Powerline adapters are becoming evermore popular. They are a cost-effective way of connecting home network devices, that have Ethernet ports, to your home router. This is particularly the case when Wi-Fi signal is poor. This might be because the size of the home is so large that the signal from the router just can’t effectively reach all areas. Or it could be down to the fact that the building materials that form your home are anti-wireless – for example, thick walls or steel beams.
We’re going to talk more about the benefits of Powerline later. But in the meantime, let’s get down to business…what is the best Powerline adapter for 2014?
Best Powerline Adapter 2014 – TP-LINK TL-PA6010KIT
Best Powerline Adapters 2014 – Our Recommendations
TP-Link TL-PA6010KIT AV600 Powerline Adapter
The TP-Link TL-PA6010KIT AV600 Powerline adapter is the fastest adapter we’ve tested to date. Boasting speeds up to a potential 600Mbps, this adapter has a Gigabit port, so no bottlenecks here!
Amped PLA2 AV500 Powerline Adapter
One of the reasons this Amped adapter is so popular is the rear power socket. You can plug other appliances into the back of it. It’s not to shabby when it comes to speed, and has all the features – Quality of Service, AES Encryption and easy setup…
Trendnet TPL-406E2K Powerline Adapter
This little gem can connect to 8 nodes in total. Can’t think that anyone would need that many Powerline connections in their home! It’s good to know it’s there anyway. Again, not as fast as the 6010, but a good solid performer.
TP-Link TL-PA4010KIT AV500 Powerline Adapter
This is the #1 Best Seller Powerline adapter at Amazon. This is the TP-Link TL-PA6010KIT’s baby brother. This adapter is a little slower and doesn’t have a Gigabit port. If you don’t need the top speed, this is a good alternative as it’s very competitively priced!
Ok, now that you have our recommendations, let’s explain how Powerline can benefit you (if you didn’t already know!)
What is Powerline?
As we said earlier, Powerline adapters are a great way of bridging wired Ethernet devices together, without breaking the bank. They come in pairs generally, but can come in bundles of 3, 4 or more.
They plug into a power outlet, sometimes with another socket contained in their rear, for other electrical appliances. That way you don’t ‘lose’ a power outlet. An Ethernet cable connects the adapter and the network device you want to bridge. The cables are normally supplied with the adapters
The Powerline adapter then uses the electrical circuitry in your home, which is copper, to connect to any other Powerline adapters that may exist. Generally, Powerline works well, and can be a good alternative to wireless, particularly where there are wireless blackspots or weak signal areas. Of course, you could use a wireless repeater/range extender, to boost your wireless, but they have other disadvantages. One of the major disadvantages of Repeaters/Range Extenders is significant speed degradation, not only in the extended area, but also the area where the repeater and main wireless transmitter connect – not good. That’s where Powerline steps in to save the day!
The most common setup is to have one adapter located at the home router, with the other(s) attached to the other devices. Most important is the connection to the router, as the router is what facilitates everything to ‘talk’ to each other.
Typical Powerline Setup With 3 Adapters
Why Use Powerline?
Powerline is also a good solution for devices that don’t have wireless. This can be some TV’s, games consoles, Blu-Ray players, and desktop PC’s. The only way some of these appliances can get onto the network is via the use of wired Ethernet connections. You could just run an Ethernet cable from, say, your desktop PC all the way to your home router, but not many people really want a cable running all the way through their home. That’s the beauty of Powerline…it’s almost invisible.
Powerline connections are generally quite good. Ok, you’re not going to get Gigabit speeds, but unless you have really old electric wiring, you should get pretty solid connections, that won’t drop and frustrate like what can happen with weak Wi-Fi signals.