The idea is not new – I’ve been hearing about it for the last 10 years at least (check it out here). For about as long I am depending on WiFi to satisfy all my networking needs because apparently the electric wiring in my apartment was designed by an idiot with zero respect to high-speed networking… Anyway I decided to give it a shot and see if it fares better than WiFi.
TLDR: the answer is NO it does not.
I have started with the kit from Netgear, Powerline AV500.
Do not plug Powerline products into a power strip, extension cord, or surge protector.
Well, that was quite unfortunate because the same gifted individual that designed all the wiring was also very economical power-socket wise… Anyhow I’ve plugged adapters into spare sockets, securely paired them as per manual and fired a speedtest. WOW!! Whopping 12 Mb/s!!! Not bad for.. 500 GIGAbit adapters??! Well, at least they worked. Because they might not have worked at all – if my rooms were on different switch boards for example and not connected in any way – that’s it, no chance. Take that into account if you decide to try for yourself.
Unfortunately for me, that was the speed at the locations I required those adapters to be. Extension cords or no extension cords – situation was the same, I guess power grid in my neighbourhood is too noisy for such equipment to work optimally.
Fast forward several years and guess what? I’ve decided to see where the progress have taken this technology, enter Netgear Powerline 1200:
Aaaand, Ladies & Gentlemen results are in!
An improvement? A slight one, yes, but the fact is – latest AC standard WiFi routers will beat the living shit out of these power-line adapters and that’s it for today folks.