Powerline Adapters

We show you how to use Powerline adapters to extend your existing home wireless network. (See also: The 5 best Powerline adapters 2013: Here are the best Powerline adapters you can buy in the UK right now.)

QUESTION In a bid to increase the Wi-Fi coverage in my house, I've installed some Devolo powerline adaptors with built-in Wi-Fi. I can now get this where I want it, but have to switch networks when I move around the different parts of the house.

I thought the original signal would be boosted and carried to other parts of the house, but I now have the original Virgin media network and a separate Devolo network. Can I set things up so I have just one network throughout my home?

HELPROOM ANSWER This is easy to achieve, but you'll have to enter the configuration settings of your powerline adaptors and make a few changes. Your Devolo adaptors come with software that lets you configure them from a PC or smartphone. Other brands of powerline adaptor have similar software and almost all can be configured directly from a browser if you know the IP address of the adaptor. This can usually be found by running a similar vendor-supplied utility which searches your network for connected adaptors.

Once you've connected to the powerline adaptor via one of these methods, you'll need to look for the wireless network configuration options. Specifically, look for an entry called SSID. In here you should see the name given to your Devolo network.

You'll need to change this name to be the same as your main Wi-Fi network. You'll also need to make sure that the encryption settings and password match those of your router. Next, look at the Wi-Fi channel set for your network. You'll want to find a channel that's as far away as possible from that of your main Wi-Fi router to make sure the networks don't interfere with each other.

Recent Devolo adaptors have a feature called WiFi Move, which allows you to automatically copy your Wi-Fi settings from one powerline adaptor to any others you have on your network. This will save you having to repeat the configuration on any other adaptors you may have.

Now when you move around the house, you should automatically switch between wireless access points according to which signal is strongest without having to select a different wireless network.

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