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I am considering Ethernet over power.

I presume that there are trade-offs between price and quality versus standard wireless.

I would be considering this for an average size UK living room, with one router and three PCs.

It would be used 80 to 90% for internet access, so only needs to match or beat Wi-Fi speeds.

However, the rest of the time, two laptops would be using it to back up to a file server PC, so that more bandwidth would be welcome. Although, once the first backup of everything is done, backups would be mirror backup, monitoring the file system and updating individual files as they change. So that might not be such a major consideration.

What do you recommend for UK home use, and where should I buy it?

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I've used 3 different flavours of Ethernet over power. Apparently it's seriously dependant on your household power line quality, and other devices.

Once I got it dialed in (and got slightly newer models than my homeplug AV 200 units), its fast and more importantly very reliable.

More expensive adaptors support newer 'faster' standards, and practically speaking you're likely to get about 1/3 the speed listed (so a homeplug AV 100 would do ~30Mbps, and so on). However, the newer standards are likely to have better noise rejection and as such better reliability.

A good middle ground would be HomePlug AV2 500 gear. AV2 200 is more sensitive to noise, and my washing machine would trip it off.

Things to look out for? Get passthrough devices since they filter noise from things plugged into it, and don't hog a socket. Some tuning and repositioning needs to be better. If you're running this in a living room, consider units with more than one ethernet socket.

While I don't use them now, I'd recommend TP-LINK's adaptors (I upgraded to a newer standard from another manufacturer - they're great but not widely available). They also have fairly intuitive, user friendly configuration software (though since all the chipsets are made by the same companies, I used it with my gear from other brands as well), which is handy if you want to set it up right.

It's great for backups (which is what I use it for) and getting wired connections to odd places.

I believe this is the two pack for the model I have now. Amazon UK seems to have a good range of them. Not too sure what's the best place for them in the UK, we share a plug type, but we have different retailers in Singapore.

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  • Thanks for the great feedback (sound like I should have gone to Sim Lim before I left Sg ;-) What do you mean by "dialed in"? if I have enough sockets, do I need "pass-through"? Will plugging then into multiple outlet sockets which are in turn plugged into the wall seriously degrade quality? If it matters any, my living room is about the size of an HDB living room (ah, nostalgia ;-) – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jan 5 '16 at 13:40
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    I had to do a little tweaking with AV200 gear - my washing machine would interfere with it in specific sockets. Homeplugs always go straight into a wall plug, and passthrough units are useful for filtering noise from switch mode power supplies or motors I recommend using a passthrough, and connecting a multisocket to that. If it acts up, check out my answer, and the tool mentioned in one of the other answers here. My homeplug 500 and 1800 units worked with no issues. – Journeyman Geek Jan 6 '16 at 14:08
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I have used Devolo dLAN 200AVs extensively in my UK home for about five years now, and they are great.

Devolo dLAN 200 AV

I have about six of them, all single Ethernet port (multiport versions, which three Ethernet ports, are available). I have not found this to be a problem, because I have switches/hubs in most rooms, anyway.

They have UK plugs, not US plugs, but none of my dLAN 200 AV devices are pass though (i.e. you can plug a mains device into them), so I needed either use an extension cable with a 4 or 6 way plug board attached, or where I had dual sockets in the wall, I just sacrificed an outlet.

The benefit of pass through devices, is that they contain noise suppression circuitry inside them, to help counter any noisy devices, or power on spikes that may be generated by adjacent devices that may also be plugged in to the plug boards. Devolo actually recommend that the dLANs are not plugged in to plug boards, and that they should only be plugged in at the wall, due to signal degradation. However, I personally, have not experienced many problems, mine all work fine.

I recently added two 500 dLAN AV Plus devices, which do have pass through.

Devolo 500 dLAN AV Plus

I use these for a higher speed connection from my media server, in my garage, to my lounge, where the XBMC is, and I can stream videos just fine. They also are compatible with the existing 200AVs, so now every room is connected.

They even come with a remote admin tool, the dLAN Cockpit, that works on OS X (as well as WinTel machines). Also available are Wi-Fi extenders, which act in the same way as the Ethernet variants, but pump out Wi-Fi instead.

Also, the wiring in my house is about 50 years old, and no problems have arisen because of that. They can get quite warm, but even after having them plugged in for 4 years solidly, that has not been an issue.

I can not recommend these highly enough.

Also, I purchased all of them, secondhand, on eBay for around £10 each for the 200AVs and £20 for the 500s. Just wait for someone selling a bulk lot because they are upgrading (i.e. from 200 to 500, so they are selling off the 200s cheaply).

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