Powerline networking devices work by connecting to routers through an Ethernet cable. They plug into a wall outlet, turning the electrical wiring into a high-speed, reliable extension of the router. Powerline networking kits are suitable for extending a router’s coverage, especially to hard-to-reach areas like the basement. This technology sits between wired and wireless networking, and comes in various versions to satisfy different needs. Powerline adapters are also useful for businesses looking for a practical solution for connecting to devices that don't support wireless connections.
A powerline device broadcasts video, photo, music and computer data from a router, over the existing electrical wiring, to a second powerline plugged into another location. This provides a secure connection to compatible network extenders and repeaters, covering the entire business setup. Some adapters have power filters to prevent interference from local airwaves created by appliances on the same circuit. HomePlug® AV2 technology supports gigabit network speeds through electrical outlets for fast large file transfers. Powerline Ethernet adapters create a secure network because they send signals via the copper wiring of your power source, which is not easy to hack.
For a smooth video streaming experience, choose a pair of powerline networking devices with high data transfer rates that will also accommodate more than one piece of equipment streaming at the same time. Some models feature multiple Ethernet ports to provide up to six computer desktops with a network connection, or use network connectors and adapters to increase the number of wired devices supported on a single powerline device. Adapters with an electrical pass-through outlet enable plugging into a surge protector for connected network-capable devices and surge protectors.
WiFi® powerline networking devices with a 1.3Gbps throughput easily handle 4K UHD streaming without missing a beat, while a built-in wireless extender provides 802.11ac Wi-Fi into areas 5GHz frequencies don't penetrate. Models with a wireless network clone feature automatically copy the router’s SSID and password, so compatible wireless adapters nearby stay connected as the user moves from one room to another. Downloadable smartphone apps let you monitor the network, while one-touch security automatically encrypts the wireless connection against intrusion.
Powerline networking devices provide easy plug-and-play installation, so you're set up in minutes without configuring or installing software. Most manufacturers ship powerline units in pairs that form logical networks based on a Network Management Key (NMK) password or security key as soon as you plug them into the main sockets. After the initial configuration, place powerline networking devices in different locations without further setup.
An included automatic power-saving mode activates when there is no data transfer, minimizing the impact on the energy bill. Support for IGMP and QoS optimizes multiple media streams. Depending on the model, you can connect up to 64 nodes without impacting Internet productivity. Most powerline networking devices feature LED status lights for notifying users of the signal strength, which is handy for finding the optimal location.