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d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
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PoE vs Bridge vs ??

Hey guys the situation basically is, I have a very powerful Dlink Wireless N Xtreme router but it is at one end of the house (2nd floor corner and cannot be moved) while our main TV is at the other end of the house on the 1st floor. I am trying to stream 1080p content on it and it buffers too much. According to the router, TV is only fetching 50% signal. Now, how I see it, I have 2 options;

1) Power over Ethernet (house is new, 90s)

2) Wireless bridge

Which do you think is more reliable and would provide the TV with a faster connection? I am also open to other suggestions. A bridge would be nice because I could then connect multiple devices to it (such as bluray player) but I don't mind only having 1 plug and physically switching which device it is plugged into. Will a wireless bridge amplify the wireless signal or will it just provide me with a hardwired connection? Meaning the TV would still ultimately get 50% connection.

If anyone knows of any solid solutions for $50-60, I'm all ears!
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cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
By "power over ethernet", I assume you really mean "ethernet over power" (running your network through electrical outlets with one of these). To do that, you'd need one of those devices on either end, and if you're going to hook up multiple devices, you'll need either a wired switch or an access point on your TV end.

It'll likely be cheaper going with a wireless bridge. You'd need an access point or a wireless router that's capable of acting as a repeater. You can put that halfway between your router and your TV and it'll essentially broaden the range of your router. With this method, you only need to buy one thing, as long as all your devices can connect wirelessly.


Guspaz
Guspaz
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join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
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reply to d4m1r
"Power over Ethernet" is a standard for pumping extra electricity into an ethernet cable with the goal of providing power to a device at the other end of that cable. As cybersaga mentions, you seem to be talking about powerline networking, the most common protocol of which is HomePlug AV.

The simplest solution may be to use a HomePlug AV wifi access point, something like this:

»www.netgear.com/home/products/po···201.aspx

The kit comes with two devices, one is a simple ethernet-to-powerline bridge that connects to your broadband router. The other device is a standalone wifi access point that you place near your television so that all your home theater equipment connects to that.

There may be cheaper models out there, this is just the first one I looked for. I would suggest using HomePlug AV 500 rather than 200; the real-world speeds are much lower than the rated speeds, and speeds degrade with distance/home wiring quality, so you want to go with the newer version (500) to ensure that you've got a stable connection that is fast enough. Even the 500 devices will only do 35 Mbps in some locations in the home, it seems. Here's a small roundup from a few years ago:

»www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/l···&start=2
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d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
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reply to d4m1r
Thanks for the replies guys and yes, I meant powerline ethernet. So I am still wondering though, which do you think will work better given my circumstances?
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TypeS

join:2012-12-17
London, ON
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reply to d4m1r
Nothing is going to amplify the original signal while keeping the same hardware. I'm going to assume you're TV has built-in wireless and this what it's using? Could be the built in wireless card and antennas just aren't strong enough.

In which case a wireless bridge that works on 5GHz might be able to get better signal and give you Ethernet ports for the TV and other devices.

Something like this from Cisco/Linksys: »store-ca.linksys.com/en-ca/adapt···prod.htm

I'd recommend buying it from somewhere where you can return it for 100% refund no questions asked in case it doesn't improve your situation. That bridge has a 4-port 10/100 Ethernet switch on it, so you could connected 3 other devices other than your TV.

Staples seems to have the lowest price and stock right now: »www.staples.ca/en/Linksys-WES610···T:354920

I'm not a fan of Powerline kits, never played with them, but if you dont want to run Ethernet, that is your next best bet. Could buy a kit again from somewhere that gives you 100% refund on return so you can try it out.


somrandomguy

@distributel.net
reply to d4m1r
If you use the wireless bridge as an AP mode (repeater/WDS) you get half the bandwidth as it has to relay it.

Using the ethernet over powerline option is probably the best for high bandwidth options


cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
said by somrandomguy :

If you use the wireless bridge as an AP mode (repeater/WDS) you get half the bandwidth as it has to relay it.

Using the ethernet over powerline option is probably the best for high bandwidth options

But on the flip-side, the ethernet over powerline will bust through that $50-60 budget for sure. I've never done it, but from the prices I've seen, you're probably looking at a couple hundred.

I guess you're looking at one of those cost vs. quality scenarios.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by cybersaga:

But on the flip-side, the ethernet over powerline will bust through that $50-60 budget for sure. I've never done it, but from the prices I've seen, you're probably looking at a couple hundred.

Pfft, no way. A twin pack of 500Mbit adapters (which are good real-world for about 100-200) will set you back $50-$70. The ZyXELs I use at the store cost me $59.99 for two.


Guspaz
Guspaz
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join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
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said by Gone:

said by cybersaga:

But on the flip-side, the ethernet over powerline will bust through that $50-60 budget for sure. I've never done it, but from the prices I've seen, you're probably looking at a couple hundred.

Pfft, no way. A twin pack of 500Mbit adapters (which are good real-world for about 100-200) will set you back $50-$70. The ZyXELs I use at the store cost me $59.99 for two.

