cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Question about Homeplugs

philwil
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 04-10-2012

Question about Homeplugs

My wireless connection to my office pc is reasonable but not great, with occasional drops in performance. The router is in another room, and that's the only phonline/broadband connection in the house. So I'm looking at the possibility of either fitting a wired extension so I can sit the router next to my pc, and possibly connect it by cable, OR using homeplugs.
I know virtually nothing about homeplugs, although I've heard good things. I'm looking at these as a possibility:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-Link-PA411KIT-AV500-Powerline-Adapter/dp/B0084Y9N3O/ref=sr_1_2?s=computer...
Before making any decision, though, does anyone have any experience of these? Would you recommend them (homeplugs in general, or this particular model)? Are there any downsides to them, compared to my first option of fitting a wired extension?
Thanks for any advice.
14 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,447
Thanks: 690
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

I'm using these which are cheaper and way faster than the internet connection (even if you get fibre). Only if you are going to be doing large file transfers between PCs at each end of the homeplugs, or you are running a number of PC's across the link may you need the faster version.
(I actually have three, one in the router, one in my wife's PC and one for the internet connected TV)
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
ID
Grafter
Posts: 125
Registered: 08-08-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

I have two of the kits jelv suggested. One kit is setup to connect a bluray player to my network (It is plugged into an extension lead which isn't recommended but works fine and streams HD content from my PC's and iPlayer). The other kit I setup for my dad to convert an old router into a switch/wireless access point, so he could connect his Sky box to get Anytime+ and give him a better wireless signal downstairs. Both work great and are alot easier than installing a dedicated cat5e line.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,447
Thanks: 690
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

I've just remembered also seeing them on offer at ebuyer for £29.99 (free 5-day delivery): http://www.ebuyer.com/263575-tp-link-200mbps-powerline-adapter-twin-pack-tl-pa211kit
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 25,891
Thanks: 1,195
Fixes: 50
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

Interestingly the PA411KIT is flagged on Amazon as a 'newer model' of the TL-PA211KIT.
I use a TL-PA511KIT and link speed is shown on the PC app as currently 237Mbs.
Because the ethernet cable plugs in vertically on the bottom of the unit and my wall socket is quite low to the floor I have it plugged into a trailing socket which allegedly reduces the speed of the unit.
Why they didn't think to locate the ethernet socket on the side of the unit like a Netgear unit I have around I don't know.

Customer and Forum Moderator.

philwil
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 04-10-2012

Re: Question about Homeplugs

Thanks for the speedy replies, guys. Much appreciated.  Smiley
This definitely looks like the way to go, then. My only question now is 200 or 500Mbps?
The newer 500 would appear to be the obvious choice, presumably giving a faster connection at less than a tenner more. Is there anything I should know before making that purchase?
Thanks again.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,447
Thanks: 690
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

Have you got multiple PCs that you do large transfers between? If not the 200 is at least 10 times faster than your internet connection (if you are not on fibre) and I'm sure that you could find something to spend that tenner on!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,677
Thanks: 1,061
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

Like others I've been using Homeplugs (Home and WORK) for some years with no problem.  I have a preference for the Solwise kit as they have more options available 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_nr_p_4_0?rh=n%3A340831031%2Ck%3Asolwise+homeplug%2Cp_4%3ASolwise&bb...
And particularly this one  http://www.amazon.co.uk/200AV-Power-Ethernet-Socket-LAN/dp/B007FSE8XU/ref=sr_1_22?s=computers&ie=UTF...; which I've just fitted in my new extension
Makes a really neat job next to the Router (but a bit pricey)
HTH
Maurice
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,649
Thanks: 206
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

I've got a Raspberry Pi which uses a homeplug network to request data, via the router, from my PC
The PC returns data, via the router to the Raspberry
Finally,  Grin Grin the Raspberry plays HD video on my TV (via a short piece of wire).
Details:-
These are Yuk!!!!!!  Lips are sealed Lips are sealed Lips are sealed Lips are sealed Lips are sealed Lips are sealed
I have two speeds of home plug - notionally 85Mbps and 1,000Mbps
The TV and Raspberry need to share one 85Mbps homeplug - so I used a cheapo 5 port switch (cost £Cool.
The other end is plugged into an extension which is plugged into the router.
The computer uses a 1000Mbps and is plugged into an extension which is plugged into the router.
So the router routes between the two homeplug networks.
BTW One pair of homeplugs was a gift - it came with the Youview box for the TV.

edrandall
Grafter
Posts: 45
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 08-08-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

I've had a couple of Solwise PL85PE 85mpbs homeplugs to take the network from the router up to the box bedroom/study for several years now, they have worked flawlessly  - even when sitting right next to the router I've found wireless has always been dead slow.  
Now I find myself wanting to copy larger files between upstairs and downstairs I was thinking of upgrading to the faster speed.  
One thing to beware of, if upgrading - my understanding is that the 200mbps and 500mbps standards are compatible with each other (though having a 200mbps device present will slow all the 500's down to 200) but they wont talk to the 85mpbs devices.  
So  I was thinking of upgrading to these Zyxel ones, only £30 for a pair of 500's:
http://www.dabs.com/products/zyxel-pla4201-500mbps-mini-powerline-ethernet-adaptor-twin-pack-83VC.ht...  
Zyxel also do a nice one with 4 ports on it, which would mean I could throw away my old rack-mount switch in the study  :-)
http://www.dabs.com/products/zyxel-pla4225-500-mbps-powerline-4-port-gigabit-switch-81MY.html
I also like the idea of the models with mains plug pass-though, except you seem to pay quite a bit more for the simple convenience of it.
UPDATE:  Beware!  http://samkear.com/hardware/zyxel-pla4201-hd-powerline-adapter-performance-test-review
These Zyxel 4201's have a low price for a reason - they only have 10/100 ethernet ports - they can never go faster than 100mbps - doh!
Advertising standards anyone?
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,649
Thanks: 206
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

They never will anyway - 500Mbps will run much slower on an average circuit anyway.
BTW How fast are your router ports anyway?

philwil
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 04-10-2012

Re: Question about Homeplugs

OK, I went ahead and bought the TP-Link TL-PA211KIT 200Mbps kit.
Had them installed for three days now and have to say, the difference is quite remarkable! The utility shows a speed varying between 170-185Mbps, which is a lot.
I wasn't sure how to verify that outside of the utility but then I did a couple of big downloads from Steam and Nvidia. Both recorded speeds of 2.10Mbps, which is remarkable and approx four times faster than previous.
So this sure looks like it was a smart investment.
Only one very minor point: the manual states that five min after switching off the device connected to the adapter the adapter will switch to power-saving mode, with corresponding flashing LED. This doesn't occur - at least, the LED doesn't flash. I assume by device they mean the computer, not the router, so any thoughts as to why both adapters fail to indicate power-saving mode?
As I said, that's pretty minor. As far as the homeplugs go I'm one very happy bunny.
Thanks for your help.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,649
Thanks: 206
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

Is that 2.1 Mbps or 2.1MBytes/sec?
You need to run something like FTP between two PC's, each on a homeplug to get a true value of a peak achievable speed.

philwil
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 04-10-2012

Re: Question about Homeplugs

Steam says 2.1MB/s
I'm on there again, downloading final preload segment of XCOM Enemy Unknown.
Not sure how I can get 2.1MB on a 200Mbps connection, but I sure ain't gonna write in and complain!  Cool
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,649
Thanks: 206
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Question about Homeplugs

2.1 MB/s is around 15Mbps - which is presumably the effective speed of your internet connection?