Powerline outlets: how to choose them?

If you’ve opted for powerline communication (PLC), don’t choose your PLC sockets haphazardly. Certain criteria are important to find the PLC outlets that best suit your needs. What speed to use, how many Ethernet sockets to plan, is a front socket required? We tell you everything to choose the best PLC box for your home.

Power line carrier: several types

Before choosing your outlet, remember that there are several powerline technologies available online. The user chooses according to his needs… and his constraints.

  • The wifi repeater is wired to the PLC box, itself connected to the modem via the electrical network. The repeater then distributes the WiFi signal to nearby users. You can also find outdoor wifi repeaters.
  • PLC has two boxes. The first is connected to the modem by an RJ45 cable; the second is connected to the television or to the ISP’s decoder. The signal circulates only from one box to another via the electrical network.
  • Le CPL Wifi is a hybrid socket using both technologies. It has an RJ45 cable for the Ethernet connection of one device and a Wifi connection for the others.

And the PLC kit, What is that ? It’s just two boxes in a set. They form the starter kit that will distribute the internet signal in the house. You can add a CPL adapter alone to equip an additional room.

A PLC box is always plugged into a wall outlet – never into a power strip.

To choose your PLC socket, what are the right criteria?

Each type of box corresponds to different installations. To choose the PLC socket that meets your needs, the main criteria are the type of connection, the speed, the number of Ethernet sockets, without forgetting the connection to an electrical socket in front of the house.

Type of connection: wired or Wifi PLC sockets?

As seen above, wired PLC sockets are connected by RJ45 or Ethernet cables. As for CPL Wifi sockets, they use Wifi waves to broadcast the data received via the electric current.

In both cases, the first box is installed on a wall socket near the router, to which you connect it by the Ethernet cable. The second CPL socket is installed in another room, near the equipment to be connected (the television, the computer, etc.), which you connect with the second Ethernet cable. As for the Wifi box, it connects directly to the devices, without prior installation.

The number of Ethernet sockets available

Most PLC boxes have an RJ45 output, which transfers data from the network to the equipment (TV decoder or computer). But some have two outputs, which allows you to multiply the possibilities.

Maybe you have several devices to connect in one room? Let’s imagine that the living room contains a television, a computer and a game console… In this case, it is in your best interest to choose a multi-socket kit, that is to say a box equipped with several Ethernet sockets (one for each activity ). Or a filtered pull-out socket (with female socket).

The speed of the PLC socket

The speed of the grip must correspond to the needs of your equipment. Carefully choose the appropriate flow rate; the pleasure of use goes through a good performance! Currently, the standard is between 500 and 600 Megabits per second (Mbps). But other speeds may be suitable for you:

  • With a flow of 300 Mbps, you are content with basic web browsing. You can surf freely, provided you have a sufficiently recent electricity network.
  • With 550 Mbps, the speed is sufficient to surf the web, play online games and watch High Definition videos.
  • With 600 Mbps, all users in a home have enough throughput for simultaneous use of their online activities. From this speed, opt directly for a socket with several Gigabit Ethernet ports.
  • If you go to 1200 Mbps, you can watch a movie in Ultra HD and VOD, or quietly play some video games that require a lot of bandwidth.
  • Currently, the maximum speed of a PLC network is 2400 This very high speed allows you to access HD streaming, online games and video calls, without any problem. To date, this is the most efficient PLC speed. And the most suitable for fiber.
  • Most attention : if you find a socket with an advertised speed of 1000 or 2000 Mbps, know how to read between the lines. For multi-socket kits, some manufacturers announce a huge speed,… but by adding the speed of each socket! Thus a theoretical speed of 2000 Mbps may only correspond to two sockets of 1000 Mbps… Be careful not to be disappointed by a real speed three or four times lower than announced.

The front socket

On the installation side, the connection of the CPL socket must be made on a socket on the front. If you plug your adapter into a simple power strip, expect a loss of signal quality! And this because of interference with other devices connected to the same network. The CPL socket must therefore be connected directly to the wall socket.

It is better to use a filtered pull-out socket, with an electrical socket on the front, or a CPL socket with several Ethernet ports. Boxes incorporating a front electrical socket have the advantage of being able to connect another device to the socket without disconnecting the PLC socket.

What lowers the flow… And how to fix it.

Several elements can reduce the speed, regardless of the powerline socket chosen.

  • The more your electrical installation is Ancient, the more you must choose a high bit rate to compensate for the low rate. Even if it means opting for a speed higher than your needs. Sometimes a direct connection to the modem is better than a connection via a CPL socket. Otherwise you still have to modernize your electrical installation!
  • More the distance between the socket and the modem is important, the less the flow is important.
  • Likewise, the more Name number of adapters, the lower the throughput.
  • The speed is better if you connect the CPL plug the most powerful on the modem (at the source of the network).
  • Remember to connect your CPL sockets on the front, to the socket mural. At the risk of repeating it, the speed will be lower if you use a power strip.
  • PLC sockets incorporating a filtered (filtered outlets with a female connector) improve throughput.

NB : Whatever their brand and their power, all PLC sockets are able to communicate with each other. With one exception: the old 85 Mbps adapters, which have become incompatible.

Advantages and disadvantages of powerline sockets

As a reminder, use PLC sockets in a house present three advantages undeniable:

  • Data transits more rapidly using electric current. This compensates for the loss of power linked to the distance of a device from the box or because of a thick wall which prevents the correct transmission of data via Wifi, for example.
  • You can put in network multiple devices, which makes it easier for you to share files (the size of shared files depends on the power of your speed).
  • Powerline sockets have excellent security. Data protection is more secure in an electrical network than in a WiFi network. In addition, some PLC sockets are equipped with a data encryption system.

As to disadvantages, we have already seen that they are related to the loss of flow depending on the configuration. Also watch out for their vulnerability to certain natural elements.

  • The distance between the box and the socket and the number of sockets therefore contribute to making lower performance. This can be remedied in particular by using filtered CPL sockets: ideal for boosting the flow.
  • Powerline adapters are sensitive to lightning. It is advisable to unplug them in the event of a storm. The solution is to install a surge protector on the electrical circuit at the level of the electrical panel.
  • It will also be ensured that the CPL sockets do not suffer from temperatures extremes. Overall, they operate correctly between + 5° C and + 35° C. Also avoid contact with the waterbut as with any electrical device.

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