Tired of a spotty wireless network impeding your home Internet use? Walls, ceilings and distance all conspire to degrade the strength of wireless signals, which can make it difficult to stream movies or even just browse the Web in certain parts of your home. Fortunately, there's a piece of technology that can bypass the downsides of wireless and bring high-speed Internet to every room in your home. You can buy adapters that piggyback on your existing electrical wiring to transfer data – and they’re easy for homeowners to install without the assistance of an electrician. Read on to learn more about how to use your electrical system to harness the power of the Internet.
The Internet in Your Walls
With Netflix, Spotify, email and Facebook, the Internet has become an integral part of our home activities. Wireless networks are a decent solution for broadcasting your signal through the home, but when they don't get the job done, you need a more hard-wired way to go. In the past, that might mean paying an electrician to run ethernet cords through the walls. Today, you have access to products like powerline adapters, which use your existing wiring as a data connector.
The adapters are simple to use. All you have to do is connect the device to your modem or router and plug it into a wall socket. Then, anywhere you want to use the Internet, just plug another adapter into the wall and connect it to the device in question. In lieu of plugging in every computer or Internet device in the house, you can also use powerline adapters to set up mini wi-fi networks in various rooms so you can still take advantage of the flexibility of wi-fi without the disadvantages of weak signals from far away routers.
Some Flies in the High-Speed Ointment
Of course, powerline adapters aren't perfect, and for a variety of factors, they don't always reach the blazing-fast speeds that they advertise. Various models claim to clock in at 200, 500 and 1,200 Mbps, but they never really came close to those speeds during testing by PC Advisor. For one thing, your electrical system can slow down the signal with old wires, power fluctuations, noise in the wires and interference from the circuit breaker. Charging up devices like cell phones and tablets can also interfere with the signal.
What's more, the data speed can be limited by the capabilities of the ethernet cord you use or the device itself, not to mention the speed of the internet coming into your modem. Nevertheless, the adapters are still almost always a better bet than wireless when it comes to speed.
If you have any questions about the suitability of your home for powerline adapters, call your local electrician today.