Going to be the cost of a wireless AP on top of that if the powerline adapters don't have it built in, or an ethernet switch if not going wireless (to get more than just the TV connected, like also the bluray player).
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Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
Okay, $20 for a wireless AP or a gigabit switch on top of the cost of the powerline bridges. Either way, it's still less than $100, not "a few hundred"


d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
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reply to d4m1r
Picked up a set of Asus powerline adapters from Canada Computers last night ($39 after $20 mail in rebate) and they did the trick...Didn't even bother to open the wireless stuff I bought along with it to test. They are 200mbps units but I am now able to stream stuff downstairs with minimal buffering.

Now my question is, could I plug the downstairs adapter into a regular unmanaged switch and then connect multiple things into that switch? This would mean I'd have multiple devices connected through powerline ethernet and I'm wondering if there would be any problems/downsides to this?
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cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
Nice! That's not a bad price.

I've never used them, but from what I've read, they act the same as if you had run a plain old ethernet cable. So yes, you should be able to plug in a switch. You'll just be sharing the 200Mbps (that the powerline hardware is rated for) between all the devices.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to d4m1r
said by d4m1r:

Now my question is, could I plug the downstairs adapter into a regular unmanaged switch and then connect multiple things into that switch? This would mean I'd have multiple devices connected through powerline ethernet and I'm wondering if there would be any problems/downsides to this?

Yup you can do it no problem, and there's no downsides other than the fact that the 200Mbit/s adapters most likely won't be as fast as 100Mbit/s Ethernet. The 500Mbit/s adapters would have been a bit better, but since 200 accomplishes what you want you're good either way.

The 500Mbit/s adapters we have here at the shop are sync'd at 150 right now. A 200 would probably be about half that.


d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
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said by Gone:

said by d4m1r:

Now my question is, could I plug the downstairs adapter into a regular unmanaged switch and then connect multiple things into that switch? This would mean I'd have multiple devices connected through powerline ethernet and I'm wondering if there would be any problems/downsides to this?

Yup you can do it no problem, and there's no downsides other than the fact that the 200Mbit/s adapters most likely won't be as fast as 100Mbit/s Ethernet. The 500Mbit/s adapters would have been a bit better, but since 200 accomplishes what you want you're good either way.

The 500Mbit/s adapters we have here at the shop are sync'd at 150 right now. A 200 would probably be about half that.

Thanks but this is all limited by my internet anyway. I've got a 45/4 connection so what difference would have 500mbps vs 200mbps made? The only downside is that the adapters are 100mbps and NOT gigabit like the rest of my network. But in terms of adapters->router (internal network), 200mbps is plenty because my external connection is a quarter of that.

My whole network is gigabit via cat6 cabling but the downstairs stuff I don't really care about because I don't use it that much so I just need it to work I don't like having cat5 and only fast ethernet stuff on my network but I'll make an exception lol...
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Guspaz
Guspaz
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join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
said by d4m1r:

Thanks but this is all limited by my internet anyway. I've got a 45/4 connection so what difference would have 500mbps vs 200mbps made? The only downside is that the adapters are 100mbps and NOT gigabit like the rest of my network. But in terms of adapters->router (internal network), 200mbps is plenty because my external connection is a quarter of that.

That's the maximum theoretical PHY rate, which is nowhere near what they deliver in the real world. In practice, the 200 meg adapters are likely to deliver 35-45 mbps. In other words, slower than your internet connection.

If you had wanted to be able to get 45/4 through the powerlines, you'd need to have bought the 500 meg units.
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d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
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said by Guspaz:

said by d4m1r:

Thanks but this is all limited by my internet anyway. I've got a 45/4 connection so what difference would have 500mbps vs 200mbps made? The only downside is that the adapters are 100mbps and NOT gigabit like the rest of my network. But in terms of adapters->router (internal network), 200mbps is plenty because my external connection is a quarter of that.

That's the maximum theoretical PHY rate, which is nowhere near what they deliver in the real world. In practice, the 200 meg adapters are likely to deliver 35-45 mbps. In other words, slower than your internet connection.

If you had wanted to be able to get 45/4 through the powerlines, you'd need to have bought the 500 meg units.

Ah, that clears it up....Well, I guess an easy way to test would be to plug in the hardwire into a laptop downstairs and do a speed test. If it gets a reasonable portion of my total speed I'll keep em, if not, looks like I'll have to go the 500meg route...
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Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to d4m1r
Yeah, the only way to know is to actually test it. There is a ton of variation in this. Different models from different brands perform very differently, and the quality of the wiring, the location in the house, all of this can have a big impact.

Even if you don't get 45 megs, you probably don't need full speed for streaming. I mean, Netflix doesn't go over about 8 meg for the total stream with overhead for Super HD.
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d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
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said by Guspaz:

Yeah, the only way to know is to actually test it. There is a ton of variation in this. Different models from different brands perform very differently, and the quality of the wiring, the location in the house, all of this can have a big impact.

