There might come a time when running your Ethernet cable to the wireless router in your home is no longer a viable option. In a situation like that, you are usually left with deciding what to do, and in most cases, users are required either invest in Wi-Fi Extenders or Powerline Adapters. Before we dig into the meat of this article, we must say that both technologies have their pros and cons. None are perfect, so once you’ve accepted that, you won’t be disappointed if they fail to work as advertised.
Powerline Adapters vs Wi-Fi Extenders
The question is, which one of the two is best for the job? We’ve done our investigation and decided it’s time to share our findings with all who are interested.
- What is a Powerline Adapter?
- What is a Wi-Fi Extender?
- Powerline Adapters vs Wi-Fi Extenders
- Can Powerline Adapters rival the Ethernet cable?
- Is it possible to use Wi-Fi Extenders and Powerline Adapters together?
1] What is a Powerline Adapter?
Should you decide to go out and purchase a powerline adapter kit, there are a few things you need to know.
You see, when you grab yourself a powerline adapter kit, you’ll notice that it comes with two adapters. One is designed to be plugged into your router, while the other is there to be plugged into your computer.
Once both adapters are up and running, they will proceed to communicate with each other via the electric circuits in your home.
How is this possible, then? Well, copper wires are quite interesting because they are not only capable of transferring electricity, but data as well. These things can extend the internet connection to almost any part of your home as long as those parts have an electric socket on standby.
Alternatively, one could choose to use a wireless powerline adapter if wires are too cumbersome. The wireless version takes advantage of the electric circuits as well, but when attached to the receiver, it produces a Wi-Fi signal.
2] What is a Wi-Fi Extender?
If you’re having problems with Wi-Fi in your home reaching all relevant floors and rooms, then many professionals would request the use of Wi-Fi extenders. It works by pulling on an already weak Wi-Fi transmitter, and from there, amplifies it before sending the transmission to other parts of the home.
We can say for certain that Wi-Fi extenders work quite well as these devices eliminate the need for wires all over the place by boosting coverage. From what we can tell, these devices tend to work quite well, hence their popularity in the consumer space and business.
Read: WiFi Extender vs WiFi Repeater – Which one is better?
3] Powerline Adapters vs Wi-Fi Extenders
In terms of which is better, we have to say it is pretty clear-cut from our point of view. You see, Wi-Fi extenders, while popular, have major problems with signal degradation. This is because the wireless signal is beamed from one location, then sent to another.
Now, since a building consists of many blockages such as walls, ceilings furniture, etc., one should expect further degradation in the quality of the signal, which reduces speed.
When it comes down to powerline adapters, these devices are more likely to retain much of the internet speed quality because it converts the data from your router, then send it to your computer through the electrical wiring in your home or business.
To get the most out of powerline adapters, you must first ensure your building is wired properly. The quality of the wiring determines how well data is passed through the electrical circuit, which means, this method might not be for everyone, unfortunately.
4] Can Powerline Adapters rival the Ethernet cable?
No, one should not expect a powerline adapter to deliver the same optimal performance as an ethernet cable, even if you have impressive electrical wiring at home. The simple fact is that ethernet cables are more reliable because they were built for the specific task of transferring data. The same cannot be said for your electrical circuit, therefore, if you want the best all-around performance, then you’ll have to deal with wires.
We should also note that powerline adapters and Wi-Fi extenders can overheat, which affects performance. This is not a factor where ethernet cables are concerned, so keep that in mind.
5] Is it possible to use Wi-Fi Extenders and Powerline Adapters together?
People with large homes can combine both powerline adapters and Wi-Fi extenders to boost internet connection throughout the building. Now, combing both may not deliver data in the way you want, but it could be sufficient enough.
Just bear in mind that not all products work well with each other, so you should do your own investigation to find out what works best from what doesn’t. You can also contact your local dealer to see if tech support can assist you with the information needed.
At the end of the day, though, all technologies listed here can improve your Wi-Fi range throughout your home, but before digging in, you must consider the potential setbacks that may arise.
Do Powerline adapters make Wi-Fi worse?
Theoretically, powerline adapters should not affect your router. Things should work just fine without any problems but always bear in mind that anything is possible.
How far do Wi-Fi extenders reach?
A typical wireless router can deliver Wi-Fi signals at up to 100 feet, which is quite small if you have a large home. However, when Wi-Fi extenders are brought to the forefront, they can deliver signals at up to 2500 feet.