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What are powerline adapters?

It seems like almost everything is connected to the internet these days. Computers, home entertainment systems, video game consoles, IoT devices, etc., all rely on a stable and fast internet connection. The most convenient way to get all your devices online is to use your home or office Wi-Fi network.

ContentsWhat are powerline adapters?How do powerline adapters work?Advantages of powerline adaptersDisadvantages of powerline adaptersConclusion

Unfortunately, Wi-Fi isn't always convenient, as it often suffers from slow speeds and dead spots. Getting around the pitfalls of wireless Internet often involves hard-wiring your devices to the Internet via an Ethernet cable.

However, unless you want cables running all over your floors or you spend time running cables through your walls, all hard-wiring probably isn't the avenue you want to take. Fortunately, there is another much more practical solution:powerline adapters.

What are powerline adapters?

Powerline adapters are small devices that use the existing electrical wiring in your home to provide a data (internet) connection. They are affordable and easy to install, making them an attractive option for establishing data connections between devices and a router. Powerline adapters are a good solution for common network problems, including:

What are powerline adapters?

Take the second adapter and plug it into an electrical outlet near the device you need to connect to your network (e.g. PC, Smart TV, games console, etc.). Finally, connect the second adapter to the device via an Ethernet cable. Both adapters detect each other on your home or office electrical wiring and automatically begin transmitting and receiving data. There is no lengthy setup process or fiddling with drivers.

Advantages of powerline adapters

Wi-Fi is a wireless Internet connection that transmits data by radio waves. This can be problematic, especially for larger homes and offices. This is because wireless signals can be impeded by walls and floors.

As a result, some areas of your home or office may not be able to receive a signal from your Wi-Fi router. Powerline adapters can make networking easier using existing electrical wiring in the walls of your home or your desktop to extend data connections to devices in those Wi-Fi “dead spots”.

What are powerline adapters?

Also, some devices require a more stable network connection than Wi-Fi can provide. The data connection provided by powerline adapters is often more reliable, capable of delivering consistent speeds. This is perfect for devices such as video game consoles and PCs used for gaming, where network latency (the time it takes for a packet of data to get from one point to another) can make or break online correspondence. Additionally, powerline adapters can be used to connect older devices that do not have built-in Wi-Fi internet connectivity.

What are powerline adapters?

Finally, powerline adapters can be more secure than wireless networks. This is because powerline adapters use your home's copper electrical wiring to transmit data. This makes it virtually impossible for hackers to gain access to devices connected to your network via powerline adapters.

Disadvantages of powerline adapters

Although powerline adapters may seem like a quick and easy way to connect all your devices, there are some downsides. First of all, powerline adapters depend on the electrical wiring of the house. Homes and offices with older wiring may be incompatible with powerline adapters. Unfortunately, there's really no way to test whether or not they'll work for you. You just have to try them and hope for the best.

What are powerline adapters?

Additionally, electrical wiring can be susceptible to electrical interference, especially with "high load" appliances and appliances. Items such as vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, and microwaves can all interfere with the data connection being transmitted over your wiring. This can cause connection dropouts or significantly slower speeds.

What are powerline adapters?

Finally, using powerline adapters can be expensive. Most powerline adapter kits can only connect one device to the network. This requires more powerline adapters depending on the number of devices to be connected. Depending on your individual needs, it may be more cost effective to simply purchase a more powerful router capable of greater range and speed.


Powerline adapters greatly simplify networking. They provide a user-friendly solution for connecting all of your devices to the internet, while delivering consistent speeds and reliability. That being said, they can be much more expensive depending on your needs.

Do you use powerline adapters? What is your opinion of them? Let us know in the comments!