HomePlug FAQ *Part 2*

Curly99

Distinguished Member
This thread is a continuation of the *Part One* thread found here:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/networking-nas/731564-homeplug-faq.html

First Post
I'm aware this needs a serious update :) I will try and write an update when I can

What are HomePlugs
HomePlug units enable you to expand your network using the existing electrical wiring within your home. The data travels from one HomePlug to another. No drivers are required, and they are operating system independent. Plug any Ethernet device into the HomePlug and away you go - High speed reliable networking. Truly Plug And Play!

For a more in-depth reading look on wikipedia - HomePlug - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What is the difference between HomePlug and Powerline

Powerline is the technology, HomePlug is a standard for the Powerline technology.

There are two competing chipsets used in the technology. HomePlug uses Intellon based products, whilst other manufactures use a DS2 chipset and a are incompatible.

There is a HomePlug Powerline Alliance. The Alliance's mission is to enable and promote rapid availability, adoption and implementation of cost effective, interoperable and standards-based home powerline networks and products. http://www.HomePlug.org/home

How many HomePlugs do I need
You need at least one pair of HomePlugs. One unit will enter the ring main, and another is used to exit the ring main.

Would HomePlugs work on different mains circuits in my house (rings) ?
Yes, but the rings or circuits (such as upstairs and downstairs) mains must be on the same fuse box / consumer box.

In the US things are a little different. It’s common in the US to use Split Phase wiring where the building is split between two separate phases and HomePlug may not be able to cross phases.

How do I setup BT / Wanadoo / Demon / Tiscali / Virgin / and other ISPs with HomePlug technology ?
If you already have a suitable router just add one HomePlug at the router end and one for each PC. The standard USB modem provided free by many ISPs is not HomePlug compatible so you would normally replace this for a Router Modem. Note it is possible to use the USB modem in a Windows Internet share setup with HomePlug, but it is not the ideal configuration. Tiscali's MTU is 1500

How do I setup NTL / Telewest / Cable with HomePlug technology?
Same as above.

How do I setup AOL with HomePlug technology?
To use HomePlug with AOL you need to replace your AOL modem with an AOL compatible ADSL router. AOL uses a special way to communicate through a network so you need a certain model of router. Note the MTU value of AOL is 1400 not 1458 as with BT. Tiscali's MTU is 1500.

What do I need on my PC to make HomePlug work?
Your PC must be compatible with Internet access and have a LAN / Ethernet Port.

I have an Apple Mac, will HomePlug work properly?
Yes HomePlug works on most Apple Macs without using any software you just set the Mac to TCP/IP Internet.

How do I connect a router with a LAN Socket to my Computer - it only has USB’s?
Install a LAN card or select a suitable adaptor.

I already have a router with 2 or more ports will HomePlug work?
Yes connect one HomePlug to the Router and one HomePlug to each PC (or xbox etc) in the house.

Do I need to put a HomePlug into the router for each of my computers?
No only one HomePlug is needed at the router end.

How fast is 14Mbps and 85Mbps in Mega Byte per second?
approx 1.75 MBytes for 14Mbps and 10.6 MBytes for 85Mbps

Note ADSL and Cable connections are provided in Mbps, NOT Mega Bytes per second:
Here are some examples of ADSL to Bytes per seconds
Half Meg 512 connection = 64KBytes
One Meg 1024 connection = 128KBytes
Two Meg 2048 connection = 256KBytes
Four Meg 4096 connection = 512KBytes
Ten Meg 10240 connection = 1280KBytes
Twenty Meg 20480 cinnection = 2560KBytes

What is HomePlug AV?
This is the new 200mbs standard designed for use with Hi-def streaming.

Are all HomePlug versions compatible?
All 14mbs HomePlugs regardless of manufacture are compatible with each other as they all adhere to the HomePlug 1.0 standard. All 85mbs are interchangeable too as they adhere to the HomePlug 1.0 Turbo standard. HomePlug 1.0 and 1.0 Turbo are interchangeable so you can mix and match both 14 and 85mbs as well as manufacturers.

