Powerline Ethernet describes data transfer over electrical power lines. What this simply means is as you are able to plug in one single powerline Ethernet adapter to the wall, hook it into your router, and plugin in another adapter near your personal computer, and connect your personal computer to it. You are using these adapters as a means to utilize your existing electrical lines to transfer internet data. Your internet is going through existing electrical wire!
This sounds great, and it may be, with some caveats. Let’s dig in. How fast may be the powerline adapter. Netgear has some models we could use for instance super wireless ethernet bridges the entry-level XE102 model supports around 14mbs, as the mid-range model supports 85MBps, and the utmost effective model claims speeds around 200 MBps. Gigabit Ethernet over electrical wire is also available.
These ranges are under ideal conditions, and tend never to be performed practically. Before getting into the nitty gritty, lets look at wireless speeds. Common wireless technology in 2010 is either 802.11g or 802.11n. wireless-g claims speeds of 54MBps, and Wireless N claims theoretical speeds of 300 Mbps. Real life issues such as for example insufficient channel bonding, radio interference, overhead of protocols, and etc limit Wireless N to practical limits of 70 MBps.
Measured speeds in non-lab conditions for electrical internet adapters indicate practical speeds of 30-45 Mbps. This is dependent upon encryption, the circuitry of the electrical system, and other electrical interference. There’s not plenty of difference between gigabit Ethernet and 200 MBps in terms of speeds.
Looking at the info, you’d believe that wireless may be the clear choice. However, really the only way to find out which system works better for you is to try both out. Powerline Ethernet works better than wireless-g for several people, including my house. The decision for me personally was whether I would upgrade from Wireless-G or simply get powerline Ethernet. The adapter is cheaper, and one can connect an instant router to one of these simple adapters as a repeater. I tried it, and it worked better for me personally than wireless-G, and was cheaper than upgrading to wireless-N.