related to the 'old days' of one ethernet cable tapped with Ts for each monitor.... my question might be very simple... or not. I have an over-the-air internet provider with a wire dish with a powered transceiver and cat5 cable out of the providers supplied modem. I'm presently connecting the output of the modem into my wireless router which sends the internet signal all over the house. Standard stuff, I believe. My Question. Can I just connect the output of the modem into 1 powerline adapter and tie all my equipment such as computer, printer, laptop, Tivo recorder, etc. into 1-each local powerline adapters located near each devices resulting in a 'house-wired' network and no router?

I'm bothered by the idea that my over-the-air provider might be using something in my router to establish and keep my IP connection alive. I did have to configure the router for my IP, a router which, in my proposed scenario, would no longer exist. Thank you for your help.


Remember that the throughput quoted for Powerline adapters is not the same as you would expect for Ethernet. My 200Mbps Devolo units have a maximum ethernet throughput of around 55mbps. This is due to the protocol overhead when translating from the Ethernet protocol to the Powerline protocol.


Yes, a network entirely with Powerline adapters will work, of course. Since the electricity lines are what is called a shared medium for the Powerline adapters they will share the bandwidth between them, which is just like a wireless LAN. But since it's just for an internet connection this will be entirely sufficient.

  • Intriguing. I think I got the point about each each PC and other attachments needing some form of address within my internal power-net. Is it possible the Powerline Adapter connected to my IPs modem sorts all the sub-addressing out somehow so that I don't have to get connectivity for each downstream PC directly from my IP? – Cliff Arnell Nov 19 '12 at 22:47

This can work if your ISP has granted you publicly routable IP addresses for each PC in your network, but if they have not, you still need a router inline to define your internal network addressing scheme and to route traffic between their network and your own.

I personally would never allow my home network to be directly accessible to everyone on the internet, so I require a firewalling router between my internal hosts and the outside world. this is theoretically a matter of taste, but most local network protocols are not save to expose to the world at large, including most of the MS netowrk protocols (file/print sharing, media sharing, etc).

I'm guessing you will want to use a router.

  • Yes, thank you. I don't have those publicly routable addys and I definitely want to keep a firewall up. I think the config to go with will be modem/router/Power-line-adapter with multiple down-stream adapters to get the 500Mbs everwhere I want it. I can still have the WiFi for the iPhone, iPad.. etc. – Cliff Arnell Nov 19 '12 at 22:38
  • that sounds sensible. – Frank Thomas Nov 20 '12 at 17:01

You can use powerline adapters to connect all kind of network devices. You can use the powerline adapters to connect PC, printer, laptop, ... If you also connect a powerline adapter to a LAN port with internet access, then all devices connected through powerline also have internet access.

I do not know your exact setup and whether the router is necessary for internet access. You might have a setup where the modem is just for the low level access and the router is doing the upper layers and giving you Internet access. In this case you need to connect a powerline adapter to the router. In case your modem is doing low level access and upper layer (internet) access, you can connect a powerline adapter to the modem. You can easily check which scenario is true for you if you remove the router and connect the laptop directly to the modem. If you get internet access without the need to install any software, then the modem gives you the internet access, otherwise the router is giving you the internet access.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.