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Just Checking

Powerline Adapters - Peoples Experiences

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ikon

Here's a question. Do I run 1 cable to the media room and then use a secondary powered switch to connect the 3 devices (Xbox, Sony TV & Cable Box) or is it an advantage to run 3 separate cables from my primary switch.

 

IMHO, run 3 cables. Actually, run at least 4 cables, so you have spare (assuming this is all to the same room; otherwise, run 1 cable for each device in a single room + 1 spare). I had the multiple-switch configuration you mention and had stuttering of Blu-Ray rips -- 'home running' all the cables to a single switch cured the problem instantly.

 

Also, unless you have access to a good quality LAN tester (one that actually tests bandwidth, not just a wire-map tester), I would go with pre-made cables and keystone inline couplers that have the ability to be mounted in wall plates (like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Intellinet-Female-CAT-6-Keystone-Coupler/dp/B002JP92K8/ref=pd_sim_e_2. Unfortunately, good testers are expensive.

 

I know not everyone in these forums agrees with me on this, but I've installed thousands of cables and jacks, and I simply will not run bulk cable and terminate it without a good tester. For me, the issue is simply that you just don't know for certain what the performance of a cable run is unless it's been tested.

 

Perhaps Joe_Miner can chime in here, as I believe he did exactly what I'm suggesting and could probably point you to a source for the components.

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Poppapete

IMHO, run 3 cables. Actually, run at least 4 cables, so you have spare

 

So that means I will have 10 to 12 cables back to the switch. I have no problem with that but now what type of switch. Is there any advantage in getting a managed switch?  I may as well add a couple of IP security cameras which means POE compatible switch!! Most advice is Cisco is the way to go say Cisco SF100D-16P LAN switch!

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ikon

That Cisco is only a 10/100 switch. I doubt you want to go with that.

 

I would get a 16 - 24 port switch. Managed switches make it possible to do things like Link Aggregation. Mind you, that's also possible with what I like to call 'minimally manageable' switches, like the Netgear ProSafe series. I have a GS116e. It doesn't have PoE, but they have a couple of models in that line that do: http://www.netgear.com/business/products/switches/unmanaged-plus/gigabit-plus-switch.aspx#tab-models.

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pcdoc

Powerline adapters fit very few situations especially the higher speed ones.  Presently I have the Zytel, Trendnet, and WD, and they all suck (excuse my french)  Only my WD even stay connected and though rated at the lowest speed, work the best.  That is not to say they are good, they just work the best.  I have also tried LInksys, and Netgear with the same result.  If you have a new house with primo wiring then you might get something out it otherwise, start running cable...

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ikon

Well said pcdoc --> your French is very good ;)

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Just Checking

Powerline adapters fit very few situations especially the higher speed ones.  Presently I have the Zytel, Trendnet, and WD, and they all suck (excuse my french)  Only my WD even stay connected and though rated at the lowest speed, work the best.  That is not to say they are good, they just work the best.  I have also tried LInksys, and Netgear with the same result.  If you have a new house with primo wiring then you might get something out it otherwise, start running cable...

 

This has been my experience to date.  I just have some friends as clients who have homes where running ethernet cable is not a viable option at this time.  The options are multiple wireless repeaters or PLA's.   I guess I will just have to make sure to manage their expectations about system performance.   This should not be too hard since they only want to stream videos to HDTV's and only one, or two streams concurrently.  

 

Since these are new construction/wiring scenarios, I didn't experience the PLA's dropping the network that pcdoc had problems with.   I just found that the bandwidth was much lower than I expected (140Mbps maximum), even for the best PLA's with gigabit ethernet ports and stated transmission rates of 600Mbps. 

 

Thanks for the comments.   If anyone finds some new product that performs better, it would be great to know.

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ikon

I'm not sure if true high-speed PL Ethernet will ever become a reality. I recall, several decades ago, the power companies thought they were going to take over the data networking world by using their power lines to send data everywhere. After all, everyone needs power, so the power lines go everywhere. Then a dose of reality hit them in the collective butt. Turns out power lines are noisy, messy, hostile environments for data packets and can't reliably transmit much data at all.

 

Demand for higher LAN speeds has not let up. It seems unlikely PL Ethernet will ever catch up.

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Poppapete

That Cisco is only a 10/100 switch. I doubt you want to go with that.

Correct. I want a GB switch but everyone says Cisco is the way to go.

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jem101

Correct. I want a GB switch but everyone says Cisco is the way to go.

That's because it's the modern equivalent of the old 

 

'Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM PCs'

 

Yes Cisco probably do make the best high-end switch gear but you will pay for it. Brocade and the the HP Procurve series of switches are also very good contenders - you might take a look at the HP Procurve 1910 series - 24 port Gigabit, PoE capable versions are available, fully managed, they even have a couple of SPF ports so you could stick some fiber transceivers in them to link switches together - I think they only run at 1 Gbit rather than 10 Gbit but you could always aggregate them together.

 

I've put quite a few of these into SMEs and never had any problems with them.

 

And ikon's quite right about the cable tester. The proper ones that actually tell you that pin 4 is open circuit and the break is 6m along the cable, oh and pins 7 and 8 are crossed - are hideously expensive and pointless unless you are cabling for a living, but I just hire one for a few days.

 

The actual cost of cable is small compared with the effort of running it, so if you are running one cable between rooms, then you might just as well run three or four at the same time - even if you don't use them all at first. It'll save a lot of pain later on and avoid the 'if only I had run one extra cable when I had the chance' scenario.

 

John

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ikon

I'm with jem101 in the sense that I think there are other very good switch manufacturers out there. In fact, for home use, I typically won't recommend Cisco. It's not that the products aren't good; they just often take more knowledge and time to configure than is necessary for a home LAN.

 

FWIW, I think Juniper has probably the best quality switches on the market ATM, but they're not cheap.

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