Powerline Adapters w. Pass-Thru Electrical Connection

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by McRumour, May 25, 2016.

  1. McRumour macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2013
    Does anyone have experience using Powerline Adapters to boost speed of a Network Extender - when plugging the Extender itself (1st gen. AP Express, in my case) directly into the Powerline's pass-through outlet, on it's front?

    Will using the pass-through connection for the AP reduce the boost the Powerline would otherwise produce if the Extender were plugged into a separate outlet altogether?
  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    If you plug the Ethernet cable in then I don't see why this wouldn't work.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    It should work but I don't recommend it. Better to get a powerline that includes wifi.
  4. McRumour thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2013
    I don't understand your reply (or perhaps you didn't understand my post because I wasn't clear enough)
    In any case -I think perhaps (?) we're both talking about the same thing...

    Here are the adapters I'm considering: http://www.cnet.com/news/top-five-power-line-adapters-when-wi-fi-fails-you/
    The socket on the front of the device (see picture in link, above) is where I'd have to plug in my 1st gen Airport Express
    Unfortunately - there's no where else to plug it and...

    I need wi-fi for iPads and phones at far end of house
    I do understand that Powerline Adapters use the electrical wiring on your premises. They are not wi-fi devices. And in my case -I'd still be receiving the wi-fi signal through my Express, as I am at the moment

    Again, my specific question is:
    Would plugging the Express into the front of the Powerline (which, in turn, would be plugged into wall socket) adversely impact whatever boost the Powerline might give to the Express extender?
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Here is the scenario best I see it -

    I'll just try to say that every part of the path between the end points that requires a "handshake" or manipulates or controls the signal adds a potential degradation of some type. It is not all or nothing as some would think. Usually, the more handshakes required, the slower the communication if accuracy is obtained.

    Powerline <---on same fuse--> Powerline 2 (with cable on each end) is optimal.
    Powerline <---different fuse--> Powerline 2 (with cable on each end) dependent on wiring and make of powerline devices.

    Let's consider your desire for WiFi

    Powerline2 <--cable--->Express <---WiFi--->device (requires signal from device enters Express where it is "converted" to signals that go via cable to the Powerline unit that now has to take the signal and do its thing with it to pass it along the electrical lines and then finally get to the home powerline unit that passes the signal via cable to a final device.

    What I suggest is a powerline device that has built in WiFi as they may take immediately the signal and convert it to travel down the electrical line. There is no additional unrelated device doing the work (AE as example) which means less variables in the path. The only caveats are not all Powerline with WiFi are created equal and, wherever you plug in the 2nd powerline module with WiFi is pretty much limited by where your electrical sockets are in a given location.
  6. McRumour, May 28, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2016

    McRumour thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2013
    Thanks phrehdd...I appreciate the very specific detail you've put into your post.
    I must have read it very s...l...o...w...l...y..., at least 4 times...
    Don't want to be-labour this but do these specific Extollo Powerlines, shown in this link, do what you're advising? : http://www.cnet.com/products/extollo-lansocket-1500-powerline-adapter-kit/
    You seem to imply they don't (?).
    If they don't, can you give me a link for a suggested, specific unit - so I'll at least know what you're referring to because right now...

    I remain confused:
    To my understandoing...
    1. Powerline adapters must always be used in pairs, at least with initial set-up.
    Then, if required, one can add additional, single Powerlines.
    2. Each Powerline is plugged into a wall outlet and attached, via ethernet, to a device or unit of some kind that has an ethernet port

    You keep referring to Wi-FI Powerlines and yet..
    AFIK - the Powerline isn't a wi-fi device, nor does it provide wi-fi capability by itself.

    In my specific situation (which is all I'm posting about) the 2nd Powerline (the one not attached to Router) needs to be plugged into wall and attached, via ethernet, to a 2nd device - one capable of broadcasting a wi-fi signal, which can then be picked up by our wireless devices that lack ethernet ports (iPads, phones and anything else with no ethernet port), within its range. The Network Mode in Airport Utility for the Express would be changed from 'Extend a wireless Network' to 'Join a Wireless Network'.

    Am I wrong? Because I think you're suggesting I dispense with my Airport Express (extender) altogether. ???
    How would we get wi-fi on, for example, an iPad - at far end of house where the 2nd WI-FI Powerline would be? What would it be connected to if I dispensed with the Express. This makes no sense
    And again - the question in my initial post was:
    "Will using the pass-through connection for the AP reduce the boost the Powerline would otherwise produce if the Extender were plugged into a separate outlet altogether?"
  7. AFEPPL, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 29, 2016

    AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    I have powerlines for a room that's difficult to get a good WiFi signal to, but i don't put on an extender on it.
    My connection runs to an ethernet switch and all the connections are direct connect. The performance is more than acceptable but by no means Gee either.

    The point above around same fuse or circuit does dramatically impact the throughput ability of the link. But you will always be limited to the quality of the connection between the two ends if you are intending to connect an extender to one end.

    I say for the limited or low cost, give it a go.
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    There are powerline devices that include WiFi within the 2nd powerline module (as you stated, they usually come in pairs).

    The problem with using WiFi items such as the Airport Express connected to a powerline module is that you are adding an additional "handling/transaction" of signal. You are going from WiFi to cable to powerline then down the electrical wiring to be met by another powerline module which goes which ever direction you have it connected.

    Here is a powerline that includes WiFi (though I make NO recommendations for any powerline unit beyond those using cable on each end)... http://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/powerline/PLW1000.aspx.

    As for powerline that offers a pass though for other electrical devices, it would depend on how well the powerline module is shielded. Adding a power cable provides little interference as opposed to another device (possibly) that is directly attached such as the Airport Express. If one must use the two together, you might experiment with adding a power cord between and then without the power cord and see what your results are. The challenge is that not all powerline makes/models are the same when it comes to some basics such as shielding.
  9. McRumour thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2013
    Thanks to both stridemat and AFEPPL for your replies, plus special thanks phredd for your patience and detailed explanations - Took the warnings re possibly iffy effectiveness of Powerlines seriously, worked everything out and now have pretty great wi-fi throughout the 2 story house (!) without using Powerlines or the 1st gen Express extender any longer either:

    Instead - (believe it or not) we actually had a spare Airport Extreme 6th gen (!)
    Added it to network, found an ideal place to set it, up high, as an extender for our other Extreme 6th gen router base station. Obviously, it's way more powerful than the old Express, runs on ac, is simultaneous dual-band....so problem solved!

    Sorted! :)

Share This Page

8 May 25, 2016