home environment,  What the Powerline Ethernet adapter does is take the 100Mb signal and encodes it into a slower speed signal that can be sent down the power line, it then reconstitutes it into Ethernet and presents it back to the device at the other end as if it were 100Mb Ethernet. The speed of the connection is limited by the slow connection over the power line.
So your Powerline adapters are throttling your connection as they can't achieve the 78Mbs required over the Power line, so you WiFi is actually performing better. If you want true 100Mb throughput run Cat 5e cabling along the skirting boards or under the carpet from the router to the PC.
See: http://www.techradar.com/news/networking/powerline-networking-what-you-need-to-know-930691/2
stewakeman
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 2
Registered: 11-03-2016

Re: Wifi faster than powerline speeds

Thanks for the response. I wondered, after noticing the upload speeds were identical, whether this may be the case. It would take a lot of Cat5E cable to get it into my bedroom though. Enough to make a 20Mb difference not worth the hassle.
I may have to consider some other options!
runhare
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 510
Thanks: 44
Fixes: 1
Registered: 09-10-2007

Re: Wifi faster than powerline speeds

an awful lot of ethernet cable? Surely not more than 100M? I use a 25 m cable to conenct between my router and my office . Cost was peanuts 
GPS
stewakeman
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 2
Registered: 11-03-2016

Re: Wifi faster than powerline speeds

Yes. I'm not very handy when it comes to cable clipping a run along sets of skirting and over doors etc. Powerline has always been my go-to for this purpose, although the set I'm using at the moment I bought about 4 years ago and, clearly, aren't the fastest. I'm wondering whether investing in a much faster kit will make any difference as I'm not in a major rush and can wait to look for deals. Another thing is that because I rent the property I feel better not wiring something along, as unobtrusive as it is, that's permanent. If you know what I mean.
mikelahey
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 178
Thanks: 64
Fixes: 10
Registered: 24-11-2015

Re: Wifi faster than powerline speeds

You can get "AV" rated powerline adapters, some even come with 1Gb ethernet ports. They are marketed as 500Mb / s but I think realistically they'll run at 100 to 200 Meg in a home environment. I've got a couple of the TP Link AV 500 ones at home with 100Meg ports, but my fibre connection only runs at 30Mb so I can't say whether or not they would make a difference for you or not.
http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/network-wifi/18-best-powerline-adapters-2016-uk-3490638/
runhare
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 510
Thanks: 44
Fixes: 1
Registered: 09-10-2007

Re: Wifi faster than powerline speeds

I must admit I also use powerline adaptors but experience shows they can go wrong and this can be a gradual degration . The "faster" AV  ones suggested are worth a try too
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,748
Thanks: 230
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Wifi faster than powerline speeds

You can buy 500Mbps but ethernet runs at one of 10, 100 or 1000Mbps.
I used to have a set of "500Mbps" powerline adaptors, but they gradually downgraded themselves.
So I bought some cable and a couple of switches (so I could stop off at the TV).
You will need a big drill to go through brick walls if you buy the cable with plugs already connected. Grin

flamingbadger
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Thanks: 1
Registered: 08-02-2016

Re: Wifi faster than powerline speeds

Hi.
Ethernet over Power devices are subject to interference and my previous experience hasn't been great with them leading me to kick them into the long grass and cable the house with Cat5E.  Another potential suggestion provided your environment is suitable is maybe look at 5Ghz wireless? It's nowhere near as congested as the 2.4Ghz spectrum and can give great results in the right environment - I get 12.5MBps (roughly the equivalent of 100Mbps CAT5 cable) transfer rates between my client PC's (windows file tranfers) on a 600N AP without a problem.
Cheers
FB