Best powerline adapter 2023 • 6 powerline adapters Reviews
Broadband service that relies on fiber optics or cable systems can now be found in almost every household. But what good is that if your router doesn’t reach every corner of your home? Powerline adapters are the solution you need. Read on to learn more.
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What is a powerline adapter and how does it work?
Also called PLC (programmable logic controllers), powerline adaptors allow you to broadcast your internet connection’s signal through your home’s electrical system. That way, you can extend your router’s signal if it doesn’t reach every part of your house on its own. You’ll therefore enjoy better and stronger coverage.
Powerline adapters require at least two devices to work. The first one picks up the Wi-Fi signal and takes it to your mains. Called an extender, the second one receives this signal through the cables of the house and sends it to the area in which it is plugged.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Powerline Adapters
Powerline adapters offer multiple advantages over repeaters. The most important one is that they provide a much more stable and stronger connection signal. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of these devices.
- Easy installation
- Stable connection based on electrical currents
- Versatility: ideal for large houses
- Data encryption systems
- Doesn’t work well on multi-socket adaptors
Shopping Criteria for Powerline Adapters
On the U.S. market, the vast majority of powerline adapters feature the latest technology, which makes their use, configuration, and operation as simple as possible. However, there are still key factors that can make a difference between a good connection and a great one. We’ve detailed these criteria in the section below, and we’re confident they’ll help you make the right decision when purchasing your PLC.
Connection speed is probably the most important factor when it comes to powerline adapters. Brands generally set the price of their devices depending on the connection speed they offer. Given the conditions of the internet signal in some parts of the U.S., we don’t recommend that you opt for an adapter with a speed lower than 300 Mbps. Keep in mind that their efficiency can sometimes be greatly reduced.
Most people use a wide range of different electrical appliances each day. This is why it is essential to buy a powerline adapter that won’t take up another electrical outlet. In that regard, check the product description to make sure it includes an integrated plug to make the most of your device.
Since we use so many appliances on top of lighting, many of us are looking to cut those expenses by using devices that help us reduce our consumption. Great news! You will find many powerline adapters that include a very useful energy-saving mode. We strongly encourage you to take note of this, as they can reduce your energy consumption by up to 85%.
Ease of Use
The installation manual of many devices can sometimes be overwhelmingly complex. As we mentioned earlier, the plug-and-play technology helps you configure your PLC adapter in a jiffy. All you’ll have to do once you open the box is plug the devices in, press a button, and enjoy greatly enhanced connectivity.
So many wireless networks and users with mobile connections surround us. This represents a risk of unwanted intrusions into our devices. This is why you can now purchase powerline adapters that feature an integrated data encryption system, protecting you from potential external hackers and identity thieves.
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Why do I need a powerline adapter at home?
Powerline adapters will provide you with fast, secure, and stable internet connections when the network you’ve set up at home is insufficient or weak. This is a common issue since the quality and proper functioning of any Wi-Fi connection depends on several factors.
- Distance between the router and the connected devices
- Layout of walls, rooms, furniture, and ceilings
- Presence of other electronic devices or household appliances that may interfere with the signal
- Large number of other wireless networks in the environment, from neighbors or nearby offices that will also generate interference with the connection itself
- Wi-Fi speed advertised includes not only internet data but other types of data as well
Some providers include bandwidth speed from other communication protocols in their measurements of speed, which can make up approximately 60% of the total bandwidth.
How should I set up my powerline adapter?
Installing your powerline adapter is very simple, as the latest models all integrate plug-and-play technology, enabling you to start working without much configuration. Here’s a quick guide to setting a powerline connection up yourself.
First, connect the powerline adapter to a plug near your router. You will need an Ethernet cable for this, which is generally included with the adapter you buy.
Then, connect the second adapter (i.e., the extender) in the room or zone where you want to strengthen the signal. You can install as many extenders as there are rooms that need better coverage.
If you purchased wireless models, all you have to do now is connect to the Wi-Fi network created by the adapters. You’ll find the password in the box or on the plug itself. If the powerline connections are not wireless; you should use the Ethernet cable to connect your devices.
What is plug-and-play technology?
This technology allows you to use your powerline adapters without having to do any kind of configuration beforehand. In that regard, the majority of powerline adapters automatically copy your main router name and password with the push of a button.
Do powerline adapters occupy power outlets?
The disadvantage of the very first powerline adapters was that they always required an outlet in every room in which they were plugged into the wall. Thankfully, most modern powerline adapters now come with integrated plugs. This means that you won’t lose any plug spaces with your powerline connection, and you can use them for whatever else you want, including internet boosting.
Is it better to use a powerline adapter with Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable?
This depends largely on how you want to use your powerline adapter. If you’re planning on connecting it to a video game console, a television, or a desktop computer, you will get the best connection with an Ethernet cable. On the other hand, you should opt for wireless powerline adapters if you simply want to get Wi-Fi to your laptop or smartphone. Note that models that offer Wi-Fi connections are slightly more expensive than corded models; some adapters combine both options.
What is the Gigabit Ethernet port on my PLC adapter?
Certain powerline adapters will feature a port that is called Gigabit Ethernet. This will allow you to connect a high-bandwidth device to the internet at high speeds, ensuring, for instance, the proper transmission of videos in HD. While this feature is nice to have, it isn’t essential in making the most of your powerline adapter.
Is the design of my powerline adapter important?
You’ll naturally see a wide variety of designs available when comparing different powerline adapters. That being said, the reality is that its aesthetic appearance won’t affect the effectiveness of the device. While these devices tend to remain connected at all times, they are first and foremost designed to go unnoticed.
On the other hand, you will want to pay attention to the placement of the various connectors and additional elements that make their use easy. This is the case, for example, regarding the location of the button to restart the Wi-Fi. You will find some exaggeratedly minimalist models, and others that are overloaded with buttons, lights, and even antennas. In the end, your personal taste will make the final decision.
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