Powerline

april 13, 2008

We're clearing out the office to make way for the new princess's nursery.  Part of that move means moving out all my networking gear from the office into the new "office" -- a slice of the livingroom and kitchen. The DSL modem, wireless router and NAS got moved into the kitchen and now sits on one end of our unused breakfast bar -- mainly because the phone jack is in the kitchen.  Since there is no Ethernet jack in the livingroom and I don't want to wire one; I had to figure out a way of bringing network connectivity to my printer and Linux box which will reside in the livingroom somewhere.  Neither of them need high speed connections, so I tried two ways. First, I tried an Airlink AR431w access point that could also act as a bridge.  Second, I tried Netgear's XE102G Powerline adapters. Airlink's bridge worked flawlessly if I wanted to bring Ethernet connectivity to one device as an "AP Client".  But, if I stuck it on a switch and tried to bring that connectivity to two devices, it would not give network access to the second device.  Foo.  But, there is also a setting to make it an "AP Repeater".  That setting let me bring Ethernet access at 54Mbps to both my boxes.  But, it caused some serious issues with interference for my Powerbook who, when the AP was on, would see my wireless network but could not go anywhere on the network.  Double Foo! The Powerline adapters work OK.  They are slower than molasses though, running on average at 6Mbps on my house's 30-year old wiring.  The advertised speed of Powerline solution is 14Mbps.  Really, slow, but enough to get my printer working and for my Linux box to download updates from the internet. Winner: Powerline adapters.