Even if you don't get 45 megs, you probably don't need full speed for streaming. I mean, Netflix doesn't go over about 8 meg for the total stream with overhead for Super HD.

Will do and post back. I'm not even using Super HD, just a straight 1080p stream which means I need ~3.5MB/s consistent which is only 28mbps. If the Asus 200mbps powerline adapters pull at least that, I'll be happy
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Guspaz
Guspaz
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join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to d4m1r
I think you're mixing megabits and megabytes. Netflix's HD is 3.6 megabits per second before overhead, which is 0.45 megabytes per second. That's just the video, though, on top of that is audio and overhead. SuperHD is 8 megabits per second after all the audio/overhead.
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Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to Guspaz
Click for full size
said by Guspaz:

Yeah, the only way to know is to actually test it. There is a ton of variation in this. Different models from different brands perform very differently, and the quality of the wiring, the location in the house, all of this can have a big impact.

Most adapters include a utility that shows actual sync rate. This is what I see for my 500Mbit Zyxel adapters. The Ethernet interface on them is Gigabit so I can actually pull through more than 100Mbit/s. Some are only 100, which limits things. Either way, the Valet M10 we have use as a supplementary AP in the warehouse that's connected to the bridge only has a 100Mbit Ethernet port anyway. The adapters serve their purpose and they serve them rather well.

Anything powerline is going to be more than enough for most Internet connections. It only starts to potentially become an issue when you're talking about moving a lot of data across the network.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to d4m1r
It's rather telling, though, that you're only syncing at 27% of the rated speed, and that still isn't going to be the real-world throughput.
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Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
They're used in a commercial building with hundreds of watts of old-style fluorescent ballasts running during the day. Once the lights are off the sync rate increases considerably.

Either way, it gets the job done. It's still able to drive the 802.11n AP at full speed.


d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
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reply to d4m1r
1) Just tested it at 6:30pm on a weekday afternoon. I am getting 24-28MBps when my laptop is directly connected to the router.

2) Through powerline (downstairs and other side of the house) I am getting 19-24MBps on my laptop. This should be enough to stream 1080p content.

I am surprised it is working that well actually and I suspect I could pull my full 28MBps if I tested off peak...The latency is slightly higher though powerline though (+2ms). Anyway, it seems the fact I only got the 200MBps kit and its not gigabit (only 10/100) doesn't matter as it can pull close to my full speed anyway. The fact that its a relatively new standalone house might have sometime to do with that.

I will have to retest when 45/4 kicks in this weekend actually because I incorrectly thought it already had. Will be interesting to see how much of the full 45MBps I can pull with this setup...
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Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to d4m1r
If it's already bottlenecked to 19-24, you'll probably get that same speed when your connection is upgraded. But as you pointed out, it's more than sufficient for streaming 1080p. You may have issues if you're trying network streaming from a media server or something; I've got bluray rips that are higher bitrate than 19-24, for example. But definitely anything off the internet, those speeds will be fine, and even most things over the network should be OK too. A 15GB movie that is 2 hours long is going to need only roughly 17 Mbps, so you've got enough overhead for even that, if you're a fan of HDBits or some similar videophile site :P
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d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
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reply to d4m1r
Luckily I am not haha, and can't be really with these punny Canadian caps

All this stuff is still very annoying...I wished they paired the numbers to real home internet speeds, ie: "rated for up to 45MBps" instead of saying "200MBps!!!!"....Either way, thanks for the replies guys and I'll post back up what happens with a 45MBps connection with a 200MBps kit.
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Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to d4m1r
It's like how 802.11g devices are marketed as 54 Mbps (which is their actual PHY rate) but only produce about 20Mbps under ideal circumstances in the real world.
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TypeS

join:2012-12-17
London, ON
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reply to d4m1r
It most likely gets 200Mbps full duplex under perfect conditions. But home electrical wiring was never laid out for carrying data signals so real world you will never see it.

Maybe contractors will start designing the lay out of new homes' electrical wiring to offer the best scenario for data as well but they can also (and are) just lay out ethernet throughout the house and leave the ends unterminated at the distribution cabinet in the basement (dunno if they'd include the patch panel but maybe they do as well).


cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
said by TypeS:

Maybe contractors will start designing the lay out of new homes' electrical wiring to offer the best scenario for data

Probably not; you're better off doing cat5/6. I imagine (I'm no expert) that the interference comes from the signal going back to the electrical panel and back out to your destination. The code requires so many dedicated circuits that it's very unlikely that your path won't include a trip back to the panel.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
When we increase our electrical service at the shop sometime this summer the powerline bridge will be replaced with dedicated Ethernet runs as part of the new wiring.

Powerline networking is a great way to bridge a network where Ethernet is impractical or too expensive to run, but tried and true Cat 5e/6 is still a hell of a lot better.


TypeS

join:2012-12-17
London, ON
kudos:1
reply to cybersaga
That's what my "but" was for , it's just plain better to run RJ-45 along side RJ-11 and Coax in new constructions.