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Why can buying a HomePlug be so complicated? Surely a 200AV plug is just a plug, don’t they all do the same thing? Why are they all so different in price when at the end of the day they all look the same? Well the truth is, although they might all look much the same, the inside can vary immensely from plug to plug. What many people don’t understand is that there are different chipset levels.
What is a chipset? A chipset is a set of electronic components in an integrated circuit that manages the data flow between the processor, memory and peripherals. Chipsets are usually designed to work with a specific family of microprocessors. Because it controls communications between the processor and external devices, the chipset plays a crucial role in determining system performance.
What this actually means in the real world is that a chipset is the piece inside the HomePlug that makes it work and sets the specification level of the plug. Continue reading…
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.
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.