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chris.p 27. Jan 2010 08:42 PM

Powerline routers - any good?
I haven't tried the powerline 'wifi substitute' modem router type yet (the kind that send the data over your mains electric wiring to remote PCs, not via wifi). But - I heard they may not work well if the ring main the remote PC is on is on a different breaker to the one the main unit is on.

These units would be excellent for getting router connectivity out to a remote PC on another floor - but not if this problem is real.

Anyone know?

Jojo Yee 28. Jan 2010 02:19 AM

I personally have not tried it, but one of my friends is using it. He says it works well for him.

george 28. Jan 2010 01:26 PM

I was also a little reluctant getting one but the situation in my house required one. I am running a PS3 and MacMini in my living room, to far away from the router to pull an ethernet cable and the wireless speed is just to slow.

I bought a Linksys/Cisco PLTK300 and I am totally happy with it. Installation is a breeze. I have high bandwidth (supports up to 85 Mbit) in my living room. It only works though if no power bars are used. Best results are when you plug both ends in your wall jacks. I can only recommend it.

chris.p 31. Jan 2010 06:02 PM

OK George, sounds good.

Can you explain a couple of things for me please - what are 'power bars'? (Doesn't translate.) Does this mean the breaker / ring main / mains circuit?

Also, are your rooms on different floors (and therefore very likely to be on a different breaker)?

Here in the UK, mains electricity comes in to the property and is connected to a meter unit then a Consumer Unit, which is a circuit hub with a disconnect switch and that normally has from 8 to 16 'ways' (ie 12-way etc), which are slots for breakers (auto-fuses that can trip out and be reset). We use ring main circuits, that is, the power is wired around the room (or floor) in a circle, being connected to the breaker at both ends.

I heard that the powerline routers don't work well if the router unit and PC unit are on different breakers / ring mains.

Ritho 31. Jan 2010 09:12 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Power Bar.....

Could be either of the things below.:D

george 01. Feb 2010 12:06 AM

Hmm, power bar, not sure what you guys call it. It is what i on Rithos second picture. A multi-jack bar? Usually those have surge protectors and I couldn't get a connection when I used them. I assume it would have worked with a very simple multiplier with no on/off switch or surge protector.

The rooms are on the same floor. Haven't tried it from one floor to another. The sales person though told me it would work too. He told me it would be able to distribute traffic within your metered power grid. So it would not go through your neighbours power net.

chris.p 01. Feb 2010 03:11 AM


Yeah funny guy :)

OK, gotcha now (thanks to Ritho...). What we call a mains extension lead but power bar sounds better I guess.

Funny it doesn't work with those, must be too much resistance with all the joints or something. Or more likely a capacitative or inductive effect perhaps. Or the signal is only good on single cores, and in the 'balanced' twisted cores in an extension lead, the signal gets cancelled.

Still need to know if it works on a different breaker circuit. Oh well.

Ritho 01. Feb 2010 08:35 AM

I found a few references to the fact that it is preferable to connect a powerline router or Ethernet bridge to a common circuit breaker panel. (I am not entirely sure what that means though, but I assume it means any wiring circuits connected to different breakers in the electrical "tree" after main should work fine.)

I found this reference on a review for Linksys PLK200 Powerline AV.

I was worried about mine living in a apartment building that the circuits may not be linked, but they were. I had no problems plugging in other rooms with different circuit breakers - since they are all on the same control panel. I guess it is possible that this is not always the case - depending on how your house is wired
This white paper ( mentions the terms "cross-phase coupling" which seems to be related to your question, and seems to address the issue of sending the ethernet over different breaker systems.

I got some pretty good search results using the the query "powerline ethernet breaker panel bridging" in Google search.

I also found these two websites ( & dedicated to "powerline communications."

Hope these help

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