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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    Get wired performance from your Wi-Fi network




    TOP STORY

    Get wired performance from your Wi-Fi network


    By Becky Waring

    Although the Wi-Fi arms race isn't going to let up any time soon, wireless can never be as fast and reliable as wires.

    So why fight it? Get the best of both worlds with a hybrid Wi-Fi and powerline network, perfect for streaming high-def video.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2011/04/14/02 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    I tried those power line adaptors a year or so ago and they did not work in my installation because I use a UPS to supply each computer with clean power. The filters in the front end of the UPS obviously killed the signals used by the these power-line adaptors. I found them little more than useless and threw them away. I can't remember offhand which make they were but they were from a main stream supplier such as either Netgear or Belkin. This has been is my experience with them.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    I don't know if the Power Line Adaptors are different in the States, but in the UK, even though they are approved, there is a raft of data indicating that they create lots of interference to other equipment. Examples are Radio Hams, FM and DAB radios.

    See recent example here.

  4. #4
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    PLT (Power Line Telecommunications) is a big problem.

    The kit being used in the UK - given away by incumbent Telco BT - does not come close to meeting the performance requirements that restrict the interference caused to licensed wireless services.
    The UK Government body charged with protecting the airwaves (OFCOM) have proved themselves impotent or ignorant, the jury's out on that.
    You can read more in these articles and their included links;

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/31/ofcom_plt/

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04..._plt_response/

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/13/bbc_plt/

    I won't give houseroom to the present incarnation of PLT.

    Alsy

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    satrow (2011-04-14)

  6. #5
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    Lightbulb Interference on channels is the issue for the majority of wireless users

    While this method may be a solution in a few special cases, the major performance issue for the vast majority of single or multiple router users is interference from other wireless routers (including their own).

    Search the list of available wireless routers and note which channels they are using.

    There are 11 channels available in some countries and 13 channels in others. Many of these channels overlap. Therefore it is best to use the channels which don't overlap, and which are not in use by other wireless routers in your vicinity.

    The non-overlapping channels are either: 1, 6, or 11 or 1, 7, 13.

    Or, you could use, for instance, channel 4 if it is available and neither channel 3 or 4 are in use.

    If you are using multiple routers use different non overlapping channels, but if you must use the same channel space these at the greatest possible physical distance.

    Note that some network adapters need to have channels 12 -13 activated to be able to use and see these channels. If you use channel 11, in a country where channels 12 & 13 are in use, and you have not activated channels 12 -13, channel 11 is a poor choice as it is not a non-overlapping channel there and will not give the expected performance.

    BTW it is a good idea to search the list of available wireless routers in your vicinity on a regular basis and make appropraite changes to the channel(s) you are using, if needed.
    Last edited by Copenhagenmail; 2011-04-14 at 05:39.

  7. #6
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    I have a simple question, will the signals on one power circuit jump across to another circuit. Our house has three discrete power circuits and two lighting circuits.

  8. #7
    New Lounger
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    Yes - provided that all circuits are connected to the same junction box (fuse box)

  9. #8
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    I hope, when you say "500Mbps powerline gear can comfortably deliver 40Mbps streaming 1080p video", you really mean 40MBps... Also, are there any data showing how these things work when the house is running on emergency generator power?

  10. #9
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    As some previous respondents have said, networks using PLA devices emit high levels of wide spectrum radiations. The situation is particularly bad here in the UK because of our "ring mains" but the conventional domestic wiring used elsewhere still radiates. The 500Mb/s devices radiate well into the VHF bands. Have you asked your client to check out his FM radio reception? If he does he'll have a shock, all but the strongest signals will have disappeared beneath the noise emanating from the PLA's.
    They should be banned but no one seems able to find an applicable specification.

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    satrow (2011-04-14)

  12. #10
    New Lounger
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    I am able to sit in the lounge area of a large YMCA which has a wireless G network and watch Netflix movies without a hitch despite reduced signal strength and sharing the connection with other patrons. I've even been able to watch live-tv there with few problems.

    I cover a multi-level 3,000 sqft home with 1 wireless N router and have streaming video everywhere including outside on the deck. All this while XBOX live is being played among other activities. I do use a directional antenna. I do scan my local spectrum using metageeks free inSSIDer to set my channel to the least congested. They also make a fantastic USB spectrum analyzer that will allow you to easily find sources of interference in situations like his.

    So, why couldn't this guy get acceptable performance? Bad routers? Bad design? Bad antennas? Metal wall studs? Lot's of RF interference? I sure would like to know because there's nothing inherent in what you described that would prevent him from doing exactly what he wanted with the equipment he had (maybe less even).

  13. #11
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    I have a very similar wifi situation but have another constraint that prevents use of a power line adapter. I've gotten rid of all landline phone service. However, since my alarm system requires a phone line (required by the city) I have to use an adapter that converts the power line into a carrier for a telephone system. Making my power system become both a phone line and an ethernet carrier is a bridge too far (parden the pun). The solution I found was to mount a "beast" antenna (Tranzeo EX2) on my roof. Now, everything works fine everywhere on my property!

  14. #12
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    I would never use a powerline network. It can cause considerable interference to other services, and fills the house with even more radio waves! This article shows what can happen. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/13/bbc_plt/

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  16. #13
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    I live in an area that has frequent power outages. So I have had an automatic whole house generator (that starts up within 12 seconds of normal power going out) installed. Can anyone tell me if this installation would harm or hinder setting up a powerline network?

  17. #14
    3 Star Lounger WildcatRay's Avatar
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    Since changing my internet and TV service providers to AT&T U-Verse and the installation tech provided me with two powerline adapters so I'd have a good connection to my computer which is in a different room from my TV, I cannot say I have experienced any interference issues. In fact, I use my Netgear Wireless N router in the back of the house for my laptop and smart phone. (AT&T's gateway wireless is only G. Ugh!)

    What I am curious is if anyone has found the Netgear Powerline AV 500 Adapter Kit XAVB5001 anywhere other than directly from Netgear? So far, I have only found XAV 5001 (no B) which I assume is a different part.

  18. #15
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    But what of those pain in the a visitors?

    So what happends when someone stops by, which happends often with kids around, and they want to attach to your home network to access the Internet or print somethng?

    I have 2 networks, one mine with all my stuff, one empty, nothing but an Internet connection. Then I don't need to worry about someone that my son had over one day is going to attach to my real network, his passkey is only good for the Internet only side.

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