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What is Powerline?

Written by KCOM Support on 22/03/2022. Posted in Broadband.

Powerline (or HomePlug) is a different way of connecting to your router and the internet rather than using a Wi-Fi connection. It's easy to setup and can be faster than connecting wirelessly.

In order to use Powerline, you need to install at least two Powerline adapters.

TP Link Duo Powerline Adapters

Powerline adapters - benefits to using them

Powerline adapters turn the mains power in your house into a really fast network. Imagine it turning your electrical cables into one long Ethernet cable; it allows you to plug your devices into a Powerline adapter, as if you're plugging directly into the router.

Using Powerline improves the way you stream and watch TV programmes, download movies and files, and browse the internet. This is because you won't be affected by interference like you would if you use Wi-Fi which can slow down your connection.

An important thing to remember is that although using Powerline really helps to improve your overall network, your internet connection will only be as fast as what you're receiving on your router from us. If you find you're having speed issues across your entire network, check our guide for helpful tips on improving your connection.

Powerline vs Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is great as you can use it whenever you're in range of the wireless signal. The major downside is that Wi-Fi signals lose strength the further away you are from the router. Wi-Fi can also be affected by interference which may slow down your connection or cause your device to lose connection altogether.

The great thing with using Powerline adapters is that you can plug your devices into it using an Ethernet cable - it's just like plugging your device into the router even if it's in another room.

Ethernet is well known to be superior to Wi-Fi but the problem has always been that if your router is in a different room to your device, you'd need a really long cable just to plug it in. Powerline adapters are a more efficient alternative to snaking a cable around your home.

Setting up Powerline

As a minimum, you need a pair of Powerline adapters but can add more later if needed.

Plug the first Powerline adapter into a power socket near your router, and then connect the adapter to the router with an Ethernet cable. Plug your second Powerline adapter into a power socket in another room. You can now connect this second adapter to the device you want to connect (e.g. TV set-top box, PC, Xbox One, etc). If you want to connect any other devices later, simply buy another adapter, plug it in and then connect it the same way.

When everything is plugged in, you should now enjoy the full speed of your internet connection and won't be limited by any interference.

Powerline Wi-Fi hotspots

As well as regular Powerline adapters, you can buy Wi-Fi enabled Powerline adapters which have the ability to broadcast their own wireless signal (a wireless hotspot). This is great if you're struggling to broadcast your Wi-Fi signal around your house from your router.

A good example is in a property where you might only be able to connect to your Wi-Fi when you're downstairs. You could buy a Wi-Fi enabled Powerline adapter and plug it in upstairs allowing you to connect to Wi-Fi where ever you are in your home.

Buying Powerline adapters

You can buy a set of Powerline adapters from our MyTech shop. Remember that you need at least two adapters for a powerline network.

To purchase a powerline adapter kit for home delivery please call us on 01482 606101. Alternatively, you can pop into our shop at 37 Carr Lane, Hull, HU1 3RE.

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