Powerline Adapters or Wi-Fi Extenders

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ourcore, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. ourcore macrumors regular

    ourcore

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #1
    Hey, guys,

    I recently started experiencing spotty Wi-Fi connections at my new place through my MBP, iPhone, and iPad, so I'm looking for the most suitable solution.

    I live downstairs, and the router is upstairs, which connects into a cable box with a 50Mbps service. There's a deadspot at my desk, which I'm trying to reach--it's too far to even see the 5GHz network. I thought about getting these extenders, but I don't want to sacrifice speed, though I'm not certain if it'd be negligible. On the other hand, I'm considering these powerline adapters, which I'd connect into my own (second) router downstairs, but I'm not sure if I'd have to connect the adapter into the cable box or the first (upstairs) router, since I don't want to remove the existing setup so my roommate can continue connecting to it.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2

    Does the "cable box" have a second LAN port that your roommate can connect to? Ideally, you have one router. What "routers" are you using?


    You could go:


    "Cable Box" --> Ethernet --> Router --> Powerline --> 1st floor AP/Switch
     
  3. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Location:
    Xhystos
    #3
    If you are going with power line then IMO look through the posts on this forum : http://www.snbforums.com/forums/moca-homeplug-hpna.34/

    When I tried out power line (before I went with CAT6 wired) I usually found that the actual data rate was 15% of the rated rate. So expect 75Mbps from your TP-Link (unless things have got much better). It also depends on the state of your wiring and the power box.

    If all your apple stuff is recent then you might find that the WiFi extender route is actually faster.
     
  4. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #4
    Unfortunately, it doesn't. Otherwise, I would connect a powerline adapter directly into the cable box. A Netgear N300 (don't remember the exact model number) and Asus RT-N56U.

    This makes me really unsure if using the powerline adapter is trustworthy over a Wi-Fi extender. I recently moved into the place and I'm only renting, so I have no idea how it's wired. My iPhone and iPad are new, but I have a late 2011 MBP. I'm only concerned about a performance downgrade with an extender because I do a lot of downloading and wireless streaming.
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #5
    I would go cable box --> ASUS --> Netgear. Put the ASUS as the main router and the Netgear as an AP.
     
  6. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #6
    Since the Asus is a better router, I think I'd prefer to use it myself downstairs on a separate WLAN. If I connect the first adapter directly into the cable modem, I don't think the Netgear router will affect my chain of connection. What do you think?
     
  7. Silvrbill macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    #7
    Try the 2.4 ghz instead.
    The higher the hertz the shorter the range.
     
  8. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #8
    I know, that's the only one I can connect to--can't even see the 5GHz network.
     
  9. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #9
    Powerline is trustworthy - i.e the data rate is continuous without the latency issues with some WiFi (in my experience) - but the actual speed of the data transfers varies according to the state of your wiring and the type of connection configuration (i.e. best not to connect through a multi plug power train connector)
     
  10. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #10
    Right, just like ethernet, but my concern is with the state of the wiring, which I have no real way of verifying. Do you think it's worth the gamble? How likely is this kind of issue in a newly renovated apartment in Brooklyn?
     
  11. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #11
    If it's newly renovated then the power box should be new and the wiring checked. I would think OK, but why not get a unit from Amazon and send it back if it doesn't work ? Make sure you test it with direct plug connections to the power (not through a power train). First check it on the same ring main (e.g. same room), then on the max. ring main distance (make sure the signal has to go through the power box).
     
  12. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #12
    Not sure if I can, so I wanted to be sure before I buy it. That's a good idea. I definitely intended on going straight into the wall. Thanks for the advice.
     
  13. mic j macrumors 68030

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    Mar 15, 2012
    #13
    If going through Amazon, make sure Amazon is the seller and not a 3rd party vendor. Often, the 3rd party vendors make you pay a restocking fee.
     
  14. ourcore, Mar 20, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015

    ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #14
    I got the adapters, and I've connected the first one into the Netgear router upstairs, and the second into the Asus router downstairs (where I've created a separate WLAN). According to Speedtest.net, my connection ranges from 1Mb/s to 30Mb/s. What's the benefit of using the second router as an AP? The main reason why I wanted to created my own network was to use 5GHz.

    Before getting the adapters, I also noticed that my MBP gets better signal when open over clamshell mode, which is a concern...
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #15

    1. AP mode should make the router not handle routing and simply work as a wireless access point.

    2. I believe the wireless antenna is built into the display assembly on recent MacBook Pros. That would explain the difference in performance.
     
  16. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #16
    Would it have any impact on performance? I don't think the clamshell mode is really an issue, because previously, it wouldn't find the network at all, whereas now it connects, though a little spotty. I think the Netgear router might be faulty
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
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    #17
    I do not see any difference on my MacBook Pro when in clamshell mode but I suppose it may vary on model.
     
  18. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #18
    I think the Netgear router is the second part of the issue, 'cause right now it's working well and I'm downloading at 1.9MB/s. Do I need to adjust my train of connection to use the Asus as an AP?
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #19

    What is the current order of devices?
     
  20. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #20
    Upstairs: The Netgear router connects into the cable modem, and the first powerline adapter connects into the router

    Downstairs: The Asus router connects into the second adapter (directly into the wall), broadcasting its own WLAN
     
  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #21
    The ASUS should not be routing but rather just working as an access point. Verify that the link over the powerline adapters is getting decent speeds too as that may be the bottleneck.
     
  22. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #22
    I think my confusion came in when configuring the WLAN after setting it up as an AP. Will it still broadcast its own network?
     
  23. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #23
    Yes. AP mode simply makes it broadcast a network of your choosing, disable routing, and connect to the existing wired network.
     
  24. ourcore, Mar 21, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015

    ourcore thread starter macrumors regular

    ourcore

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #24
    That makes sense. I just reconfigured it. Hopefully replacing the Netgear will solve everything. Thanks!

    EDIT: Now, for some reason iTunes isn't picking up my devices or remote over Wi-Fi
     
  25. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #25
    Essentially the ASUS is a dumb wireless AP that simply puts out a network. The Netgear and the ASUS should be on the same subnet so devices on the Netgear will be seen on the ASUS. Ensure that the ASUS is not set to DHCP & NAT Router Mode as that would therefore cause double NAT and block that functionality.
     

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