Multiple 500mbps powerline adaptors or network switch

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Upya, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Upya

    Upya
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    I'm not all that clued up with all things networking, so would be very grateful for some advice.

    I have recently bought some Devolo 85mbps homeplugs. I have one attached to my Virgin Media Superhub router downstairs in the dining room. I then have one plugged into my PS3 and one into my Sky+HD box (which are next to each other in my bedroom).

    I was going to buy some more of these homeplugs for the other DLNA enabled tv's, but thought I better check the performance of streamed movies through my PS3 first. Now most of the movies work fine, however the larger (better quality) movies stutter and aren't really watchable. I presume this is because the 85mbps is not sufficent for high quality video streaming?

    So I have decided to replace these with some 500mbps homeplugs, in the hope this will resolve the problem.

    I am currently looking at either the ZyXEL 500Mbps mini powerline adaptors or the D-Link DHP-501AV/B Powerline AV 500Mpbs adaptors or even these 7dayshop 500Mbps High Speed Mini Homeplugs. Does anyone have any comments on which would be the better products of these three? Particularly in relation to the ease of setup and performance for streaming high quality video files.

    My second question is that currently, I am using a homeplug for each one of my devices that I want to connect to my network, even if they are situated close together. Having done a bit of reading on here, I think I may be able to use a ethernet switch connected to a homeplug and then say plug my PS3, Sky+HD box and tv into the network switch and this would work just aswell as using 3 seperate homeplugs (one for each device). Is this correct?

    If so, I can obviously save myself some money (which is good as I already wasted almost £50 on the four 85Mbps homeplugs I recently purchased. Do I need to ensure I buy a gigabit ethernet switch and is there any particular models you would recommend?

    Finally, if I change over to 500Mbps homeplugs, would there be an advantage to streaming my media for a NAS, rather than the family PC?

    Many thanks for any help or advice you can give me.
     
  2. cjed

    cjed
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    It will probably make things better, but homeplug performance is very dependent upon your mains wiring and interference on it.

    Yes, and I think that using the single homeplug link with a switch will give you better overall performance than multiple homeplugs as the homeplug links are exclusive and half-duplex (when one homeplug is sending data, none of the others can). While the devices connected to the switch will be operating at full duplex and can send concurrently (the switch will sequence the packets over the single homeplug link). Also, any data passing between the devices connected to the switch will not need to go across a homeplug link.

    I'd certainly recommend a gigabit switch, it provides better overall bandwidth for future use and they're not all that much more expensive nowadays. Check the TP-LINK 5 port Gigabit switch on Amazon. It's currently around £16.

    This depends upon how you are streaming the data from the PC to the other devices. If you're using the PC to run a DLNA server for streaming from, then replacing it with a NAS will be difficult as they generally don't have the processing power to do transcoding. However, if you're just using the PC to share files , and you use a quiet NAS, then it can be located close enough to the switch to connect directly to it, then you avoid the streamed data from going over the homeplug link at all :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  3. mickevh

    mickevh
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    That should be fine. A small ethernet switch is probably going to be cheaper than three HomePlugs. For reasons I won't get boring about, it may actually work (slightly) better than multiple HomePlugs.
     
  4. Upya

    Upya
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    Many thanks for the advice.

    I have ordered four ZyXEL 500Mbps mini powerline adaptors and a 5 Port ZyXEL GS105B 10/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Switch from Scan (and I am going to see if I can get Currys to refund me on the four 85mbps homeplugs, you never know!).

    Hopefully these new 500mbps adaptors will allow me to stream high quality video files without any buffering or stuttering and improve the speed of files around my network.

    I really hope so, as frankly I have had a nightmare with DLNA so far and I am just about to return the Toshiba 42LV863 that I bought yesterday from Richer Sounds as its file compatibility over DNLA is awful and it refused to play any videos with Dolby Digital (AC3) audio codecs, despite playing them find via its own USB port.

    I am going to swap it for a Samsung UE40ES5500 and I am just keeping my fingers crossed that this set is more accepting of playing different files types over DLNA.

    For now, I am going to try to get to grips with getting movies streaming over DLNA via my pc running smoothly and simply enough for my wife to be happy and confident enough with using it, without complaining that a DVD player is easier and that we should have got a tv/dvd combo for the kids room, lol. If I ever manage that I will start to think about a dedicated NAS.

    Thanks again for your help, I'll update this thread on how I get on with the new 500mbps adaptors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  5. deadmonkey

    deadmonkey
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    If you connect two computers at other ends of your home plugs and share a folder from one to the other, then you can use a tool such as crystal disk mark to measure the actual performance CrystalDiskMark - Software - Crystal Dew World
     

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