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Standard User Seansmit17
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 22-Aug-20 15:17:55
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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
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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
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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.


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Standard User zzing123
(regular) Mon 24-Aug-20 12:28:07
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
Standard User Highland76
(member) Wed 26-Aug-20 15:19:23
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Seansmit17] [link to this post]
 
You can get a TP Link wifi 6 router for only £73 on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-LINK-Archer-Next-Gen-Gig...

Or if you wanted something even cheaper, then a Huawei AX3 Pro is only £40 or so on Bay of E.

https://consumer.huawei.com/en/routers/ax3-quad-core/

BT Business FTTP 330/50 Mbps -- Netgear RAX200
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 26-Aug-20 15:53:31
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Highland76] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Highland76:
You can get a TP Link wifi 6 router for only £73 on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-LINK-Archer-Next-Gen-Gig...
whilst that is AX it doesn't seem to be much better than the higher level AC units, so I wouldn't bother. The higher priced TP-LINK kit is higher spec WiFi 6. WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 confuse everyone as there are multiple levels of features in the spec.

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User danielhyde
(regular) Wed 26-Aug-20 16:08:08
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
In reply to a post by Highland76:
You can get a TP Link wifi 6 router for only £73 on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-LINK-Archer-Next-Gen-Gig...
whilst that is AX it doesn't seem to be much better than the higher level AC units, so I wouldn't bother. The higher priced TP-LINK kit is higher spec WiFi 6. WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 confuse everyone as there are multiple levels of features in the spec.


Although it doesn't have a higher theoretical throughput it is my understanding that it should get closer to that in the real world.
For example say you have an access point that is WiFi 5 (AC) that is 1500Mbps and an access point that is WiFi 6 (AX) that is 1500Mbps the Wi-Fi 6 access point should still provide better speeds in the real world
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 26-Aug-20 16:34:22
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: danielhyde] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
Although it doesn't have a higher theoretical throughput it is my understanding that it should get closer to that in the real world.
For example say you have an access point that is WiFi 5 (AC) that is 1500Mbps and an access point that is WiFi 6 (AX) that is 1500Mbps the Wi-Fi 6 access point should still provide better speeds in the real world

I believe that is the theory, but it is unclear if we need all 6 devices to cope with the new protocol. Equally that might assume you have sufficient 5 GHz channels to run 160 MHz wide channels. Which would be unusual in the UK as our house spacing is not as far apart as the US.

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User danielhyde
(regular) Wed 26-Aug-20 16:46:46
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
Although it doesn't have a higher theoretical throughput it is my understanding that it should get closer to that in the real world.
For example say you have an access point that is WiFi 5 (AC) that is 1500Mbps and an access point that is WiFi 6 (AX) that is 1500Mbps the Wi-Fi 6 access point should still provide better speeds in the real world

I believe that is the theory, but it is unclear if we need all 6 devices to cope with the new protocol. Equally that might assume you have sufficient 5 GHz channels to run 160 MHz wide channels. Which would be unusual in the UK as our house spacing is not as far apart as the US.


Ah yes I'm not sure wither if all devices need to be WiFi 6 either.
I don't think the interference should be an issue, I live in a relatively modern house and before I installed mesh WiFi the 5GHz signal barely reached upstairs and could only get a very low signal outside.
Now I have mesh the signal outside is still very poor at best.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 26-Aug-20 17:03:00
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: danielhyde] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
I don't think the interference should be an issue, I live in a relatively modern house and before I installed mesh WiFi the 5GHz signal barely reached upstairs and could only get a very low signal outside.
The more modern the home, the more likely you have insulation that includes metal foil. Older homes don't have this.

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User danielhyde
(regular) Thu 27-Aug-20 09:20:28
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
I don't think the interference should be an issue, I live in a relatively modern house and before I installed mesh WiFi the 5GHz signal barely reached upstairs and could only get a very low signal outside.
The more modern the home, the more likely you have insulation that includes metal foil. Older homes don't have this.


