Powerline Ethernet describes data transfer over electrical power lines. What this simply means is that you can plug in one powerline Ethernet adapter into the wall, hook it into your router, and plugin in another adapter near your computer, and connect your computer to it. You are using these adapters as an easy way to utilize your existing electrical lines to transfer internet data. Your internet is going through existing electrical wire!
This sounds great, and it can be, with some caveats. Let’s dig in. How fast could be the powerline adapter. Netgear has some models we can use as an example super wireless ethernet bridges the entry-level XE102 model supports up to 14mbs, whilst the mid-range model supports 85MBps, and the most effective model claims speeds up to 200 MBps. Gigabit Ethernet over electrical wire can also be available.
These ranges are under ideal conditions, and are most likely to not be achieved practically. Before engaging in 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 instance not enough 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 depends on encryption, the circuitry of the electrical system, and other electrical interference. There is not a lot of difference between gigabit Ethernet and 200 MBps in terms of speeds.
Taking a look at the information, you’d believe that wireless could be the clear choice. However, really the only way to determine which system works better for you is to check both out. Powerline Ethernet works better than wireless-g for many people, including my house. Your decision for me was whether I will upgrade from Wireless-G or just get powerline Ethernet. The adapter is cheaper, and one can connect a wireless router to one of these brilliant adapters as a repeater. I used it, and it worked better for me than wireless-G, and was cheaper than upgrading to wireless-N.