Powerline Networking's slow comeback

9 thoughts on “Powerline Networking's slow comeback”

  1. I am a big fan of Homeplug and have been since I started using 1.0 spec equipment 2 years ago. The reason: it’s plug and play.

    Pun intended… sorry, but it really is as simple as that. Compare that to wifi?!?

    Wifi is ok if all you want to do is set up a PC to access the internet, but introduce bridges and the like and you have a world of pain.

    Even in simple wifi networks, there are blackspots and is a lot of jitter (variability between ping times) which kills a lot of aps. I have found that even if you want portability in the home, you can’t beat powerline over an extension cable…

    Finally, wifi does not equal wireless, your laptop or anything else you care to use still needs power if you are going to use it for any period of time.

  2. Our house has a weird layout (it’s split into three levels) so getting connectivity throughout the house was a challenge before we started using Netgear wireless network extenders. These guys use your home’s power lines to extend your home wireless network to wherever there’s an outlet. Today we swear by them — we wouldn’t be able to get to the net without it. I was always surprised that nobody else seems to sell anything like this. The Netgear extenders are fast enough for what we need to do in our living room (including Tivo) but I’d love to see new and different products in this space.

  3. Om, I’m pleased that you see the new generation of Powerline technology
    as a viable option for today’s home networking needs.

    You’ll probably
    recall the first-to-market 200 Mbps Powerline equipment released by
    NETGEAR last year (Product name: HDXB101). Those high-speed adapters – like D-Link’s (Product name: DHP-301) – are powered by the company I work for, powerline chipset supplier DS2, and are based on a standard published by the Universal Powerline Association (UPA).

    The vast majority of 200 Mbps powerline adapters sold in the US market follow the UPA standard.

    Chano Gomez
    VP of Technology and Strategic Partnerships
    DS2

  4. There are many homeplug chipset manufacturs and I am familiar with Intellon which many reputable vendors are using. http://www.intellon.com/ Develo is one such example, a german vendor with some very nice products serving the Euro market.
    http://www.devolo.com/co_EN/index.html Similary, ZyXEL also uses the Intellon chipset and has products available worldwide. http://us.zyxel.com/web/product_family_detail.php?PC1indexflag=20050804090200&CategoryGroupNo=6CCD8904-D814-43CD-9E67-28E458968C55.

  5. “Connecting non-PC type devices to a Wi-Fi network is still a pain, and it is even more painful in case of A/V devices.”

    If true, then the Squeezebox is a great exception to this rule. I had no trouble connecting it to my home Wi-Fi network and it’s stayed reliably connected in the six months I’ve had it in place.

  6. SlingMedia sent me a Slinglink Turbo along with a review Slingbox as I don’t have an Ethernet connection near my TV set and the Slingbox AV does not yet support Wi-Fi. I have only played with it for about a day but it definitely works. There are small stipulations though – you can’t run them (the slinglink turbo units) through surge protectors as that can mess up the signal embedded in the power lines. So it’s a little challenge to find a free wall plug.

    If I had my way though, Wi-Fi would be the way to go for me. I live in your typical off-campus college townhouse rental so wiring Ethernet through the walls isn’t really an option.

  7. I love HomePlug and have been using it for about four year. I live in a 1920’s building in SF with very thick walls (thank God) and no way to put in wires. Homeplug saved. Me I am now testing Homeplug AV. I use wireless as well conected via Homeplug. But Wirless at my place is getting less reliable as more an more people use wifi close to me a push up their power. It is like talkign in a noisy restaurant.Every body talks louder and louder. By way of disclosure I have adviced Intellon the largest manufacture of Homeplug chips and sit on the board of Current Group the leader in BPL which also uses homeplug.

  8. Why hasn’t Powerline Communication (PLC) penetrated (saturated) today’s market? Because of its inherent problems spanning back almost a decade:-
    1. PLC adapters can only achieve approx. 30% of advertised throughput (200Mbps). Once taken out of the box and integrated into your LAN setup, performance is sub-par.
    2. Cannot plug PLC adapter through any surge protection device (common arrestors) as transfer rates would be severely affected.
    3. PLC adapters cannot share the same wall outlet as interconnected equipment (like laptops/PCs) as well as noise generating equipment (like an electric drill or vacuum cleaner) without having a detrimental effect on transfer rates.
    4. Noise generating equipment (like an electric drill or vacuum cleaner) cannot be used even at different wall outlets without affecting connection rates (transfer speed).

    Here some real-life solutions (demonstration) from surestreamer.com; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84C7k1dJzMw

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