back to article Powerline Ethernet group posts 1Gb/s spec

CES 2012 Week Powerline Ethernet promoter the HomePlug Alliance has published its latest technology update, offering a peak data transfer speed of 1Gb/s. That's the maximum physical data speed. Error handling and other network protocols will reduce the effective data rate to 500Mb/s. The electrical environment in which the …

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Silver badge
Trollface

I bet the Radio Hams cant wait

For the shiny beacon of PE to further intrude in their hobby.

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Holmes

Not the hams

It'll be the FAA or the CAA. The first civil airliner crash following loss of communications in the Air Band will bring rapid action and the knocks on the door.

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Anonymous Coward

In your dreams

Since it's been known for years that mobile phone onboard planes have little to no impact and stuff operating in the microwave band is much more dangerous to an aircraft than the radio band I think this scenario a little unlikely and a tiny bit sick. Besides which my PE stuff has been happily broadcasting straight up into a Heathrow approach path for years and I've never even seen a wobble goddamn it!
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Anonymous Coward
Yeah, all 4 of them
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50% overhead in protocol and error handling?!

-1 for El Reg missing the "Adept adopter's adapters"

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Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Buh-bye Wi-Fi

Seemingly every device I buy these days has an ethernet connection, so this is welcome news, because not all those devices support Wi-Fi, and those that do often have extremely flaky Wi-Fi hardware and/or drivers.

For example, my Panasonic Viera TV has ethernet but not Wi-Fi, and the "forthcoming Wi-Fi adaptor" never materialised for over a year after I bought the telly. When it did finally appear it cost nearly a 100 squid. What a rip-off.

As another example, the Wi-Fi hardware in my Samsung N-150 netbook is an extremely poor implementation that tends to "fall asleep" then refuse to wake up until I reboot. And the Wi-Fi in my (admittedly old) Acer Ferrari 4000 laptop seems to have a range of about 2 inches.

Even my Netgear DGN2000 router is crap at Wi-Fi. If try connecting with a mixture of "N" and "G" devices it craps out, and I lose all connectivity, so I have to force all my "N" devices back to "G" mode.

I get the impression that Wi-Fi is one of those technologies that nobody can get right, like "packet writing" CDs.

I'll be first in line to get these gigabit Powerline beauties.

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not just that

In the house I currently find myself powerline easily outruns Wi-Fi even when the signal is good and that's with wireless N on both sides. The issue isn't radio interference either because I only see 1 neighbor's Wi-FI and that is weak signal.

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Anonymous Coward

"The issue isn't radio interference either because I only see 1 neighbor's Wi-FI and that is weak signal."

Perhaps that's the problem. There is wideband interference, blotting out most of your own signal, and makings a neighbours look weak. If the interference was not there, you might be able to see 4 or 5 neighbours signals, plus have a good signal for your own network.

Huge chunks of the radio spectrum are being written off these days because of the number of poorly designed domestic devices that radiate hash and noise and are left powered 24/7. Ever considered why DAB radios and some other devices only operate close to a window? In the digital domain you don't become aware of interference. It either works or doesn't, and if the signal is poor, you get artefacts not "interference". At least in the analogue days you could see wavy lines on the TV picture or hear whistles/crackles/warbling on the radio, and you could often associate them with some device being turned on or off.

What the world actually needs (imho) is a "wall-wart" plug top Wi-Fi adaptor. Plugs into a normal socket with a little integral wifi antenna and provides an RJ45 interface (or 2 or 4), with some solid integral drivers and firmware built in.

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Silver badge

I only see 1 neighbor's Wi-FI and that is weak signal.

Could be Video Sender, loads of Bluetooth, wireless keyboard/Mice (there are 2.4GHz ones that don't use BT or WiFi), baby alarm etc. All those make the WiFi look poorer and never show up on a WiFi scan as they are not WiFi. Video Senders and Baby monitors are not even digital, even if called "digisender" and on a "digital set box".

Without a real Spectrum analyser it's impossible to say.

Each added Bluetooth device makes WiFi signal poorer.

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Silver badge
Solwise made such a walkwart last time I checked.
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Anonymous Coward

Powerline rocks

Despite a as-the-crow-flies distance of 6m, I just could not get a reliable WiFi signal in my sons room (for his sodding Xbox). CAT5 was out of the question, but 2 powerline adapters are perfect.

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Anonymous Coward

Yep, loving my 500-AV Homeplug network

Homeplug blows WiFi away, which was always unreliable and incapable of streaming media reliably.

With two cheap 500-AV devices I get a solid 120Mbps connection, and couldn't be happier. Great invention, and good to hear it's only going to get even faster (I reckon the 1GBps devices might be good for 250Mbps actual throughput in ideal conditions - the numbers they like to promote are pure fantasy).

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Flame

Oh no

Regular readers of my rants and anyone that knows anything about Communications engineers knows what I'm writing next.

Oh what is the point?

Why are the National regulators now only interested in Revenue and not in managing Spectrum and protecting Licensed Users?

I don't mean "Hams". Well not just hams. Aeronautical, AM Broadcast, Marine, Mobile are all licensed users and by international agreement entitled to protection.

People using the mains are only entitled to use it for power. Nothing else.

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Anonymous Coward

Boring.

That is all.

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Happy

Interference may be less of a problem now

I think the Powerline AV and AV2 specifications include notches which significantly reduce power in bands occupied by other users, such as DAB, aviation and amateur radio. Unfortunately I can't support this with a link, but I do remember it being addressed in a private briefing with Netgear in 2011. It was pretty clear that while they hadn't been openly acknowledged, concerns of other users had been taken up, so your rants may not have been wasted.
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Silver badge

"What the world actually needs (imho) is a "wall-wart" plug top Wi-Fi adaptor."

Actually they are called "Airpoints"

A thin cable connects the "wall-wart" to the part with the aerial so it can be off the floor and thus giver better range.

From £20 with a switch and Router included. You can turn of the Router, DNS Relay server + DHCP and just use them as Airpoints. With 4 ethernet ports. If you can put OpenWRT on it, you can reconfigure the 5th Ethernet post on the LAN and remove all the Router / Firewall modules.

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Facepalm

Tried it. It sucked.

I tried a couple of D-Link powerline adapters. They were a best buy in CS a while back. I could hardly get above a few megabits. Even when right next to each other (No I did not have any extensions etc in use at the time just plugged into the wall sockets). Now either I got a duff pair, have crappy electrical cabling (Possible) or they really don't work as advertised.

I'll still with my CAT5E cable for the time being.

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Thumb Up

They do work...

... but seem to be very sensitive to cable quality. Mine are no-name Ebuyer 85Mb/s jobs. Just having one of them on a four-way extension was enough to nobble 720p streaming. With them both plugged straight into a wall socket they'll do 1080p happily. It could be that yours were duff, of course...
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Anonymous Coward

Have they fixed

the horrible RF interference it produces, or is it still just a toy for the antisocial who can't be bothered wiring a proper network?

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What's wrong with good old CAT5e/CAT6 ethernet? You can buy decent quality reels from ebay, proper wall connectors, a crimper if required and RJ45 8PC heads for a few pence each. A few hours work and you'll have a 1Gbit/sec network throughout your house which is rock solid. Most home routers come with four ports by default, you can add more with a cheap switch. Powerline has its place in certain situations, but good old ethernet is ubiquitous, reliable and still unbeatable for it's speed.
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Unhappy

What's wrong is...

Six words: Ugly Wires All Over My House.

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