Wireless Range Extender or Powerline Adapter?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by LillyWoo, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. LillyWoo macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    I have my desktop hooked up through Ethernet and the router is hooked up as far from the phone line as we can manage. We've fiddled with the channels and tried using a new directional antenna but our iMac doesn't get a decent signal from the bedroom.

    Sometimes it manages to last out but then it drops and then it just gets annoying. Wireless internet is supposed to make things easier not a complete nightmare!

    So we're either thinking of using a wireless repeater like this or a powerline adapter . One repeats a wireless signal from the original router and the other would let us use an ethernet cable in each room.

    Any suggestions on which would work better? I'd really like to be able to use wireless but I've never used either so I don't know which would work better. Thanks anyone who can help with this I'm going to pull my hair out.
  2. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    The powerline adapter would probably hold a signal more consistently than the wireless extender/wireless card would
  3. drsox, Sep 30, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012

    drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    Powerline might be better as it does give a more consistent data rate (not subject to interference, unless you run heavy current loads with power spikes in your location). But, there are two aspects to watch out for.

    1. Don't expect better than 15% of the rated data rate to be achieved, so I suggest you get at minimum a set (must have all items from the same manufacturer) of 500Mbps units. There are also supposed to be 1Gbps units coming out soon. See : http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/finders/powerline/view. Better also to have dedicated power sockets for the units (i.e. don't add them onto a power train extension)

    2. Depending on your local circuits, you might find that it doesn't work at all. If you have more than one phase in your supply, then Powerline has a hard time bridging phases and might barely work. It depends on the location of the ring mains that you are trying to connect. I can't use Powerline to connect into my attic as the ring main is on the other side of the main feeder meter than the ground floor. But it worked OK for connecting to other floors.

    I used Powerline for a while (better than 802.11g), but then installed CAT6 and only use WiFi for iPxxx devices with Airport Expresses in a roaming config.

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