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Wireless Network Setup
When you cannot run a network there are 2 ways to extend your – WiFi extenders or powerline adapters. In this blog we discuss which is best.
Both technologies have advantages and we’ll discuss how each option may be suitable for you. Ultimately though, it’ll come down to your specific usage scenario. More on determining that below.
Wireless Network Setup

WiFi Extenders and Powerline Adapters

The most popular way to make your NBN connection available throughout a building is to use a Wi-Fi extender, also known as a signal booster or wireless repeater. It will take about 15 minutes to set up and can  deliver enough bandwidth to eliminate your dead spot. There are lots of devices on the market, some costing as little as $20.

All extenders work by connecting to the Wi-Fi of your router signal and retransmitting into dead spots, like your garage-office. Placement is critical to an extender actually working: Line of sight is important and pick a spot that has an AC outlet roughly halfway between your router and where you want the signal to end up.

An alternative to WI-FI is to use powerline networking which trasmits data over your home’s power cables that live behind its walls. All you need is an AC outlet at each end.

WIFI Networks

PowerLine vs WIFI?

Now that we’ve briefly explained the 2 technologies ie powerline adapters and WiFi extenders, let’s take a look at the performance of each.

While a WiFi extender can extend the WiFi signal, there can be delay and weakening of the signal with WI-FI extension. This is because the signal is beamed to one location, then beamed to another. This can add to the latency of your network and lower your overall speeds, additionally the signal will be attenuated by walls, furniture, or ceilings that are in the path..

Powerline adapters, on the other hand, simply convert the network data from your router and carry it directly to your PC through electrical wiring. In terms of signal delay, powerline adapters are far superior to WiFi extenders.

The speeds of  a powerline adapter are dependent on the quality of your home’s electric wiring. This can mean that 2 AC wall sockets are not on the same circuit and will not connect however in general powerline bandwith is better than WI-FI.

In general I’d recommend purchasing a powerline adapter first and if you get slow speeds, return it and try a WiFi extender instead.

WiFi network Setup

How to install Powerline

First, get one of the adapters and one ethernet cable from the box. Connect the ethernet cable to the LAN port of your router and then connect the other end of the cable to the adapter. Plug the adapter to the wall socket near the router.

Next, get the other adapter and ethernet cable. Similar to the first step, connect the ethernet cable to the adapter. This time, the other end of the ethernet cable should be connected to your TV or your disc player. Plug the adapter to the wall socket beside your device.

Once the two adapters are already plugged, they will automatically detect each other. Some adapters have a ‘pair’ button which turns on the connection between the adapters. There’s no need to look for them in a remote or screen (there won’t be a remote or any other device included in the box anyway). Don’t worry, you’ll know the two adapters were able to connect to each other once you see the setup instructions on your TV. From here, just follow the network setup instructions that will show.

To join an existing powerline network:

  • Press the pair button on any adapter in the existing network.
  • Press the pair button on the new adapter.

I recommend purchasing a powerline adapter that includes an Ethernet cable. This will allow you to connect the adapters directly to your router and directly to your PC, reducing latency and the risk of potential packet loss or connection drop outs.

 

First, get one of the adapters and one ethernet cable from the box. Connect the ethernet cable to the LAN port of your router and then connect the other end of the cable to the adapter. Plug the adapter to the wall socket near the router.

Next, get the other adapter and ethernet cable. Similar to the first step, connect the ethernet cable to the adapter. This time, the other end of the ethernet cable should be connected to your TV or your disc player. Plug the adapter to the wall socket beside your device.

Once the two adapters are already plugged, they will automatically detect each other. Some adapters have a ‘pair’ button which turns on the connection between the adapters. There’s no need to look for them in a remote or screen (there won’t be a remote or any other device included in the box anyway). Don’t worry, you’ll know the two adapters were able to connect to each other once you see the setup instructions on your TV. From here, just follow the network setup instructions that will show.

To join an existing powerline network:

  • Press the pair button on any adapter in the existing network.
  • Press the pair button on the new adapter.

I recommend purchasing a powerline adapter that includes an Ethernet cable. This will allow you to connect the adapters directly to your router and directly to your PC, reducing latency and the risk of potential packet loss or connection drop outs.

 

SUMMARY

In most cases, a powerline adapter can reach close to or the same speeds as an Ethernet connection in optimal conditions, but you may still experience the occasional drop in latency or connection.

To summarize this topic, a powerline adapter is almost always the best option. In rare cases, your own home’s electrical wiring may not be optimal, which will mean a WiFi extender would be more suitable.