Networking via mains ethernet adaptors

  chub_tor 15:41 17 Aug 2006

Does anyone have any experience of using these things, if so what brands and have they proved reliable. I am considering them for a friend as an alternative to more conventional wireless networking.

  rodriguez 16:40 17 Aug 2006

I haven't used them, but I think you plug one into a socket by your router and plug an Ethernet cable from the router to the plug and the other one plugs in by your PC and you plug another Ethernet cable from the PC to the plug so it's pretty simple to set up.

  FelixTCat 17:34 17 Aug 2006


As I understand it, to be effective all the adapters have to be on the same ring main, i.e. the same fuse at the main fuse box. In the USA this isn't a problem because most people live in single-floor dwellings.

It may be more of a problem in the UK where each floor tends to have its own ring main, thus a router on one floor may not be able to communicate with a pc on another floor.

Do check this before committing yourself.



  Tim1964 00:07 19 Aug 2006

Not quite FelixTCat,

I have my son's PS2 connected to a 'homeplug' adapter upstairs and the other unit connected to my wireless/wired router downstairs.

The mains connection needs to be on the same phase, not the same ring main. In theory, if your neighbour was on the same phase as you they could share the connection but the range is limited and the inbuilt encryption takes care of any 'piggy backing'.

I use the brand 'SMC' bought of eBay for £30 for a pair but recently bought another single unit, brand new (eBay) for £8.99.


As they all use the same protocols the makes are all compatible with each other.

When I get a new PC and this desktop ends up going upstairs I then have an adapter to connect it to my network straight away.

Very easy to use, you just connect the PC to the adapter via ethernet cable and plug the unit in and the other unit(s) see it imediately.

  dms05 08:00 19 Aug 2006

Tim1964 - how secure is the encryption? As you say it will only be close neighbours who could 'see' your Homeplug but it seems sensible to set the in-built encryption.

  Tim1964 16:01 19 Aug 2006

These are the units I have

click here

For more technical details see the user manual here

click here

  anskyber 16:21 19 Aug 2006
  chub_tor 19:29 21 Aug 2006

Thank you everyone for your useful replies. Having done a little research on this subject I am still in two minds as to whether this is a better solution than a more conventional wireless modem router.
A little word of explanation on why I posed the question....
A friend of my wife's has a new computer and wants to connect to the internet. The computer is upstairs and the phone point downstairs. She will not agree to having a new phone wire installed upstairs. She doesn't really need more than dialup but we can't find a wireless dialup modem. I have a spare US Robotics 9003 wired modem router and thought that it might be cheaper to give her that while she bought the mains ethernet plugs. But seeing the price of them and comparing them with a wireless modem router I now have my doubts.
I will close this post but keep a look out in case anyone has further input.
Thanks again.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

OnePlus 5 review

Alice Saey's mesmerising animation for Dutch singer Mark Lotterman

iPad Pro 10.5in (2017) review

Comment booster votre iPhone ?