Powerline Adapter Buying Tips
- You can use your Powerline Adapter to extend your existing Wi-Fi network. If your Wi-Fi router is tucked away and some distance from where you usually access the Wi-Fi (such as your Sky Q) then look for a device that will setup a new Wi-Fi hotspot closer to where you actually need it. The new Wi-Fi hotspot will almost certainly give you better Wi-Fi reception.
- If you are short of power sockets in a particular room, then consider a Powerline Adapter with a pass-through feature that allows you to plug other electrical devices into the Adapter.
- Go for the fastest device you can afford. Whilst the 300Mbps devices will be cheaper, they are only going to be suitable for general web browsing. If you want to stream movies and have several devices running at once in your home, then 1000Mbps plus is the way to go. Ideally go for a device that has Gigabit Ethernet ports if you can. It won't make any difference unless your computer and router are Gigabit Ethernet too but if they are then you're better sticking with the fastest version.You can use Gigabit with slower systems, as they are backwards compatible. You just won't see any speed benefit. If you use 10/100 Ethernet with a Gigabit system then you'll be pegged back to the slower protocol.
- Consider looks. It might seem vain but you probably don’t want a giant ugly thing sticking out of a power socket in your living room. BT’s Powerline adaptors, for instance, perform really well but are huge black beasts. If you can hide it away then fine. If it’s in plain sight you might prefer something less obtrusive.
- How many Ethernet ports do you need in the second room? My home setup requires at least two, and preferably three. My Sony smart TV needs one for iPlayer, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. My Sky+ box needs one for catchup TV. And sometimes I might want the fastest possible downloads on my laptop. My smart thermostat would also like to be on the ground floor, too, and that has an Ethernet gateway. Most Powerline adapters come with just the one Ethernet port, which is fine if you just need one or are happy to swap out the cables for the device you need at any one time. The TrendNet Wi-Fi Powerline adapter has two ports, as do many of the TP-Link models. Some, such as the , have three.
- If you want the fastest download speeds disconnect your phone and tablet chargers, wherever they are in the house. These things really mess with the speed as they cause huge interference on the powerlines.
- Try not to use the microwave while downloading.