What are Network Powerline Adapters?
Almost everyone has a Wi-Fi router in their house these days. Wi-Fi gives you the convenience of being able to connect many wireless devices to the internet by just connecting to the router and entering the password. Due to its convenience Wi-Fi is extremely common these days. Most cable company modems come with Wi-Fi capabilities, but they normally charge the customer a monthly fee for the privilege of using the Wi-Fi. Click below if you would like to know how to save money each month on your cable bill.
While Wi-Fi is great and super convenient, but it does have some downfalls that we will discuss. The first downfall that Wi-Fi has is that it loses speed over distance and through obstacles. The farther you are from your Wi-Fi router, the slower speeds you will get. The more obstacles like walls, glass and furniture the Wi-Fi signal has to go through to get to the device you are using, the slower the speeds are going to be.
In the GIF below you can see how a Wi-Fi signal travels through obstacles. You can see how the signal deteriorates over distance and through obstacles.
Many customers that we speak to have routers that are on a second or third story, in a basement or are on one end of the house. Most cable company techs look for the easiest place to put the Wi-Fi modem, not taking into consideration where the Wi-Fi will be used in the house. When this happens customers are left with weak Wi-Fi speeds in certain areas of the house.
While slow internet speeds and spotty Wi-Fi is not as noticeable or important when casually browning social media, It becomes much more noticeable when you are streaming or gaming which require constant strong internet speeds. If you are on your phone and a website takes twice as long to load it may be annoying, but the website will eventually load. When you are streaming or gaming you need a constant stream of quality bandwidth. This is why we always recommend connecting your Skystream Android TV Box directly to your modem with an Ethernet cord. This provides the fastest and most stable internet connection for your unit.
But what do you do when your internet modem is in your basement, second or third floor and your TV is on the first floor? A few years ago you would have to run an Ethernet cord through your walls or attic to bring hardwired internet to another place in your house. If you have ever run wires through your walls or attic, you know that it is not fun and takes a long time. This is where Network Powerline Adapters come into play.
Network Powerline Adapters come in pairs. One unit is plugged into a power plug close to your internet Modem. Then an Ethernet cable is plugged into the Network Powerline Adapter. The other end of the Ethernet cable is plugged into the back of the Modem. This first unit is receiving internet from the Modem and will send it to the second unit.
The second Network Powerline Adapter is plugged into a power plug in your house where you want to bring a strong internet connection to. This can be in your living room, bedroom, second story or basement depending on your situation.
Once the second Network Powerline Adapter is plugged in where you want it, plug an Ethernet cable into it. The other end of the Ethernet cable can be plugged into another Wi-Fi router to provide better coverage to that area, or plugged directly into a device such as a computer or Skystream Android TV Box.
What these Network Powerline Adapters actually do is use the electrical wires in your house to send internet through them. Most home electric runs on a 50 or 60 Mhz frequency. Internet frequencies are much higher so the two frequencies will not interfere with each other.
Network Powerline Adapters allow you to bring wired internet to spaces in your house where you would normally not be able to have an Ethernet connection without running wires through your walls.
We cannot stress how important it is to have a strong and stable internet connection when streaming video content. With streaming you are constantly receiving and using data. If your internet connection flakes out for a few seconds you are still using data, but you are not receiving any data. This can make buffering occur more often.
If your Wi-Fi Modem is more than 10 feet away from your Skystream Android TV Box, is going through a wall or other obstacle or you are receiving low internet speeds over Wi-Fi we would highly suggest getting a pair of Network Powerline Adapters. They will provide faster internet speeds and a more stable connection to your unit and can greatly improve your streaming performance.
Here are a few points to remember about relying on Wi-Fi for video streaming.
• The Wi-Fi router your cable company gave you is from the company that bid the lowest. It is most likely the cheapest and lowest cost modem the cable company could get. The Wi-Fi from the modems is already not the best. When you add distance and obstacles to the formula it is a recipe for poor signal and speeds.
• Video streaming and gaming require constant and strong internet signals. Wi-Fi is not known for either of these.
• For under $50 you can bring strong fast hardwired internet to anywhere in your house.
• You can use Network Powerline Adapters to bring a hardwired internet connection to another Wi-Fi router to expand the coverage in your house.