Create a wireless network from any outlet on your electrical system


Will it work to a different house in the street? I assume that your configuration process precludes unknown people tapping in to your network.

1 Like

Think of it like a wireless router at the end of a cable. It’s only using your existing home 120V wiring like an ethernet cable to give you another connection to a wireless router. Your security configurations stay the same. If your existing wireless reaches the street, this would be the same thing.

No way for me to know the specifics of the building, but I can’t imagine any wifi problem that can’t be fixed with careful antenna positioning and maybe some research on how wifi propagation works. Failing that, improving the antennas or boosting the power can fix specific faults.

Unless the house has a billion walls you’re trying to get the signal through. In that case, yeah, you’re boned. Run some ethernet through the walls!

1 Like

Say my neighbour has one of these. They invite me over one day and I snaffle the device from their power point. I plug it in at my house. Presumably it will still pair with the other unit in their house, as long as we are on the same phase and circuit.

If you own your home, why wouldn’t you just wire it for ethernet? WiFi is a stopgap measure for renters or when traveling.

These power line network widgets tend not to survive a trip through the transformers at the pole(sometimes you also learn exciting new things about how your house’s wiring is more complex than you thought when they mysteriously fail to work on certain outlet pairs).

They typically also include link layer encryption of some sort(compared to RF, power line had always been the poor cousin, so the depth of independent analysis is lower, and the system may or may not have any sort of support, much less elegant support, for pairing anything other than the two wall warts that came boxed together; but the reasonably new ones are supposed to have some.)


I’m a cable installer/repair tech and I’ve seen in some rare situations where an older house isn’t properly grounded or has some wierd electrical interference or bad wiring (sorry, not an electrician) that can cause these powerline systems to not work properly or in a couple cases, actually feed back into the source router and cause problems for the whole system. I saw one house where we were getting digital noise feeding back to the tap, causing issues for other customers, that went away once the powerline system was disconnected. Another case, the feedback from the poor wiring was causing the modem to reboot. Unplugged the Powerline system and all was fine. Pretty rare cases though. But if you’re confident your electrical wiring is good they should work as Mark said.


Costs. Hassle. Logistics. Needs.

And even in a wired house, there are often rooms where wifi suffices just fine and wiring would be an unnecessary effort. Rooms where only wifi devices are ever used. Rooms where you just can’t get a wire to for whatever reason.

Most of my cinder block house is wired and all my non-mobile devices are wired to them, but for me to wire my kitchen would make absolutely no sense and be a major pain in the ass, and there’s no way my centrally located router’s signal is going to be strong enough through the several walls between them. A device like this can be very useful when a standard wired access point isn’t practical.

1 Like

our kitchen had Internet that is good enough for streaming HD video

The networking reviews image claims 85 Mbs. The Amazon product description hints at 200 Mbs.

“Streaming HD video” covers a wide range of cases from 720p24 to 4k@60, and really depends on the codec used, and how much detail is removed from the video source, all of which fit rather comfortably inside “85 Mbs”.

Can’t you quote it in terms of of ping times, and bandwidth?

Probably not, as it’s staggeringly unlikely you are on the same phase. But even then it’s got to get past their meter, which cleans up the signal into the house, and your meter, which is doing the same.

Further thought makes me consider that all the 120v 12 AWG copper is not shielded at all, it’s got to be doing some radiating. But that would be more work in either case.

One’s best bet is just to avoid inviting any Michaels over to your house in the first place.

1 Like

Well 1/3.

You have a point about the two meters. Not sure if modern electronic meters would make a difference either way. It would be fun to try. Maybe devices like this could help extend wifi mesh networks.

Is it just me, or does everyone’s phones, ereaders and tablets have 485 jacks. Almost all the rooms in my house have wired Ethernet for computers and Xboxes, but I am often in one of those rooms with a tablet or phone, on my WiFi.

I used to do powerline controls late 80s and early 90s. In those days the signal was just a higher frequency wave riding the 60 Hertz wave. I assume these work the same way. If that is true, you did have line length limits at that time that were quite short. In your building the length of wire from one outlet to the next would be at most 200 ft. Even if it would not be blocked by the meters, and I doubt they would filter there, I doubt it would run up the service cable and still be viable at the next house. In an apartment building it might be possible, but if one came up missing I would change my passwords.

1 Like




What @SteampunkBanana said is true.

Think of it like this: Your home network is a BBS, and all the electrical transformers between you and your neighbor are Don’t-Push-Your-Luck Dragons, and they think that high-frequency signals on the powerlines are delicious troll comments involving victim-blaming and transphobic, misogynist, broscientists.


It’s what I’ve got. The Demarc, and the Fiber-to-Coax box is bolted onto the south end of my house. The coax goes to the garage, where the router and wifi AP are. My room is at the farthest north end of the house about 50 meters away. All the walls are rebar-reinforced masonry. So I could either drill a ton of holes in the walls, and thread cabling, or I could plug in a powerline networking kit. So I did the second one, because it’s cheap and easy and faster than 802.11n.

The Amazon reviews are abysmal. Anyone here have personal experience with it?

1 Like

Yeah I know how transformers work. But where I live there might be one point where 22kV is transformed down to 250V. I don’t expect a RF signal to get through the transformers twice. These are big beasts which pass 50Hz. And as somebody else pointed out, losses due to radiation from unshielded cables are fairly extreme so range is limited that way too.

1 Like

I use a TP-Link powerline networking kit myself for my gaming rig. It claims up to 600mbps on decent wiring, I doubt it’s that fast, but it’s never been unsatisfactory. I see no difference in bandwidth when compared with gigabit ethernet to the den pc.

The ping time to my router from my gaming rig is reliably 3.5ms or less, and they are located about 50m apart and are on adjacent circuits in the house’s breaker box.

There are occasional issues with the authentication being dropped between the two wall warts, so maybe once every six months or so, I have to unplug them, then replug them so they can do the authentication dance again. Minor inconvenience in my opinion compared to drilling numerous holes in masonry or setting up a wireless repeater in the attic.

ETA: @mtdna I have a set of these TP-Link AV600 powerline networking wall-warts. I’m actually quite pleased with them, and they work much better than I expected in a house with 70 year old wiring. I believe they renovated a little to switch out the fuse box for circuit breakers in the early 1980s, but besides that, the house wiring is mostly the same.