There are 2 makes of powerline chipsets. Intellon and DS2. The majority of manufactures use the Intellon chipset and adhere to the HomePlug standard and are interopable. However those that use the DS2 chipset cannot be used with Intellon based products. Phillips' HP products and Netgear's 200mbs units (HDX101) use the DS2 chipsets.

HomePlug AV (200mbs) can coexist but will not inter-operate with the HP 1.0 and 1.0 Turbo standards. This means you can have one set of HP 1.0 units and 1 set of AV units but they can't see each others kit. The manufacturers claim there is no drop in performance when mixing these but tests (on Tom's Hardware and SmallNetBuilder) indicate that performance can drop as much as 58%.

What is the actual speed I can attain with HomePlugs?
The ratings of 14, 85 or 200mbs are theoretical maximums. You will never achieve these speeds. This figure also includes the overhead of the data transmission protocol, for example the HomePlug AV (200mbs) standard has a maximum data rate of 150mbs. Additionally, the mains ring is a hostile place for data and pushing through the maelstrom of noise on the line slows down the packets. There are ways to speed up transmission as best you can, for example tighten the wires in all the outlets in you house (WARNING: Turn off the power first!). I have gone from 85mbs to 115mbs throughput by doing this one task (when using Netgear 200mbs plugs). It is not unreasonable to assume you will get approx 50% of the rated maximums. There are also various threads around the net that highlight issues with switched power devices such as phone chargers and hairdryers. Unplugging phone chargers can also increase performance.

If you are using Netgear's HDX101 200mbs units, the latest firmware implements a new feature called auto enable notches. Notches having something to do with reducing interference to hand-radio frequencies and this will lower the performance of the powerline network somewhat. Performance can drop as much as 25% becuase of this feature. Netgear's gui configuration program offers no option to disable notching, but you can with the commandline tools such as ihcp_client. See here for details - Got better performance on the original firmware? This may be why... - NETGEAR Forums

When streaming content around the house using powerline technology then you are sending UDP packets of data. Most HomePlug products (definately Netgears HDX101) are optimised for sending UDP streamed traffic. If however you need to transmit lots of TCP traffic from a windows machine (mostly file copies etc) then you can amend the TCP window size to boost performance from the default 8K to 128K

Which HomePlug should I use?
This entirely depends on what data you want to distribute around the house. The 14mbs units should only be used for low transmissions equipment, for example you can purchase security cameras with HomePlug built in and these are 14mbs devices. Xboxes, PS3s etc should be using a minimum of 85mbs. If you wish to stream a lot of video or VoIP and/or Hi-Def you should be looking at 200mbs models.

How many HomePlugs can I use at home or in the Office?
HomePlugs are like old School Ethernet; they run on half-duplex. So only one device can send at a time. Technically 10 is probably the limit due to throughput in theory up to 254 could be used. Be aware that if you have BT Vision you may already have Comtrend's (DS2 based) 200mbs adapter in your package. Be carefull if buying additional powerline units - you may need to buy compatible DS2 based products.

Is software provided with HomePlug and how do I use it?
The software (usually only for Windows) allows transmission checks and adjustment of network names (encryption). Software drivers are not required for HomePlug the units are plug and play.

Do I lose the use of my power socket?
Yes, normally. Most HomePlugs are like normal power devices, they use up the socket you plug it into, some even are so large (Netgear for example) that they prevent larger items to be used in the socket next to them, for example transformers etc. You can get HomePlugs with a ‘through’ socket so you can still plug a device into them. A bit like the old cube style triple adapters you can get.

Is HomePlug secure?
Yes it is preset with its own 56bit encryption system to protect your data. HomePlug AV adopts a 128bit encryption system.

Don’t forget to check the security options on any wireless devices in the house. If an outsider can access the wireless network, they also gain access to the homeplug-connected computers, and the homeplug security is useless.

Can my neighbour steal my internet connection if he has a HomePlug?
No, the electricity meter acts as block on the signals that are transmitted across the network, so there is no chance of them leaking out on to the public wiring and your neighbours picking them up.

