If you want to extend your secure home computer network then there is nothing better than doing it with wires. What if you don't want Ethernet cables everywhere though? Now you can use a network of Powerline adapters from TP-Link and that is exactly what I did!
Being able to have a Powerline adapter which acts as a main power point as well is especially good because HomePlug units do not like being plugged into extension leads. Some do say that they will work, but at the same time they do experience a lot of signal degredation as well.
Today we look at a great product that I use in my own home computer network and we will also look at other extensions for yours.
If you can think of something that you would connect to an Ethernet point then you can connect it though your mains power supply. I have two adapters connected to my system with a third on order, connecting my cable router to my main desktop computer in a different room. The third TP-Link Powerline adapters will be for a file server which will be located in a different part of the house and allow backing up across the network; you should never keep your back up server anywhere near your main computer!
You Really Can build a second wireless hotspot elsewhere in your home.
With a bit of work you can even configure your new wireless Powerline adapter so that your devices never know the difference and there are no new networks to learn.
Easy To Install
The Powerline adapters are so easy to install that if you live in the middle of the country without neighbours for miles around you could simply plug your adapters in and connect the Ethernet. For the rest of us on housing estates or terraced town houses that would leave your Powerline network open to access from your neighbours; but it is so easy to secure your new home computer network from access as well.
In the case of the Ethernet TP-Link range this is done by a single button on the base of each unit, with the adapters plugged in and switched on you need to hold the button for 5 seconds on the first and then the same on the second within 2 minutes. You can even make this easy by plugging your first two units into side-by-side power sockets and re-locate them once they are paired.
Congratulations - You have now created a secure paired link between your adapters! Easy isn't it! If you have done this then the power indication will be on and the Powerline indication (which in our case looks like a little house) will be on.
or Harder to Install
You can add adapters either by connecting them to a computer or laptop using the enclosed Ethernet patch cable, or by using the pass code on the adapter to be able to control the device remotely. I am still having trouble with one of the adapters as it's password does not want to work, but that is likely my eyes at fault than the Powerline adapter. Passwords on these particular products are located on the unit so that when you plug it in you can not read it.
The Privacy setting on the user interface allows you to rename the network so that others can not get access to it; just like a password on your wi-fi network or wireless router. There are also more in-depth diagnostic options and the facility to factory reset your devices from within the software interface.
Let's take a step back and be honest. You will never, ever, get the full 200Mbps from a Powerline adapter; but then you will never, ever get 300Mbps from a wireless (802.11n) connection either!
The speed and quality of your connection though will depend on a few things like the quality of the wiring in your house, whether you are using an extension lead before the adapter and whether your neighbours also have congested Powerline networks.
Amazon Price: $55.00 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 28, 2013)
Alternatives to Powerline
The use of homeplug adapters is not for everyone, especially if you find that the wiring in your home is not suitable for it or there are lots of other powerline networks in the area which are leaking data into your own power supply.
One of the things that a homeplug tries to do is be more reliable than a wireless connection for your technology. If you have to rely on a wireless connection then using the less congested 5Mhz wireless frequency (if supported by your router and your technology) is usually a better connection than one running at 2.4Mhz, that is a question for another article here on InfoBarrel though!
Powerline Networking Solves Problems
I find the Powerline network here to be better than relying on the wireless to connect my main desktop computer to the Internet. TP-Link allow you to connect any device to your network anywhere in the house. There is a massive range of TP-Link & Other Powerline Adapters
How Do You Network your secure home computer network? Let us know below whether you Powerline (with TP-Link or others) or do it another way!