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Powerline network adapters / PLC adapters

If you need to extend your home network, consider using powerline network adapters that use of your home's existing internal electrical wiring. Keith from the Start.ca service desk explains.

This video features captions and descriptive transcript.

Introduction to powerline Adapters

Wi-Fi is great, but you’ve probably got some areas in your home or business where the signal is weak, perhaps even too weak to get a reliable connection. This can happen for a number of reasons, like being too far away from your wireless router, which can be especially true if your router is on another floor.

Luckily, there’s a quick and easy way to fix this: a powerline adapter. A powerline adapter uses the existing electrical wiring in your walls to create or extend a connection.

How to set up your powerline adapter

  • Plug the first adapter into a wall outlet near your router (each kit usually comes with 2 adapters)
  • Attach one adapter to your router with an Ethernet cable
  • Connect the cable to one of the available ports on the back of the router

You should receive an Ethernet cable with your adapter kit, but any Ethernet cable will work.

  • Plug the second adapter into an electrical outlet in the room you want to connect
  • Using the other Ethernet cable, connect the second adapter to the device you want to get online (e.g., laptop, gaming console, home entertainment system)

You can even connect another Wi-Fi router, if your powerline adapter doesn’t already have wireless capabilities built in.

  • Note: buying a powerline adapter with wireless capabilities is good if boosting your wireless signal is your main goal

You have now extended your internet connection using your home’s existing wiring.

Powerline adapters and your network speed

Next, we’re going to talk about network speeds and what to expect when using a powerline adapter.

  • A basic powerline adapter is typically rated to carry 200 Megabits per second (Mbps)
  • A mid-grade kit can do around 500 Mbps
  • The fastest ones can handle as much as 2000 Mbps

Keep in mind: a powerline adapter can’t exceed the maximum speed of your internet connection. Because of this, don’t pay more for a faster one if a more basic model is all you need.

  • Example: if you’re on a 100 Mbps internet connection, then a basic powerline adapter should be OK.

Most kits on the market come with everything you need, including the 2 adapters and the Ethernet cables. Some adapters come with a pass-through power socket so you can still use that electrical outlet.

Handy tips for using powerline adapters

Remember that data (as well as electricity) is passing through the wires, and if your devices are plugged in and charging, you may see slower download speeds.

  • Charging those devices draws a lot of electricity, which may impact how fast data can get through
  • Get the fastest download speeds possible with your powerline adapter by unplugging your laptop or tablet’s power cord when downloading
  • Avoid using your microwave when downloading, this can interrupt your connection
  • Don’t hesitate to call us if you’re having any issues with your powerline adapter or with your internet connection in general

Coming Soon.

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