Best Powerline Adaptors

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Page 2 for Best Powerline Wi-Fi extenders & Mesh Systems

Before mesh Wi-Fi was the trend, we had Powerline adaptors and Wi-Fi extenders. I would personally always suggest mesh of a Wi-Fi extender nowadays, but I am still a fan of the Powerline concept.

Anyone wanting to establish a high speed and relatively reliable connection between router and PC, or other wired networking device, could possibly benefit more from Powerline than mesh, or at least save some money.

Powerline uses your home electrical wiring for connectivity, acting as a sort of mid-way point between Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Like Wi-Fi, there are all sorts of caveats for its performance, and the numbers that brands advertise are extremely misleading. The quality of your home wiring, the distance between adaptors and what other electronics are plugged in can all affect speeds.

I would warn that there is no guarantee that Powerline will outperform Wi-Fi or vice versa. Tri-band Wi-Fi mesh systems alleviate many of the issues Wi-Fi extenders had, establishing a dedicated wireless backhaul. These systems will often outperform many powerline adaptors working in less-than-ideal scenarios.

I’d advise buying for a decent online store that has a favourable return policy so you can return if the performance does not meet your expectation. Though, this applies to most things.

There are a few different options with Powerline:

  • Basic adaptors that create a wired link between each other – these are good if you need to wire up something physically like a PC or even a wireless extender you already have.
  • Powerline with Wi-Fi extenders – the same as the above, but the output adaptor also provides Wi-Fi in the old-fashioned extender way with a different SSID
  • Mesh Wi-Fi powerline adaptors – the most expensive solution. These use the powerline connectivity as the backhaul between each satellite. Unlike the extenders, your network will have a single SSID allowing you to roam around the house without switching networks.

Devolo is the brand most famed for Powerline, and they claim to offer the best performing products thanks to the technology they use vs HomePlug AV. TP-Link is the main competitor with numerous options on the market, and Netgear has just one option.

Basic Powerline Adaptors

Devolo Magic 2 LAN Starter Kit – Closest thing you will get to running Cat5a/6 Ethernet

This is advertised as the fastest LAN kit on the market. It is not unreasonably expensive, if you are looking to create a physical connection between two rooms spending £85 on this is a lot less hassle than trying to route CAT6 cable around your home. I feel like they have cheaped out on a single gigabit output port, but gigabit switches are cheap enough.

TP-Link TL-PA9020PKIT – Alternative to the Devolo Magic 2 with more gigabit ports

Costing more than the Devolo Magic 2 with a lower theoretical speed, this option is less appealing. There are two-gigabit ethernet ports per plug which is the main advantage. With Internet price fluctuations, this is worth keeping an eye on.

TP-Link TL-PA7027P or TL-PA8010PKIT Powerline Starter Kit – Affordable Powerline options

Technically, all the TP-Link options are good, you can just pick one based on your budget and requirements. I pick this one because it is almost half the price of the Devolo while offering a decent rating of AV1000 which will translate to be much lower than gigabit.

The TL-PA8010PKIT for around £57 bumps up the theoretical speed to 1300 Mbps or a fiver more they have a model with 3-gigabit ports on the output adaptor. I’d argue that at £60-ish, you may be better off forking out the extra for the Devolo, which is classed as the fastest on the market and will offer the closest to gigabit Ethernet speeds as possible.

Last update on 2024-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. do powerline adapters need to be on the same electrical circuit ie controlled by the same fuse on the fusebox? I would assume they do.

    I was going to use that method to link to my garden studio but released it was on a separate circuit (actually on a separate fusebox)
    now use Google Mesh WiFi which is pretty good although I am sure there are better. i get 800mbs speeds if close enough to the wifi routers

    1. Yes, no, maybe. There doesn’t seem to be a definite answer. They can work across different circuits, but you may see a performance drop. This should also apply to different fuse boxes, it is the transformer it won’t get through.

      The only way to really know is to try it and see. If the Google WiFi already provides adequate speed to the garage, it is may not be worth the hassle.

      The Devolo Magic 2 would be your best bet, the technology seems to be able to negotiate the home wiring a little better, I got decent results in my garage with this.

      I ended up running Ethernet to my garage, pinning the cable down my wall, it is not the most elegant of solutions but it is low cost and the best performing.

  2. Hey,

    Does the powerline adapter cause any short-circuits, or is there any risk associated with it? Since I don’t have a powerline adapter yet, but this will be the first time I will be using a powerline.

    So, that’s why I’m asking, and I hope to get a positive response from you.

    1. There are no issues with short circuits the biggest issue you will have is the quality of your home wiring affecting the performance of the powerline, there is no way of knowing until you try. Similar to how mesh WiFi performance can vary a lot depending on the house.

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