Powerline - ethernet over power - does it work?

Posted on 2009-12-17
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
All -

Can anyone speak to the robustness of Powerline Adapters? I've been testing a set of these (Linksys PLTE200 and PLTS200) on my home network for a couple of days and they seem to work pretty well.

I tried them at a client's site, and they did not work so well there  (but I was not surpised at this).

My home network - going through the same power box, but on different circuits. All works well.

My client's network - different power boxes. The weird thing about this was that at my clkinet's site, the link lights showed a good connection, but I could not ping or connect to any network eqpt on the other end of the circuit.  

My questions - any experience with these over the long haul?

And on a technical note, it does not look like these devices get an IP address (at least I can not tell that they do through the management console/utility). They do have mac addresses (2 on each unit??) - does the fact that they do not have an IP address mean that they are working as network bridges?

Another question - these Linksys Powerlines come in 2 flavors, an 85 MB/s and a 200 MB/s (max) model. The latter is marketed specifically as an AV transport/delivery system. They are the same price. What gives with that? One reviewer mentioned that they had great luck with the 200MB model and no luck with the 85 MB model - at any speeds. But I did not see many commenters discussing this. . . . The 200MB/s version has 128 bit encryption compared to the 85MB/s version w/ 64 bit. It also seems that setting the encryption keys is more error-prone on the 200 MB/s vers.

What about compatibility? Can the 85MB/s and 200MB/s models be mixed on a single network? Is the 85MB model desirable because of compatibility w/ other vendor's Powerline systems?

Any expert information and experience with this would be appreciated.
Question by:dennis_burns
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    The 85MB/s are HomePlug 1.0 and the 200Mb/s are HomePlug AV the newer standard and are not backword compaible to the older ones.

    Almost all the newer ones are beiing sold support HomePlug AV now.,review-1333.html

    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    That was an interesting article there, CT. I searched for info on these but did not think about searching at Toms HW. The info in the article there was about what I expected to see.

    Have you used these at all?

    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    I have used the homeplug av ones. I have gotten around 125 to 150 mb/s on average.

    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment

    OK, thanks for the answer and for the link. I have decided to return all of the parts and pieces I acquired for testing. If I have any future clients calling for this kind of solution, I will consider re-purchasing them at that time.

    Since these were the slow models (85MB/sec), and since I have no immediate need for them, this is probably the best.

    It also looks like not too many people use these devices, based on the paucity of traffic generated by the question.

    Thanks, CT for the response.  

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