Should I got fora wireless network, or use homeplugs?

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Matt_C, May 7, 2007.

  1. Matt_C

    Matt_C
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    Right, getting sorted with my internet set up in my new house now. PC is in the 2nd bedroom/office'y type place, where the b'band is piped in directly to that room from outside (cable)

    I also have a PC downstairs (it's a ghetto HTPC) and at some point I want to get a laptop - mainly so I can sit with it messing about on the net, msn, etc whilst watching TV in the living room downstairs, or use it when other peeps are round, so I don't have to be upstairs, and very occasionally I might want to use it in the garden on a particlary nice sunny day (hence the emphasis on the word "occasionally" ;) )

    The Cable modem I have connects to the PC directly via ethernet/cat5 cable upstairs, and what I DON'T want to do is run lengths of cat5 around the house, and even less so want to drill holes in walls/flooring/ceiling etc and have bits of conduit all over the place.

    So the idea was to get a wireless router, connect the modem to it, then the main PC (upstairs) connect to the router via ethernet cable, and the ghetto HTPC and laptop connect to it wirelessly....

    But then I got to thinking about these homeplug things. I reckon if I get a wired router (which I might be getting hold of a proper hardware firewall with built in 4 port ethernet switch/router) annd connected the PC directly to that (the firewall/switch), then took a cat5 patch cable to a homeplug upstairs, and fitted 2 downstairs - 1 for the HTPC, and the other with a 10ft cat5 cable for the laptop, which would be fine for sitting on both sofa's, and also enough length to reach out to the garden....

    I only thought of it as I heard these are supposed to be very good now, and are supposed to be faster than most basic wireless networks, and also, other than the lappy going from sitting room to garden (less than 10ft travel really) I won't be "roaming" all over the place (even I am not enough of a nerd to use a lappy whilst sat on the toilet - well, not yet anyway) And since I am poor, I'll most likely be getting an old laptop anyway, so will probably be tied down to using it with mains power anyway!

    What are people's thoughts on these homeplugs then? How much electricity do they sap? Ie, three homeplugs comparred to a single wireless router... How well do the *actually* work, and do they put any undue stress on the house mains wiring? (Bear in mind I would only be using the network connection for light internet use and possibly remote control over the upstairs PC via VNC or similar)
     
  2. J_C_COOL

    J_C_COOL
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    I kinda did both because I have a wireless 'black hole' by my av setup in my front room. Ive got the main pc upstairs where the BB comes into the house. That is attached to a wireless router via LAN. I then have another cable running to a 85mbps solwise home plug. Downstairs in the front room I have the other homeplug which goes straight to a 4 port switch, this in turn is connected to my HTPC and my Squeezebox.
    By doing this I have wireless around the house but also have the reliability and speed of LAN for my HTPC and squeezebox.

    The homeplug says it is connected @ approx 80mbps although I've never tested it. As far as I'm aware it doesn't put any strain on your home wiring and I've no idea how much leccy they use but they do get fairly warm.
    The homeplug is by far and away the easiest piece of networking I've ever done and so far has been 100% reliable.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. johnelf

    johnelf
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    Hi

    To be honest I too thought of Homeplug, having had some wireless blackspots.

    However, I decided to buy a Belkin Pre N MIMO router, and the wilreless signal on that is excellent throughout the house.

    Providing you purchase a similar or superior (wireless N), then the convienience of wireless you will love. Unless you live in a mansion or have walls like Dover Castle, wireless should suffice and far more convienient.

    Also handy for such likes as PSP PS3 etc!
    Only my thoughts which someone no doubt will flame !
    Regards

    John
     
  4. Matt_C

    Matt_C
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    Thanks guys - I'm really torn as they both seem perfectly suited! One the one hand, considering I have to add a router to my modem to expand from a single connection, adding a wiress router makes sense as it's one thing on it's own, and then the lappy and HTPC can connect wirelessly - nice and easy and no cables! YAY!

    But on the other hand, the homeplugs seem such a good idea - just plug in and your done! And seeing as the HTPC is fixed position, and the lappy is only ever likely to travel such tiny distances, the "contstraints" of a 10ft LAN cable isn't a major concern or hinderence....

    Only thing putting me off the Homeplugsis the cost - they aren't the cheapest things! I'd need three so guess it'd be about £100? I'd hopefully be getting a (wired only) firewall/ethernet switch for free so other than that it's just LAN patch cables - ten a penny these days...

    With a wireless set up I'd need the switch (aforementioned free one) plus a wireless access point, plus a wireless card for both the HTPC and the lappy - but I do think these three bits could be bought cheaper than 3 home plugs....

    Then with the home plugs there would be 4 plugs - 3x homeplugs and 1x PSU for the firewall/switch. With the wireless set up there would be 2 plugs - the firewall/switch and the wireless access point....

    Hmm - confusing after a while! My head hurts so I'm gonna numb it with another beer :D
     
  5. stewa

    stewa
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    I have two networks at home connect using a wireless bridge ( both running on the same subnet ). I bought a Linksys WRT54G ( there is also a version with more memory which is designed to be hacked ) and upgraded it with DD-WRT. The upgraded software adds a whole raft of additional features including the ability to act as a bridge between two wireless networks. If you get two or more of these you can also extend your wireless network using WDS mode to cover your whole house.
     
  6. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    The biggest negative with homeplugs is the cost. A pair of High Speed devolo ones will set you back £100. I have a Netgear 834G and use a pair of homeplugs too. My wireless connection is quite poor from upstairs to downstairs which is why I invested in th homeplugs.

    I have the second homeplug connected to an ethernet switch where I have three consoles connected simulatenously. The whole setup works flawlessly and think the homeplugs are a great investment.
     
  7. Chuck_Norris

    Chuck_Norris
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    i also use netgear homeplugs and as has been previously stated they are very easy to install/use and they work really well.

    everything seems to work alot faster and sharper now rather than when i was only wireless.

    Chuck:)
     
  8. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    If yo do get the devolo 85Mbps plugs, just note you'll need to update the firmware to use it on a 360.
     

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