Ethernet vs. Powerline vs. Wifi Adapter

Offloading HDDs and other functions to remote NAS or servers is increasingly popular
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Derek Semeraro
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:49 am

Ethernet vs. Powerline vs. Wifi Adapter

Post by Derek Semeraro » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:14 am

This is how I would rank the speed and stability of these connections.

1. Ethernet (by far the best option, though it's not feasible for all pc builds)
2. Good Powerline signal (which often depends on the electrical engineering of the building, it offers near-ethernet speed)
3. PCI-E Wifi Adapter
4. Bad Powerline signal (often reliable, but download speed could very slow)
5. USB Wifi Dongle (can be prone to disconnections on the slightest power issue)

Luke M
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:09 pm
Location: here

Re: Ethernet vs. Powerline vs. Wifi Adapter

Post by Luke M » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:05 am

I tried power line networking and it barely worked at all (tried in multiple locations in two buildings). WiFi is much more predictable in my experience.

Olle P
Posts: 675
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:03 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Ethernet vs. Powerline vs. Wifi Adapter

Post by Olle P » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:20 am

WiFi can be very much hit or miss if it works, depending on how many networks there are running in parallel at the site.
With a dozen or more networks fighting for channels it's a real pain to keep up the connection. IoT just makes things worse...

Some other options I'd like to mention:
* Token Ring. An obsolete up to 10 Mbps standard that was/is really fast relative to 10baseT Ethernet when there are many users connected. Back when hubs were used more often than switches and routers this made a huge impact.
* Fibre. Very high speeds. Allows for long distances between repeaters. Can't take tight corners though, and the cable is somewhat more fragile than Ethernet cable.
* Null modem. Serial cable directly between two computers and the type of "network" I used with my first computer. Recommended maximum cable length is 3m (10ft), but we used a high quality shielded cable that could carry the signal ~15m. Maximum speed was about 10 MB/h, so sending a 50MB game file took an entire evening...

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