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back to article Netgear launches next-gen powerline Ethernet kit

Netgear has announced what may well be the world's first consumer networking products based on the as-yet-unratified IEEE P1910 next-gen powerline Ethernet standard. Netgear's Powerline AV 500 series comprises single-adaptor and two-adaptor starter kits. Each adaptor delivers speeds of up to 500Mb/s, Netgear said, fed through a …

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FAIL

Reliability

My experience with 'homeplug' devices in three installations is that they are all flaky and curiously sensitive to location. One only works on a particular socket in an office with half a dozen outlets all on the same wiring loop, and another only works in certain parts of a house, thus defeating the object, as it was to replace a wireless system that only worked.. etc.

Perhaps speed is not the issue that needs to be addressed.

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Happy

Re: Reliability

James: I'm in a similar position - some wireless hardware (like my Canon printer) work fine. Other stuff, like the main Windows PC, kept dropping connection. So I went to PLE to get around this - and it worked fine for a while. Then I started get a problem where a particular client adaptor (one connected to the PC's, rather than the "server" adaptor connected to the router) would fail and I'd have to swap in a spare. Then, when after a couple of days the "spare" would fail, I could swap in the old adaptor which would work fine ... for a couple of days.

Eventually I got tired of this "musical chairs" and switched from Solwise PL-200's to Devolo AVsmart+ adapters, which have proven to be 100% reliable, although strangely enough, slightly slower than the Solwise ones. I wonder if these new Netgear adaptors have the musical chair "feature" or are Devolo-reliable?

But then again, someone's bound to point out that ALL PLE adaptors are the spawn of the devil because of the havoc they wreak on radio hobbyists.

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On off on off

Well when wireless came out I thought that killed the Homeplug/powerline kits, certainly as then they only claimed up to 14mb/s. However now I am a wireless specialist I can see wireless technology only getting worse in the home environment. So with most low end home systems remaining on 2.4ghz with only 3 none over lapping channels and everyone of them on MAX POWER were going to see wireless becoming unusable. Now with PowerPlug devices running from 100mb/s up to 500mb/s and beyond wireless is certainly going to be challenged and confined to starbucks, cafe's, casual surfing rather then streaming proper HD films which 802.11G doesn't really do.

A nice idea for new poweline devices would be to provide 802.3af power over ethernet. How cool would that be, So when you do need to place an AP you have the option if you do have power but no structured cabling. OMG Laptops could be charged via the Ethernet! What a neat idea.

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Split phases

Some houses have the outlets balanced across two or more phases. You have to make sure the two outlets you link are on the same phase. This can't really be addressed. If you can't find a location where the far end adaptor works, move the first adaptor to a different outlet.

Powerline adaptors in US and Canada can be challenging too, as each circuit comes out of a breaker panel, rather than the busway-like system used in the UK. The extra there and back wiring can degrade the RF. Though most homes in the US and Canada only have single phase electrical systems.

As far as reliability goes, I've heard bad things about Solwise. But I've never used them. But it seems that IPTV STBs are really driving powerline networking development now.

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Silver badge

Got to wonder..

..how far up the pipe the signal travels. Can a neighbour on the same phase snarf your packets? Everyone attached to the same line coming from the substation? What happens if your neighbour also has power line ethernet?

Wonder how long it'll be before WPA for power lines?

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Gold badge

Speed selection

"Eventually I got tired of this "musical chairs" and switched from Solwise PL-200's to Devolo AVsmart+ adapters, which have proven to be 100% reliable, although strangely enough, slightly slower than the Solwise ones."

Not strange at all. I've seen this with modems, with wireless adapters, all kinds of kit where there's multiple speeds to choose from -- brand A will just try blasting along at full speed or close to full speed, while brand B in the same conditions will recognize conditions aren't good enough for that and drop the speed down a tick.. so A will run faster for those moments when it's working, while B is a little slower but actually reliable.

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Anonymous Coward

PLT/Homeplug

Just dont try and use any radio receivers, or DAB and may be a

problem with the airband if used near a airport.....These units are

dirty transmitters......

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