That's a good point but I don't think it does, not that I've seen.
Older houses can have thicker walls, at my FiL's house WiFi barely goes through one wall.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 27-Aug-20 09:34:56
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: danielhyde] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
That's a good point but I don't think it does, not that I've seen. Older houses can have thicker walls, at my FiL's house WiFi barely goes through one wall.
I have family in a new build in Cardiff, and mobile phone signals don't get indoors, whereas outside all 4 networks have full signal. These operate at frequencies under 5 GHz, which is why such a push for all operators to enable WiFi calling.

Yes, the older stone walls also act as a radio block, as do multiple layers. Mesh systems help, but are often planned for US homes where they use different construction materials.

2.4 GHz can be better for penetration at the expense of throughput. 5GHz and the potential 6 GHz, are good for throughput, but may only cover a room!

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User Pheasant
(member) Thu 27-Aug-20 13:20:06
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Agreed and furthermore I would say proper structured cabling should be a mandatory requirement for all new builds, in the same way as other facets of construction and building control are mandated.

Folks relying on “WiFi” only are on a bit of a fools errand. A good quality wireless install actually needs (at least some) structured cabling if only to the access points.
Standard User Highland76
(member) Thu 27-Aug-20 13:34:59
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Usually new builds with wafer thin walls are perfect examples where good spec wifi kit can work very well, without having tonnes of cables. My house (4 bedroom detached) is just over 10 years old and I've always found a single wifi 5/6 router to be more than enough to give full wifi coverage. Even 2 of our VOIP lines run over wireless with not a RJ45 cable in sight, other than a 30cm run from the ONT to the router.

BT Business FTTP 330/50 Mbps -- Netgear RAX200
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 27-Aug-20 15:18:28
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Pheasant] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Pheasant:
Folks relying on “WiFi” only are on a bit of a fools errand. A good quality wireless install actually needs (at least some) structured cabling if only to the access points.
Unfortunately even corporate provided laptops are going the "apple" model, where you get no ethernet without extra cost. My large corporate has a "wifi everywhere" policy, however a proper entrerprise deployment with multi-gigabit connections to each AP.

At home I have wired most things, but the devices that can't (e.g. tablet, phone).

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User danielhyde
(regular) Thu 27-Aug-20 15:24:43
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Highland76] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Highland76:
Usually new builds with wafer thin walls are perfect examples where good spec wifi kit can work very well, without having tonnes of cables. My house (4 bedroom detached) is just over 10 years old and I've always found a single wifi 5/6 router to be more than enough to give full wifi coverage. Even 2 of our VOIP lines run over wireless with not a RJ45 cable in sight, other than a 30cm run from the ONT to the router.


I have never had issues with 2.4GHz that reaches the whole house from just the Virgin Router.
To take advantage of the internet speeds we need to use 5GHz and that doesn't reach.
I'm not sure of the age of the property but I know VM cable was installed when it was built.
Standard User Pheasant
(member) Thu 27-Aug-20 15:42:00
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: danielhyde] [link to this post]
 
Yeh 5 GHz beats 2.4 GHz hands down on raw throughout and lack of noise and congestion issues (for now at least) but crucially for range, and the ability to “punch through” 2.4 almost always bests it.

House with brick or stone walls...2.4 always wins on range unless the AP is in the same room, well just about. Open plan offices aren’t comparable to the (very mixed) housing stock in the UK.

Edited by Pheasant (Thu 27-Aug-20 15:42:33)

Standard User Malwaremike
(experienced) Thu 27-Aug-20 15:51:43
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Re: Powerline adapters... What gives?


[re: Seansmit17] [link to this post]
 
Our 50 year old house with concrete block internal walls blocks all wifi so I've used Devolo adaptors for five years with excellent results on ADSL then VDSL 40Mb (until recently when one adaptor wifi failed).

I read long ago on that copper wire in sockets etc will eventually flatten. I removed every socket in the house and each required a half-turn or more on the locking screws to ensure a tight connection. Didn't seem to affect the adaptors but the kitchen radio lost the hiss and occasional crackle which had annoyed us for years. Don't forget to turn off the mains before you start!
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