Powerline or wifi?

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Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:15 pm

So I've been having some issues with my home network. I have an apple airport extreme wireless N router, my computer has a netgear wireless adapter, and I stream movies from my pc to my apple tv. The apple tv is connected via Ethernet to the router, but unfortunately my pc is upstairs so my only option is wifi adapter...or so I thought. Someone recommended using a poweline adapter for a more consistent connection but in all honosty I had never even heard of such devices. The problem is when I'm streaming a movie my wireless adapter will sometimes freak out and lose its connection, the only way I can get it working again is to disconnect it from the USB port and reboot. Maybe the data exceeds the bandwidth? It only seems to happen if I'm streaming movies and I attempt to acces the Internet or game at the same time. Any suggestions?
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

I'm confused. Your outbound Internet connection comes into the AirPort router, the AppleTV device is hardwire connected to the router, and your PC is in a remote location using a USB WiFi device -- is that correct? And the lockups occur on the PC, but ONLY when the AppleTV is streaming a movie?
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:30 pm

ludi wrote:I'm confused. Your outbound Internet connection comes into the AirPort router, the AppleTV device is hardwire connected to the router, and your PC is in a remote location using a USB WiFi device -- is that correct? And the lockups occur on the PC, but ONLY when the AppleTV is streaming a movie?


Yep. Well, it will lock up if I'm downloading large files and playing BF3 at the same time too. When the connection is lost from the wifi adapter on my pc, if I simply unplug it and plug it back in it won't pick up my network. Only if I reboot the pc. I don't have the exact model of adapter handy as I'm not home, but I can post it later. It usually picks upy network at 150mbps+ according to te win7 network info. Both the adapter and router are wireless N capable of 300mbps. I have also tried connecting on the 5ghz channel but the problem persists and the speed is slower.
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:43 pm

When you consider powerline just remember that both plugs have to be on the same breaker. It won't work by simply plugging the devices into two random outlets.
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:51 pm

Ari Atari wrote:When you consider powerline just remember that both plugs have to be on the same breaker. It won't work by simply plugging the devices into two random outlets.

I'm pretty sure same breaker is *not* a requirement. However, you likely *do* need to be sure you're on the same leg if you're in the US or Canada.

Typical residential service in the US/Canada is what's called "split phase," with two "hot" legs 180 degrees out of phase and a neutral; the voltage between either "hot" leg and the neutral is 120V, and the voltage between the two "hot" legs is 240V. Approximately half of the residence is wired to each 120V leg, with large appliances like electric stoves and water heaters being wired across the "hot" legs to feed them 240V.

I imagine the widespread use of split phase wiring is probably why powerline networking never really caught on in North America...
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:58 pm

Eep, I knew there was something funny about the powerline network, I just assumed it was a breaker thing. Man I'm off this week.
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:11 pm

Skullzer wrote:Someone recommended using a poweline adapter for a more consistent connection but in all honosty I had never even heard of such devices.
Well, if you want to give it a try NewEgg is running a sale on one of the higher-rated adapter kits (the one at NewEgg is actually a slightly better model with the power plug pass-thru). Note that, as with WiFi, the claimed bandwidth is way inflated compared to practical reality (max of ~80Mbps in each direction for "500" class devices). But if it works at all (with your house wiring setup), it will probably be sufficient to stream a movie.

However, it sounds like you might just need a better/different WiFi adapter for your PC.
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:03 pm

For every rule about powerline networking, there is an exception.

When I first moved in here, I used some surplus powerline adapters I had lying around to connect my machine, my HTPC, any other computers and devices, and the laptop which was at that point slaving internet to the rest of us. As holes got drilled and cable was run, each PLA was retired until there are only three. One is in my computer room, connected to the LAN. One is connected to the HTPC, which is in a very awkward place to run a proper hardline to. The third is on another wall, feeding my downstairs WAP.

How is this interesting, you ask? Well, the HTPC and my computer room are on different legs.

And the wall with the WAP is on a WHOLE OTHER METER. Had our power turned off late summer over a billing error. My whole downstairs was dark, except for the WAP. Turns out that is accidentally wired into the upstairs supply, which is no way connected to the downstairs.

Best I can tell, the nearest shared copper is out at the street, on the pole. Even so, it works. PLAs are part of the Old Dark Magic, not to be trifled with.
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:47 pm

Clearly one of the breakers in your panel is in the "More Magic" position.
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:54 pm

I'm not an electrician, but that is all kinds of screwed up. You might want to have a professional look at it.
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:17 pm

Not necessarily. The signals will travel until they hit something that blocks them - and I suspect the transformer at the street level is it. If multiple meters connect on to the same transformer tap then they powerline signals will work across them.
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:05 pm

UberGerbil wrote:Clearly one of the breakers in your panel is in the "More Magic" position.


All of my switches are set to More Magic. Permanently. That IS how you become a wizard.
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Re: Powerline or wifi?

Postposted on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:11 am

Forge wrote:For every rule about powerline networking, there is an exception.

When I first moved in here, I used some surplus powerline adapters I had lying around to connect my machine, my HTPC, any other computers and devices, and the laptop which was at that point slaving internet to the rest of us. As holes got drilled and cable was run, each PLA was retired until there are only three. One is in my computer room, connected to the LAN. One is connected to the HTPC, which is in a very awkward place to run a proper hardline to. The third is on another wall, feeding my downstairs WAP.

How is this interesting, you ask? Well, the HTPC and my computer room are on different legs.

And the wall with the WAP is on a WHOLE OTHER METER. Had our power turned off late summer over a billing error. My whole downstairs was dark, except for the WAP. Turns out that is accidentally wired into the upstairs supply, which is no way connected to the downstairs.

Best I can tell, the nearest shared copper is out at the street, on the pole. Even so, it works. PLAs are part of the Old Dark Magic, not to be trifled with.


That is awesome. What kind of sustained speeds do you get with the PLAs?
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