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Networks Homeplug recommendations

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bawjaws, 29 Mar 2019.

  1. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm the market for some new homeplugs - I currently have a pair of cheap and rather basic Zyxel plugs but they're somewhat unreliable - every so often they drop out and either need switched off and on again or left for ten minutes to reacquire the connection. I'm also looking to expand beyond a simple pair: ideally I'd like to have a homeplug where the router is, one in the room where the PC lives and another downstairs in the living room. The living room plug would preferably have two ethernet ports and if possible a WiFi extender.

    Any recommendations? Budget is variable, for now let's say £75 tops but as ever if I can come in under that then all the better :D . I'd prefer plugs that aren't too bulky, and I don't mind whether they have pass-through or not. Speed isn't mega important but the faster the better (they'll be served by a 70MB broadband line fwiw). I'm assuming that because I want more than two plugs I'd need to mix and match to a certain extent although there do seem to be some three-way kits out there.

    Many thanks :)
     
  2. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    I've been using TP-Link for the past ~7 years and I think in that whole time I just reset the one by the router a handful of times, and that was only until I upgraded from the cheap POS freebie router. After that I don't think I reset again.

    I have this exact kit https://www.amazon.co.uk/TL-PA4010KIT-Powerline-Configuration-Required-UK/dp/B01BECPIMC as well as some 500Mbps with power pass through and they all just play nicely.

    If you're going to have two devices in the same room you might want to look at the 2 port kit https://www.amazon.co.uk/TL-PA4010KIT-Powerline-Configuration-Required-UK/dp/B01M16AZTI and just run a network cable within the room.

    Homeplugs are considered a shared bus, so the more adapters you have with active devices, the more it's inefficient - just like Wifi. The more devices you connect, the slower everyone goes. You can easily get 4 plugs up and running with no noticeable impact but if the dual ports option means you can get away with 2 plugs total, it's worth looking at I reckon.
     
  3. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Cheers, @Zoon - I'd spotted that first kit on Amazon earlier but have no clue what's good and what isn't :D

    I think I'm definitely going to need three plugs - one in the upstairs room with the router (which can't be moved, unfortunately), one in the other upstairs room with the main PC, and one downstairs in the living room (which would ideally have two ethernet ports and a WiFi extendery thing). Each of the two upstairs plugs only needs one Ethernet port. If I were to buy that kit in your first link, can I just go ahead and add something like this to it without any jiggering around?

    Cheers again :)
     
  4. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Yep you can just add that, it's also AV600. Ideally you should configure the wifi on that as a second wireless network instead of having it in extender mode as extenders usually reduce bandwidth and speed overall FYI.
     
  5. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Thanks muchly :)

    Ah, didn't even realise that was a thing :D Networking has never been my strong suit!

    As an aside: if I have two wireless networks configured and I'm roaming around the house on my phone (or the kids are doing the same on their tablets), say, can I get it to pick up whichever network has the stronger signal? Or would I have to manually select the network I want depending on where I am in the house? Annoyingly I get a great Wifi signal in the back garden but almost no signal in the front garden (the router is located at the back of the house, and the walls here are pretty solid brick).
     
  6. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    TP-Link here too, after a terrible experience with D-Link plugs.

    The TPs have never dropped the connection, unlike the D-Link ones
     
  7. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    iOS will switch to the preferred network pretty reliably. Android tends to cling on to the network it last connected to even if it's slow and crappy - only switching if it actually loses signal entirely. I belive you can get some wireless network connection manager apps for android which will enforce the selection of best network though.

    If you want them to roam together properly you'd need some low end enterprise kit like mikrotik or unifi access points and have them work as one connected network - and turn off the wireless on the extender and your router.

    On balance I'd probably suggest proceeding with plan A for now and if it still doesn't quite improve it as much as you were looking for then you have the option to add these later! Certainly getting the powerline stuff right now will enable those access point upgrades later anyway.
     
  8. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Sentinel-R1 likes this.
  9. Spraduke

    Spraduke Lurker

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    I've got a pair from solwise which are reliable but the user software provided to configure a 'non-standard' ID is a bit ...blast from the past!
     

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