What to expect from Powerline adaptors? (TP-Link 500Mbps)

Discussion in 'Mac Peripherals' started by whooleytoo, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. macrumors 603


    Anyone have experience with Powerline adaptors? I just ordered a pair of TP-Link 500Mbps adaptors, and am wondering what kind of reliability - and speed - to expect. I've read one claim that typical bandwidth with Powerline adaptors is only about 15% of theoretical maximum, but if I could see even that 75Mbps reliably I'd be quite happy.

    I've given up trying to get my Wifi devices to work reliably (iPhone and iPad are fine - but my ATV and G5 server with USB adaptor are constantly dropping off the network). I just need a fast, stable connection between my living-room router and my media server in the study, and I would be sorted!
  2. macrumors 604


    I have the powerline adapters and I'm seeing 22mbps down and 8mbps up when my connection normally gets about 30/25 if wired into the router.
  3. macrumors 603


    Thanks! Do you know which model adaptors you had - or what was the listed speed? (There are 85/200/500Mbps models).
  4. macrumors 604


    I have the 200mbps models.
  5. macrumors 65816


    I haven't used the 500Mbps models but with the 2 previous versions (200Mbps and 85Mbps) the best I could get was 15% of rated. Maybe it's me you are already quoting !

    I didn't have a problem with stability but there were some areas of the house where the data rate was even poorer. Must be something to do with the wiring of the main power box.
  6. macrumors 603


    Thanks guys! (And yes, drsox, it might have been you that I was quoting!) :)

    10-15% (50-75Mbps in my case) actual bandwidth would be fine, if that was a steady minimum. The problem is my Wifi swings from 144Mbps down to about 12Mbps. I've tried copying files across that Wifi network and it's even slower than that, taking a minute or more even before the copy starts.

    It's a small apartment: the two sockets are maybe 7 metres apart, but too awkward to connect via Ethernet. Hopefully the proximity will help. The other concern is that some reviews said that electricity use can/will interfere with the data rate - so if I turn on the kettle, could a HD video I'm playing start to stutter?
  7. macrumors 65816


    Here's a tip that might be helpful.

    Some units operate on a pass-though basis. i.e there is a normal power socket "in front of" the actual network connection. This allows the LAN connection to have some sort of priority in getting at the copper line. (see : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Devolo-Avsm...EJVY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1334341489&sr=8-7).

    This is designed to reduce signal attenuation due to multiple power drops on the same socket. Might also help to minimise spike etc interference.
  8. macrumors 65816


  9. macrumors 603


    Thanks, I appreciate the links!

    I started tinkering with my Wifi settings while waiting for the Powerline adaptors to arrive. I turned off my ISP-supplied G wifi router in case it might be causing interference with my own N-router, and turned on 40MHz mode (didn't even know that existed! D'oh!) and am now getting a steady 270/300Mbps link speed. The actual bandwidth now is approx 23Mbps (network file copy). When I did a Speedtest, I got 28Mbps+ with a 30Mbps connection - so it seems my Wifi was limiting my download speed!

    So, that's what Powerline has to beat. I still get occasional Wifi disconnects (though far less often), so my main hope is that with Powerline I'll get similar or better speeds, but with few if any disconnects.

    They just arrived this morning, will try them when I get home. Nice that they include Ethernet cables! :)
  10. macrumors 6502a

    with the 200, I was seeing around 50-60mbps most of the time. But my house is newer and they say that makes a difference, I would guess because of the wire used. I also noticed that if they were on the same circuit, it was much faster. for example, I was having a bunch of wifi interference, and my son likes to watch netflix on his own small tv in our family room, so I went from my wired gig-e hub on one side of the room into the powerline, and out on the other side, and the speed was really good.

    it was a pretty good solution for me to get consistent speeds down to my basement when I set it up. but finally got off my butt and ran cat 6 from my office and have a drop in my family room, and then down to my basement.
  11. macrumors 6502

    I helped a buddy with his power adapter networks, what most people may or may not know is you actually have 2 110 drops coming into your house, if you are able and know anything about electricity you need to make sure the two circuits that you are dealing with (if you can't get them to be on the same one) need to be on the same 110 drop if not your performance will be next to nill.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Use A Dedicated Wall Socket

    I just tried a set of these out a couple weeks ago and mine was VERY unstable. If you can use a wall socket that has nothing else plugged into it on the adjacent plug. Mine started off fine until I plugged in and was drawing power from the adjacent socket. Also my speed PLUMMETED when the dishwasher was running, very weird. I returned mine and ran a hard wire through the walls.
  13. macrumors 65816


    Thanks for this bit of info. It ties in with something my electrician said recently wrt the circuits in our house.

    Unlike what I was expecting, there isn't a 240V line in the walls but a 120 : neutral and a neutral : -120 (this isn't in the USA or in the UK). That might be why the Powerline data rate wasn't consistent and also why it didn't work AT ALL in certain locations. It would also explain why our X10 wireless lights don't always work unless the whole power network has been cycled.
  14. macrumors 603


    Ok, setting up the Powerline was a painless process, and I set them up each in a dedicated socket rather than on an extension box/surge protector. So far: (Test was copying a file approx. 800MB from my G5 server to my MBP)

    Both on Wifi: 23Mbps (284 seconds)
    G5 on Powerline, MBP on Wifi: 34.4Mbps (190 seconds)
    Both on Powerline: 74.3Mbps (88 seconds)

    Definitely a worthy upgrade so far. Even just browsing the G5 over the network, you could immediately notice the improved speed. I haven't tried turning on any devices heavy on electricity to see if that has an impact. I also tried some downloads, where - not too surprisingly - there isn't as much gain over Wifi. Still it did seem the download speed is more stable over Powerline than over Wifi.

    (To think.. someone above said I'd get 15% of the theoretical max. I'm getting 14.86% of the theoretical max. Shows what they know.... ;) )

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