About 84% of the UK population have some sort of internet access in their home. A great many report being unhappy with the speeds they get from their internet connection. In fact around 20% of all calls to ISPs relate to customers frustrations at their slow connection speeds.
It is easy to jump to the conclusion that your ISP is at fault if your high-speed internet is crawling, but the reasons for under performing speeds are numerous. Often they relate to the way you have your internet connection configured once it gets to your front door.
According to a report published by Ofcom in 2014, the average UK broadband speed in 2014 is around 18.7Mbps (compare that to the average in 2007 of 4.6 Mbps!). Average Fibre and Cable internet speeds are even more impressive, topping, on average 42.0Mbps! These figures are somewhat less than the ISP advertised maxinmum speeds, but still pretty good.
The issues can be related to how we use this high-speed internet once it comes into our home. Wi-Fi use in UK homes is very high and most new routers will support wireless connections. It is not difficult to see why. Wi-Fi gives the flexibility and freedom to connect multiple devices anywhere in your home without the ugly, snaking network cables. But Wi-Fi is not without its problems. Due to the nature of Wi-Fi, a number of things in your home can (and almost certainly do) cause interference to the signal which can mean in you getting only 50 – 70% of the potential speed of your internet connection, even with good wireless reception. Wi-Fi also raises some serious security concerns if it is not properly setup.
These are issues that don't affect a wired connection, but that requires you have a your devices close to your router and accept that you'll need to snake network cable around the house.
Wi-Fi = Convenience + Flexibility
- Simple to setup
- Convenient – you can be anywhere in your home and still get an internet connection.
- Connect multiple devices even devices like your mobile, or iPad that do not have any network cable connections.
- No snaking cables
- Location of the router and interference can seriously impact your internet speeds
- Without properly configured security you run the risk of others using, or snooping on, your internet connection
- Even good Wi-Fi reception can fluctuate and make online gaming and movie viewing difficult
Wired = Performance + Security
- Easy setup
- Requires network cables between your device and the router
- No good for mobile devices
In general, most people would suggest that Wi-Fi wins out simply for the level of convenience. So for many optimising the performance of their Wi-Fi connection, might be enough. The fact remains though, that a Wi-Fi internet connection will NEVER achieve the speeds of a wired connection, and you are therefore never really getting the speeds you are promised and, more importantly, pay for.
But there is a third way... A solution that combines performance and convenience? The Powerline adapter, also known as home plugs.
Powerline Adapters are a fantastic way to get the most out of your internet connection without the need for cables trailing all around your home.
Powerline Adapters require no long snaking cables because they piggy-back on the electrical wiring in your house to create a wired network you can access from any standard plug socket. Because it requires no new wiring, and adds no cost to your electric bill, power-line networking is the cheapest, easiest method for boosting the speed and security of your internet access at home for your Desktop or laptop devices.
Powerline = Convenience + Flexibility + Performance + Security
- All the benefits of wired connection: Stability, Speed and Security, without the ugly cables
- Connect your device to your network wherever you have a standard plug socket
- Easy to setup – most simply require plugging in, and away you go
- Needs your home to have decent, up to date wiring
- Can be affected by other devices plugged into the electrical wiring
Many Powerline Adapters can also act as Wi-Fi Hotspots boosting the strength of your Wi-Fi signal throughout the Wi-Fi dead zones in your home. This is particularly useful for your mobile devices, such as an iPad, that cannot connect directly to a network cable.