Powerline Networking is frickin' awesome!

I have a quick question, do the powerline adapters have to be used in pairs or can there be an odd number of them?

I have three going. I think as long as they’re the same spec (the 85mb or 200mb), they’ll just all talk to each other like any other kind of network.

Yeah, I have three of the 200Mb adapters going without problems.

Thanks I thought it might with each one acting as a hub and only able to handle 200 mb total at one time.

I’ve got three. One hooks up to the router, one in my office and one in the living room.

Spotted on Techbargains: refurbed Netgear RB-XE104 for $25 + S&H. Basically it’s an 85Mbps Powerline adapter combined with a 4-port (100Mbps?) Ethernet switch; handy if you want to hook up multiple devices thru a single outlet and don’t want a separate switch cluttering up things.

Just snagged at Best Buy - a Cisco-Linksys PLK300 kit for $75 on clearance. These are 200Mbps w/ a 4-port switch on one adapter, single port on the other. Consider me a convert!

I had been skeptical of powerline working in my house across 2 separate breaker boxes, but it works quite well. These units are nice, as they look much like a small router and have a power cord rather than being a brick you plug straight into the wall. Makes arranging them a bit easier, and doesn’t block the other outlet at all.

I wish they weren’t quite as much of a “black box” - there doesn’t appear to be any way to access them as you would a router for configuration and information via a web interface. I guess since they’re basically a bridge there’s no real need to do anything, but it would be nice to see some stats and info.

At any rate this seems an improvement over the Belkin N setup I was using. No idea what speed they’re connecting at, but everything over the 'net seems snappier. Youtube doesn’t seem to stall as much, etc.

I just used large file transfer over the network as a metric for speed increase. 100-200k with G, 1.5-2MB with N, and 4-5MB with powerline. In addition, streaming from my PC and from netflix to my PS3 worked on a totally different level, with HD movies suddenly having effortless FF and RW where before there had been tremendous lag and occasional crashes.

This is the tech that DirecTV now uses, actually. My HD-DVRs stream to each other over the coax they have plugged in. There is a ethernet dongle box with a splitter for the coax, and the ethernet plugs into the box. I believe the newer set top boxes don’t need the external box.

Verizon’s FiOS routers and DVRs use MoCA too.

All the information I can find on security (in an admittedly brief search) just talks about the “ease of push button security” and other marketing fluff. Can someone confirm what kind of security the various systems use in terms of encryption key length and algorithms?

I live in an apartment complex near Silicon Valley and would prefer not to have some tech-savvy neighbor in the next unit either: 1) hax0ring my traffic, or 2) plugging in his own adapter and riding my cable modem.

The units exchange keys, you can’t just plug in a random third adapter without going through a key exchange initiated by an arcane button pressing ritual (it would be WAY easier if there were more than one button!)

I’ve got a pair and I think as long as you and any of you neighbors are separated by a meter (ie on your own line) you should be fine.

Has anyone tried mixing security codes between adapters from different manufacturers? Do they have to be plugged in to the site where they are going to be used or can I have them side by side in the same outlet?

I was curious about the security implications as well (and initially paranoid thanks to not realizing that my printer had inexplicably spawned temporary extra net presences while I switched it from wireless to wired), but the odds of someone having powerline and sharing a circuit with you, and somehow getting past the time sensitive syncing seem pretty slim to me, especially when compared to the risks of wireless.

Which, by the way, my E3000 on DDWRT somehow won’t allow me to turn off. I swear, next time I’m going to get a wired only router.

There’s some interesting information here: http://www.zibri.org/2009/03/powerline-ethernet-fun-and-secrets.html

I came across a much better article earlier but for the life of me I can’t find it again. Some interesting things from it I remember:

Mixing brands works but lowers your speed, unless they are the exact same chipset and firmware version. The adventurous can upgrade and downgrade.

You really want the 200s ones, even if you don’t need the speed. They are a completely different protocol and work a lot better overall. Running a mixed network of 200s and 85s is a bad idea.

A single plugged in device can have a huge impact. The guy figured out that one particular cell phone charger could mess it up.

Excellent information, although I’m not sure how to use it. Mine are both 200mbps sets, just one is the linksys pair and the other is the monoprice pair. I guess I must just be lucky since I’m getting close to his top speeds without any messing around.

I found one of the articles: http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/lanwan-basics/31238-slow-homeplug-five-ways-to-boost-powerline-network-speed

It must have been two articles, because that doesn’t cover the insane firmware stuff I remember. Some good tips though.

While browsing for new Powerline adapters, I discovered that TRENDnet and Netgear are coming out with new PL adapters which supposedly support the new 500Mbps spec. Looks like they’re about $80-$100 each, so not a cheap upgrade; but impressive if they can actually come close to that bandwidth. Don’t suppose anyone here “in the biz” has been lucky enough to test these suckers who could give some early reviews?

I’m begining to wish I’d picked up that netgear HT switch set to try for hooking up my 360/wii/bluray instead of another router in repeater mode. Netflix on the Wii is ok via wifi unless you want to FF or RW. Gonna try wifi on the new bluray player see how better it is.

Newegg now has the trendnet 500Mbps model in stock.

$159 for a pair… ouch. Think I’ll get that netgear switch at 200Mbps speed.