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I am looking at Powerline Ethernet as an option for getting wired ethernet in a separate room from where my cable modem is in my house. Is there a way to test the circuitry in my house to determine what the actual bandwidth might be before buying a PE kit?

I'm looking at the TP-Link AV2000, which is probably overkill. What factors can affect the real bandwidth?

Also, are there other things to consider before going with PE? Security, safety, legal concerns, etc.

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  • Why not just use WiFi? Apr 9, 2018 at 19:29
  • @PhilNDeBlanc I tried pure wifi but had issues with signal degradation/deadzones. I installed a wifi extender and it addressed some of those issues, but still isn't as reliable as wired internet. I've noticed it most signficantly when remoting in for work or gaming online.
    – lintmouse
    Apr 9, 2018 at 19:34
  • @lintmouse Ah, ok. Well that blows. Apr 9, 2018 at 19:41
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    Do the hard work and run a real CAT5 cable from the one room to the other. It's not a fun project, but after you're done, you'll be glad you did it. :) Apr 9, 2018 at 23:26

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In my knowledge and also hands-on experience with a set of PE adapters, there are zero to very few PE adapters that can actually achieve the speed as advertised on the box.

I once owned a pair of 500 Mbps PE adapters (from the "Buffalo" brand so not cheap Chinese ones) and when plugged in the same mains power strip they could not reach more than about 200 MBps.

When plugged in wall sockets in my house which are on the same group (so using the same fuse in the fusebox) I could reach "usable" speeds for web browsing etc.

When plugged in wall sockets in my house which are not on the same group speeds were often terrible.

In the end I sold the PE adapters and installed proper ethernet cables instead.

So my advice: if you can live with not-so-great speeds then get the cheapest 100 or 200 MBps PE adapters you can find. Maybe even buy used ones. If you care about having high bandwidth: forget about PE adapters, install proper cables.

Mains Power cables aren't designed for high speed data transfer and even the fanciest PE adapter cannot fix that. For a short distance (couple of meters) with sockets on the same group it can be good enough. Anything else is a no-go if you ask me.

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  • I'm trying to find a solution that will be as good as running ethernet directly from the modem, so this definitely doesn't sound like it'll work. Thanks for the feedback.
    – lintmouse
    Apr 10, 2018 at 0:39

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