Are powerline adapters any good?
Powerline adapters have been around for quite a while now, and there’s a lot of myths around this kind of devices specially when it comes to security concerns. You can find a lot of bad information online about this and taking the fact that an adapter like this might not be the solution for everyone, some times they are a little handy devices, that can save you from a mess of cables or some really complicated setups.
But first things first, what is a powerline adapter and how it works?
In a very resumed way (since there are many good technical articles over on the web), It uses the already existing electrical wiring in your house to transfer data trough those same cables hidden away in you wall, as electricity uses 50/60Hz signals, extra data can be transported along the same wiring at much higher frequencies, without causing any interference.
Modern Powerline adapters also claim high-speed data transfer rates of up to 1200Mbps, that’s Gigabit LAN trough your Electrical cables, although it’s almost certain that you not to get those speeds. They also come in many forms with one or more ports and some then even have wi-fi and MIMO Technology.
Another misconception about Powerline adapters is security. Powerline technology is arguably more secure than a wireless network since the data is sent across the copper wiring in your home, it can’t be hacked or misused from the outside. Modern Powerline kit also encourages you to password protect your adapters, adding an extra layer of protection. And don’t go listen to some people on YouTube or some other doubtful websites or blogs that claim that this adapters are completely unsafe and everyone, including you neighbor is going to be able to poke into you own network and computer.
Seriously I saw a video on youtube of a guy that took two synced adapters and plugged in one on is house and another one on the neighbor’s house, right next to each other, just to prove that you can communicate from a house to another and access his own laptop that was completely stripped of security. If you own PC is not protected and secured, even via wireless you can hack into it without any problem. But I digress, that’s a rant for another time.
So, is this meant to replace your wireless connection or the best solution for all your internet connection problems. Not at all, Powerline adapters are meant to be used as extension of your home network and to reach where you wireless signal can’t, or is to poor. It also a simple way to avoid a cable mess around the house.
In my particular case, was the most effective way to get a wired connection from my router that is situated on the first floor of the house (was the only connection available for virgin media, weird I know) to my main computer downstairs. Since the wireless sign was a bit poor and wasn’t stable enough, specially for gaming and streaming.
It’s also a cheap solution in most cases, the one that I bought and review on the video above cost me approximately £24 on sale on Amazon and it’s the double port version with socket passtrough, which also something I recommend so you wont lose the socket you plugged in. But even off sale they are not that expensive if you go for the basic one that does a really nice job.