Technical Discussion
  >> Home Networking, Internet Connection Sharing, etc.


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.


Pages in this thread: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)   Print Thread
Standard User Seansmit17
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 22-Aug-20 15:17:55
Print Post

Powerline adapters... What gives?


[link to this post]
 
I am aware that the rated speeds for things like powerline adapters and wifi etc are the max the tech can do but in the real world you see nothing like it.

Like my wifi, it can do 800Mbps but I see around 500 ish when connected and get a speed test of 550mbps and thats right for my connection

The same goes for my powerline adapters.

They are a pair of TPLink 1200Mbps and when plugged in they connect to each other at around 900Mbps or more. And yet when I go and do a speed test I get less than 200mbps out of them.

How can they report a connection speed between the 2 of over 900Mbps but not deliver even close to that.

So confused.

Virgin Media
Connection Speed: DL: 575Mbps UL: 38.5Mbps
Speed test: 550Mbps DL
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 22-Aug-20 21:01:37
Print Post

Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Seansmit17] [link to this post]
 
Because they report connection speed for the physical layer, once you add error handling and TCP overheads you see the speeds drop away significantly

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Pheasant
(member) Mon 24-Aug-20 09:34:53
Print Post

Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Seansmit17] [link to this post]
 
Typically “real world” throughput is a fraction of the advertised claims under presumably laboratory conditions. There are so many physical factors that affect the true performance; power cabling age and condition, cabling topology and distance, external AC noise sources.

It’s not just throughout, but in my experience, latency that can be the “killer” with power line networking - a particularly nasty intermittent electrical noise can wreak havoc with latency. This really can cause big issues with gaming, VoIP and video calling.

The devices have definitely improved over the years and I have personally used them in certain situations approaching 15 years or more, however they certainly aren’t perfect but sometimes they are the only practical way to get network link.


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.

Standard User zzing123
(regular) Mon 24-Aug-20 12:28:07
Print Post

Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Seansmit17] [link to this post]
 
Powerline doesn't work like Ethernet. If it did, it'd only be a 2-wire, so 100mbps Ethernet. To go faster it uses technologies that are repurposed from Wifi, using each of the 2 live wires as a 'spectrum', and much wider channels than Wifi does, but lags Wifi quite a bit in the development of technologies. For example, the very latest Powerlines with G.hn are just starting to use MIMO. OFDMA and stuff like that are years out. What's more the speeds are a bit misleading as like Wifi the reported speed is aggregate throughput and not the duplex speed like Ethernet.

That said, typical UK wiring which is much more string-based and not parallel means that powerline can't work quite as efficiently as it should, and also Powerlines are affected badly by noisy appliances and don't particularly like RCD circuit breakers. As the typical use case is to only have 2 devices in a Powerline network, it also doesn't work very well with many powerline stations. I had all sorts of weird problems using 4 devices before I got CAT6.

If ever you do any rewiring, do yourself a massive favour and put proper Ethernet cabling in as it saves so many headaches.

In the meantime, don't rely on Powerline to give you much more than 100-200mbps real world, just like Wifi - about 25% of the 'headline' figure is good going.
Standard User DrBob
(newbie) Mon 24-Aug-20 16:24:38
Print Post

Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Seansmit17] [link to this post]
 
They are "tuned" to 2.5mm grey pvc cable and work best when plugged directly into a wall socket. Avoid using any sort of extension cable. I have also had problems when they are too close to the router or dect phone.
Standard User jabuzzard
(committed) Mon 24-Aug-20 19:48:53
Print Post

Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Pheasant] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Pheasant:
It’s not just throughout, but in my experience, latency that can be the “killer” with power line networking - a particularly nasty intermittent electrical noise can wreak havoc with latency. This really can cause big issues with gaming, VoIP and video calling.


They kill latency full stop. If I ping my Cat6a attached access point from the router I get times in the 0.3ms range. If I ping the one attached via a powerline adaptor in the workshop at the bottom of the garden I get pings in the region of 4ms on average with a lot of fluctuation (can be as low as 3ms often up to 8ms). The speed is dire too, only around 10Mbps though these are very old powerline adaptors with 200Mbps max throughput. It also only for light web browsing while sitting out in the garden and will be replaced with some SWA Cat6a by the end of next year.
Standard User Highland76
(member) Mon 24-Aug-20 20:02:49
Print Post

Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Seansmit17] [link to this post]
 
If you were to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 (both clients & router) you’ll notice a huge improvement over Wi-Fi ac. I’m seeing real world speeds of over 1 Gbps on Wi-Fi 6 with an Intel AX200 card paired with a Wi-Fi 6 router. Link rate shows up as 2.4 Gbps. The speeds will get even more scarier once 4x4 Wi-Fi 6 clients are released into the wild - at present you can’t get more than 2x2 Wi-Fi 6 clients.

BT Business FTTP 330/50 Mbps -- Asus RT-AX89X
Standard User Pheasant
(member) Mon 24-Aug-20 23:32:57
Print Post

Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: jabuzzard] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jabuzzard:
They kill latency full stop. If I ping my Cat6a attached access point from the router I get times in the 0.3ms range. If I ping the one attached via a powerline adaptor in the workshop at the bottom of the garden I get pings in the region of 4ms on average with a lot of fluctuation (can be as low as 3ms often up to 8ms). The speed is dire too, only around 10Mbps though these are very old powerline adaptors with 200Mbps max throughput. It also only for light web browsing while sitting out in the garden and will be replaced with some SWA Cat6a by the end of next year.

The jitter aspect is pretty bad with them. On reflection I think this is actually the worse aspect over the latency. Predictable latency can be dealt with, it's the massive and unpredictable jitter that is a nightmare.

Unfortunately it is the nature of the beast. You are at the mercy of of using a medium which was never designed for networked comms - a hash of domestic power cabling, circuit breakers, switch boards and appliances which introduce all manner of noise and garbage in the process.

No one in their right mind would design such a thing, yet by necessity it's sometimes the only way.
Standard User Pheasant
(member) Mon 24-Aug-20 23:39:03
Print Post

Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: zzing123] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by zzing123:
Powerline doesn't work like Ethernet.

Ironically it does, perhaps not the modern switched/full duplex/star wired UTP variety though.

If you're old enough, you may need to cast your mind back to 10Base5 and 10Base2 and good old CSMA/CD that underpins it all....even pre WiFi going all the way back to ALOHA! Shock horror wink

Edited by Pheasant (Mon 24-Aug-20 23:39:42)

Standard User Seansmit17
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 26-Aug-20 14:46:46
Print Post

Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Seansmit17] [link to this post]
 
My ping times are not to bad using them, 17ms up from 10ms.

I just find it annoying that they report a connection speed of 900mbps or more but cant reach anything near that. I suppose its a lot like wifi in that aspect. I can get a connection of 433Mbps but only get about 150-200Mbps when downloading etc.

Id like to get WiFi6 (AX) but the routers are kinda pricey. I can get an AX200 intel card for £20-£30 on amazon.

Virgin Media
Connection Speed: DL: 575Mbps UL: 38.5Mbps
Speed test: 550Mbps DL
Pages in this thread: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)   Print Thread

Jump to