Traditional Homeplug is a method of transmitting network data down standard mains powered cables. So the network data is overlaid onto the mains signals. Typical applications are networking around the home via the mains sockets. This is the application of Homeplug that 99% of people are familiar with. However, it is also possible to send Homeplug signals down other cable types; the Homeplug technology is flexible and independent of the cable type or the infrastructure used for the transport of the signals – you just need to make sure that the product has the necessary hardware interface specific to the type of cabling or transport infrastructure you want to use the units on. So with the correct hardware interface on the Homeplug units you could, for example, use Homeplug networking down coaxial cable or standard twisted pair wire. The advantages of Homeplug over more dedicated cabling, compared to over active mains cables, are much higher data transmission rates and longer cable runs. The electrical noise invariably present on normal mains wiring and the complications present in how the cable is distributed (spurs, consumer units etc) often limits the effective data speed and also restricts the length of cable runs you can get away with. Homeplug over, for example, twisted pair wire can give TCP data throughputs in excess of 25Mbps with cable runs of 500m.
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A Wi-Fi repeater, such as the WL559E from Aztech, works by listening out for Wi-Fi transmissions and then re broadcasting the original transmission.
Your throughput will be halved as everything has to be sent twice and each Wi-Fi transmission cannot occur at the same time!
The repeater needs to be positioned where it can get a good signal from the original Wi-Fi device (your router) so that it can then repeat the signal further.
A common, but understandable, misconception is that increasing the size of the antenna on WiFi equipment will make the signal much better; unfortunately it often has the opposite effect and makes things worse!
Put simply, all an antenna does is focus a signal, much like a torch might have a long narrow beam or a short wide one.
T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, so you decide to pop out, and deliver those last minute presents, it will save you a job tomorrow! Traffic is a nightmare and then you remember you forgot to switch the tree lights off! It will be ok you think, but you have that niggling doubt, you have heard all the scare stories! What do you do, turn around, drive home and turn them off? No, you text the tree lights and they switch themselves off!! What I hear you cry, how can they do that?
That is a very simple example of what the Solwise SMS-REMOTEPLUG can do, however, traditionally used in the healthcare industry to monitor the temperature in patient’s homes, the SMS-REMOTEPLUG has many other uses. Here at Solwise we think it is ideal if you need to reboot your Broadband Router or even your Access Point remotely!
A lot of users are moving to 300meg 11n outdoor WiFi links under the impression that this is going to give them a super-fast data link. However the truth is that 300meg 11n does not mean 300meg data throughput or even 150meg! The rough rule-of-thumb for a WiFi link used to be take the PHY rate (300meg for example) and divide by two to get the true data throughput. For example old fashioned 54meg 11g WiFi used to give about 25meg true TCP throughput. So it would be nice to think that 300meg 11n would give you 150meg throughput. Unfortunately this just isn’t true. There are a number of reasons for this but two stick out in particular:
1. WiFi channel space:
In order for a 300meg 11n WiFi link to run at 300meg you need channel space for four 20meg wide channels (actually running as 2x40meg wide streams). That’s 80meg of channel space. The only way you can get that in the 2.4GHz WiFi band is to grab ALL of the spectrum: That’s every single channel. This assumes that there are zero other users out there in using 2.4GHz – in reality this just doesn’t happen. The chances of the complete 2.4GHz spectrum being available for your 300meg link is pretty much zero! In fact, in the 2.4GHz band you’ll be lucky if you can even get one 20meg channel to your self!
So what about the 5GHz bands? Well Band C’s out ’cause although there’s 105meg of free channel space there it’s got a notch in the middle so in actual fact you’ve got 70meg, then a gap and then 35meg. So there’s nowhere to put two 40meg wide channels. So then there’s Band B in the 5GHz. Well Band B is the 5470 to 5725MHz range. So lots of channel space there. Well there is at the moment. The problem is that most outdoor wifi links are usually running on Band B (the professionals have been switching over to Band B post haste over the last few years) so it’s starting to get a bit congested there. At the moment Band B’s your best bet but, the way things are going (and the launch of 802.11ac where a single 5GHz wifi link uses ALL of the channels in one go isn’t going to help!), it won’t be long before that starts to suffer.