What Is a Powerline Adapter And How Does It Work?

Most home theater and gaming setups are not in the same room as a home network's router. That wasn't much of a problem until setups began to include more devices that are able to access content from the internet. As a result, it is now important to find a way to connect directly to your router to access the internet and to stream photos, music and movies from media libraries on your home network.

Unless you want to run long ethernet cables through your house or pay to have ethernet cables installed in your walls, you need another, more convenient solution to connect your PC, game console, network media player, smart TV and/or other network home theater devices.  

What is a Powerline Adapter and How Does it Work?

One way to connect a network media player or similar device to your router is by using powerline adapters. A powerline adapter is an alternative to running in-wall ethernet cables, or relying on possibly unstable WiFi because it can send your data over your household's existing electrical wiring just like it would over ethernet cables. Neat, right?

The first powerline adapter connects to your home router using an ethernet cable. The powerline adapter is then plugged into the nearest wall electrical outlet. Once plugged in, you can use the powerline adapter to send and/or receive media files and data over your home's electrical wiring to a second powerline adapter in another location.

Connecting your networked-enabled streaming devices and router to powerline adapters is almost like connecting them directly to each other using ethernet cables.

However, while it is a convenient way to connect to your home network, you need to choose wisely, as your powerline adapter should be able to stream high definition video and audio without buffering and interruptions. 

Plug the Powerline Adapter Directly Into a Wall Outlet

It is important to point out that most powerline adapters will not work properly if plugged into an extension cord. Although some surge protectors have one or more powerline compliant outlets ("PLC") that allow a powerline adapter to pass along its data, performance is usually better when the powerline adapter is plugged directly into the wall socket.

Where Can I Find Powerline Adapters?

We have a great 1Gbps set of powerline adapters listed on our store Here.

Questions? Contact us! We'll get back to you asap.