electronic brain surgery since 2001

LAN Upgrade

If you want to have network access in multiple rooms of your house or flat without installing new twisted pair cables everywhere, the obvious choice is WiFi. That's what I used here for the last 2 years.

Even though 802.11g can achieve speeds up to 54Mbit/s those are rarely reached and depend heavily on the building structure and interfering other networks. In my case I had about 20 Mbit/s in our home office and just about 5 Mbit/s in the living room.

Time to look for an alternative. One is called PowerLAN (or Power Line Communication). It allows you to create a network using the usual electric power cables that are already in your home.

I bought the Devolo dLAN 200 Avplus Network Kit which contains three PowerLAN adapters. Devolo advertises them with up to 200 MBit/s but like with WiFi these speeds are never reached in the real world. However my measurements with iperf showed at least some improvements over the WiFi speeds.

Then I read the manual (which comes on CD only). The Avplus adapters do not only have a power socket for providing power but they also filter interferences other electrical devices might cause. That's why the manual recommends to never plug the adapter in a multi socket but always directly into a wall socket, with additional devices following “on top”.

After reconnecting the adapters as recommended, transfer speeds doubled! Here's a graphic of my measurements:

So PowerLAN is here to stay and this is what my home network looks like now1):

I'm still thinking about a few changes. I like to move the B3 into the office and connect it directly to the gigabit switch we have there. And maybe I add another switch in the living room to connect the Playstation and TV set2) to the PowerLAN as well.

What does your home network look like? Got a network diagram to share? Please do so in the comments, I love these things3).

powerlan, lan, wifi, network, wlan
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