Author Topic: Powerline Networking  (Read 914 times)

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gmiller1977

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2021, 10:22:01 am »
That's crazy! Copper causes the wire to oxidize faster for sure.  If the box is old, and it's sparking, you can replace it with a newer box that is more compabile with alumnium.  I think there are kits to insulate the ends of the wire too.

Offline Jason

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2021, 09:38:06 pm »
That's crazy! Copper causes the wire to oxidize faster for sure.  If the box is old, and it's sparking, you can replace it with a newer box that is more compabile with alumnium.  I think there are kits to insulate the ends of the wire too.

We've had them all replaced with aluminum sockets which aren't that easy to find from what the electrician told me.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline fox

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2021, 01:22:19 pm »
The D-Link Powerline Av-2 1000 works pretty well. Installation was easy; there was nothing to fiddle with. You plug one of your adapters into the wall and an Ethernet port on your router. You plug the other one into an outlet near your computer and connect it to the computer with an Ethernet cable. The kit provides two Ethernet cables, though they're pretty short (3'). Speed was pretty good. I tested with Ubuntu on Firefox, and here are some comparative results:
- Powerline on Ubuntu - max 8.3 MB/sec; sustained ~7 MB/sec
- Same as above, but plugging Powerline into a power bar - max 3.5 MB/sec; sustained < 3 MB/sec
- LinkSys USB wifi dongle on Ubuntu - max 17.8 MB/sec; sustained ~8 MB/sec
- Direct Ethernet connection with Firefox on 2014 iMac running MacOS Big Sur - max 31.5 MB/sec; sustained ~25 MB/sec

It surprised me a bit that the USB wifi dongle was faster, though not much on a sustained basis. I'm guessing that the degradation through the house wiring is greater than that in the air. My computer is about 7 m away from the router, both on the same floor, with 1 wall and part of another separating the two and the kitchen in-between. Download speed took a big hit when I plugged the powerline adapter into a power bar at the computer side. This cut the download speed in half relative to plugging the powerline adapter directly into an outlet, but even there, the speed was 4-5x greater than when I tried the same kind of setup with a range extender and an Ethernet cable from the extender to my computer. (Also plugged into the power bar; I didn't know at the time that power bars degrade the signal.)

So is this worth buying? Assuming that your house wiring is OK and you can plug both adapters into plugs using the same panel box, and your wifi connection isn't so good, then I would say yes. I suspect that the degradation rate with distance to router and walls between them is greater with wifi than with this device. In my case, I think that it was the opposite only because I have a relatively ideal wifi situation. So why is this worth it to me when the wifi connection is stronger? It's specific to my 2019 iMac. My internal wifi doesn't work on Linux and for some reason, plugging in any more than 3 usb devices into this device causes it to freeze most of the time when booting up Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. (For some reason, 20.10 is fine, but it has a brightness problem that 20.04 doesn't have.) My usb wifi requires a 4th usb port. The other reason is that my Linksys usb wifi needed a non-automatic driver installed, so when testing a different distro, it doesn't see the wifi whereas it always sees an Ethernet connection. If the powerline keeps running like it is now, I would say it's worth the extra $80 to me.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 04:19:30 pm by fox »
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline Jason

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2021, 03:22:55 pm »
When you say "mb/s" do you mean megabytes or megabits? I assume the first or you'd probably say the connections but I just wanted to clarify. I think what Bill does and appears to be the correct way to do it is to Mb when referring to megabits and MB when referring to megabytes. For example, my internet connection is about 40 Mb/s which converts to 5 MB/s. I won't get into MiB and Mib for sake of simplicity.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline fox

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2021, 04:21:02 pm »
Megabytes per second; fixed. My connection is either 300 Mb/s or 500 Mb/s; I'm not sure which.
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

gmiller1977

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2021, 08:07:33 pm »
We've had them all replaced with aluminum sockets which aren't that easy to find from what the electrician told me.

You don't need to use aluminium for the boxes, there are other metals that work.

gmiller1977

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2021, 08:10:25 pm »
Megabytes per second; fixed. My connection is either 300 Mb/s or 500 Mb/s; I'm not sure which.

MegaBYTES?  How are you testing this?

Offline fox

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2021, 11:04:45 pm »
I am testing this by looking at the download in Firefox. It gives the download speed as you are downloading.
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline Jason

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2021, 09:04:10 pm »
MegaBYTES?  How are you testing this?

Using the parlance I mentioned, Fox is referring to BITS, not bytes. You must have amazing internet!
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline fox

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Re: Powerline Networking
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2021, 08:14:42 am »
Using the parlance I mentioned, Fox is referring to BITS, not bytes. You must have amazing internet!
Yes, my service is crazy fast (500 Mbps download & upload); much more than I need. This is the result of Bell promos that kept increasing my speed without costing more money. They even offered to double what I have for another $10/mo, but I declined. This speed is wasted on me; we don't stream a lot and the only big downloads I ever do are to try out distros. That's why the slowdown using the powerline device doesn't matter. Before I switched from Cogeco, my internet package was 60 Mbps download, and that was fast enough.

I have now been using the powerline device for three days and so far, so good. Everything seems to work better on my 2019 iMac with the Ethernet-connected device than with my Linksys USB adapter, though don't ask me why. Perhaps it relates to power draw? The other day I downloaded Manjaro KDE version just to try it, and it was worth it to have internet connected automatically with the live distro. It does make my mad, though, that no distro recognizes the internal wifi card (BCM 4364 rev 3), nor the internal sound and mic of this very nice computer. But I'm now so used to Linux (at least Ubuntu), that using the Mac OS now is more difficult.

Update: I have now been using the D-Link Powerline for two weeks. Still very fast; no issues.

Update 2: Still working well for me. I noticed I am getting download speeds as high as 9 MiB/s.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 11:49:28 am by fox »
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1