Powerline adapter to improve Airplay connection from Airport Extreme? (UK)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rokko, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. rokko macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2008

    I live in an old house with thick walls and recently bought an Airport Extreme to replace my BT Home Hub 5, in an attempt to improve the reliability of my Airplay connection and general wifi signal. It did improve things, but the Airplay connection still cuts out a lot in the places furthest away from the AE.

    I was just about to buy an Airport Express to try and extend the wifi network, but I just discovered you can get power line adapters which will extend your wifi network and create new hotspots throughout your house via your power cables.

    Upon reading a bit further it seems that this could be a great solution for me but there are more potential issues and headaches too. eg. Creating multiple wifi networks or the BT one that I was looking at seems to have issues connecting to iMacs. My house is entirely macs and apple devices, plus additional airplay speakers.

    Does anyone have any experience or advice to offer on this? Ideally i'd like to find out which power line solution should give me the best Airplay performance and compatibility with my apple stuff. Or should I try the Airport Express or another solution?

  2. larrysing1963 macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2014
    I'm not going to suggest what path you take, but as for experience with powerline adapters. I haz it. :apple:

    I have a "TP-LINK TL-PA511 KIT AV500 Powerline Gigabit Adapter Starter Kit, up to 500Mbps" powerline adapter kit that i have used in my apartment for about a year or a little longer now. (there is a newer model of mine, named "TP-LINK TL-PA6010KIT AV600 Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, Up to 600Mbps, Gigabit Ports, Plug and Play, Power Saving Mode" on Amazon.)

    I have used them in a couple if different ways, and the speeds have been completely acceptable. I used them once from my AE to the wall and then from the wall into my work laptop in another room. Right now, I have them connected from a LAN port on my AT&T router into the wall and then at the other end it plugs into my AE and allows me to provide wired and wireless service from the AE in the other end of the apartment. I think it's a fine solution for me.

    The only negative issue is that they have a "sleep function" that cannot be turned off using software on a Mac - they only have a WINDOWS :)mad: ) version of the software utility which turns off the sleep function. I'm in the process of planning and getting them attached to my Windows laptop to get the sleep function turned off. The issue is that you have to unplug them from the wall and re-plug to get them to "wake up" - but it doesn't happen EVERY time they sleep, and so far it's been a minimal problem. Other owners have used the software utility to turn off the sleep mode, and that solves the problem 100% of the time.

    Let me know if you have any other specific questions, as I am happy to answer them. Thanks.
  3. steve23094 macrumors 68030


    Apr 23, 2013
    The Powerline adapters are unlikely to support AirPlay. But you could buy the adapters without built in wifi (just an Ethernet connection) and then plug an AE into that. This is what I do.
  4. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    I have powerlinks to link a BT hub to a timemachine sat up stairs in order to extend the WiFi reach. in general it works very well. All three ATVs upstairs are on ethernet (so are the other 2 downstairs) to allow for HD streaming. Don't be fooled by the marketing in terms of the bandwidth capabilities, it varies wildly depending on if you are on the same circuit or across multiple (as well as the wiring in-between).

    Airplay if very flakey at best, so the more you can reduce the WiFi bandwidth traffic and utilise ethernet the better you will be..
  5. Digital Jive macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2009
    I love Powerline!

    I had an AppleTV on a wifi network to an Airport Extreme 5th generation. I found it slow for content to start playing on my TV and there were lots of stutters etc. About two years ago I replace the wifi link with DLink AV500 Powerline network and it has really been great. Everything is much quicker now and the issues resolved. And the two boxes were only about $80 CDN.

    I've heard that there can be problems if you have complicated electrics in your house. I also had an intermittent problem with slowdowns which I eventually traced to a single CFL light bulb. I subsequently found out this was not unusual.

    As said, I try it out... it works for us.
  6. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    I tried a power line kit in my house, 2 different brands with different speeds. I was only able to muster about 2-3MBps, which is enough for streaming Netflix, but was no good for streaming 1080P movies from my server (required too much initial buffering).

    I did several experiments and found it comes down to the path the signal has to take. Keeping them on the same circuit gave the best results, but crossing over in the circuit breaker panel caused serious speed degrade.

    In the end I ended up running a CAT5 cable through the attic to the outside of the house and into the wall. Not the easiest thing to do, but it gave excellent speed and allowed me to have a network switch, since freaking everything that connects to your TV now-a-days needs an Internet connection.

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5 February 21, 2015