Saturday, November 7, 2009

NETGEAR Powerline Ethernet Adapter

To extend my local area network to the far end of my house without pulling wire I installed the NETGEAR Powerline AV Ethernet Adapter Kit model XAVB101. While the throughput of 56 Mbps is no where near the advertised speed of "up to 200 Mpbs" it is good enough to stream HD video from my MythTV server. Below are results from my network throughput test using the iperf command on Ubuntu Karmic 9.10.

laptop0:~$ iperf --format [Mbits] -c -t 10
Client connecting to, TCP port 5001
TCP window size: 131 Kbit (default)
[ 3] local port 39955 connected with port 5001
[ ID] Interval Transfer Bandwidth
[ 3] 0.0-10.0 sec 562 Mbits 56.1 Mbits/sec

The installation is dead simple. Plug one powerline adapter into the power outlet near your Ethernet switch. Connect the powerline adapter to your switch with the supplied Ethernet cable. Plug the other powerline adapter into the power outlet near your remote computer. Connect the powerline adapter to your computer with the supplied Ethernet cable.

Bottom line: If you can easily run Cat 5e cable, do it. Cat 5e will give you the best throughput. The next best thing might be this or some other brand powerline Ethernet adapter. In my circumstance it saved me the hassle of pulling wire to a hard to reach spot of my home. It's a keeper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The throughput rate advertised by the manufacturers is the PHY rate corresponding to the raw data rate over the powerlines. The maximum Ethernet speed is usually about half the PHY value. And the ACTUAL network speed is usually less (depending on the wiring in your house, what you have plugged in, etc.) With powerline, for a PHY rate of 200Mbps you can usually expect actual network speeds ranging from 40-60Mbps. I installed a couple of adapters from Plaster Networks that let you measure the network performance in real time through your browser - actually pretty cool.