Don’t forget to check the security options on any wireless devices in the house. If an outsider can access the wireless network, they also gain access to the homeplug-connected computers, and the homeplug security is useless.

I don’t have a wired connection only wireless. Can I still use HomePlug?
Yes. Some manufacturers (such as Devolo) produce a wireless-g extender - http://www.devolo.com/co_EN_cs/produkte/dlan/dlanwirelessext.html

Can I use my Xbox on HomePlug?
Yes. The XBOX 360 has a 100mbs Ethernet port built in. Just plug it into the HomePlug

Fix: Xbox doesn't work with Windows Media Centre when connected by HomePlug.
Some makes of HomePlug work with IGMP V2 - windows extender uses IGMP V3. You need to modify the windows registry and set the Media Centre to IGMP V2.
Please see the following link on how to modify the registry.
You Cannot Configure Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 to Use IGMP Version 1 or Version 2 Support

Can I use my Play Station 2 (PS2) with HomePlug?
Yes you will need a network adapter available from Sony, Amazon or another online retailer.

Can I use my Play Station 3 (PS3) with HomePlug?
Yes. The PS3 has a 1000mbs (gigabit) Ethernet port built in, just plug it into the HomePlug..

What stops HomePlug from working, will they work with extension Lead?
Avoid surge protected / Filtered mains extension blocks as these block the HomePlug signal. Long extension leads will degrade the signal so it is best practice to plug the HomePlug directly into a wall socket. I personally have one HomePlug in the wall socket and one plugged into a 4 gang and achieve 115mbs approx. There are also various threads around the net that highlight issues with switched power devices such as phone chargers and hairdryers. Unplugging phone chargers can also increase performance. Be aware that if you have BT Vision you may already have Comtrend's (DS2 based) 200mbs adapter in your package. Be carefull if buying additional powerline units - you may need to buy compatible DS2 based products.

How can I test the performance of my setup?
You need some kind of bandwith measuring tool. While most homeplug manufacturers distribute utilities that measure their products performance, in my experience they can be a little misleading. They measure the peak performance between the devices not a real world throughput test. Enter iPerf. You will need two PCs one on either side od the ring main. One runs as a client, the other as a server. Its deisgned as a TCP/UDP monitoring tool not just for homeplugs.

http://dast.nlanr.net/Projects/Iperf/

on the client you would….. iperf -c <server address>
on the server you would …. iperf -s

here’s an example….

Code:
node2> iperf -s
------------------------------------------------------------
Server listening on TCP port 5001
TCP window size: 60.0 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  4] local <IP Addr node2> port 5001 connected with <IP Addr node1> port 2357
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  4]  0.0-10.1 sec   6.5 MBytes   5.2 Mbits/sec

node1> iperf -c node2
------------------------------------------------------------
Client connecting to node1, TCP port 5001
TCP window size: 59.9 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  3] local <IP Addr node1> port 2357 connected with <IP Addr node2> port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  3]  0.0-10.0 sec   6.5 MBytes   5.2 Mbits/sec
Last Post
I did have my Homeplug plugged into surge protectors, and they did work - although I've found they work faster when plugged into a non surge protected socket.

However, I don't have double sockets on my wall, so at the moment I've plugged a multi/double socket adaptor into a socket, and plugged the homeplug into one and the surge protector into the other.

Is this electrically safe? Also, are there any surge protectors that have non surge protected sockets that I could use Homeplugs with?
Curly
 

nemmi69

Standard Member
I have two Netricity 500m's and a Netricity 200m. The 2 500's talk fine but they do not see the 200. It has been suggested it needs a firmware upgrade but I have searched all over and no real site for Netricity let alone any firmware.

Also after installing the utility for the 200 it says its installed fine but when I run it says the database cannot be found. Tried installing as administrator but no change.

Any help, guidance or vallium would be appreciated:confused:
 

tom 2000

Well-known Member
Hi guys. I have a pair if Netgear homeplugs. The far away one connected to a second router used as a wireless access point. This is used mainly by the iPhone. Lately the phone will not log onto the home network through this connection. This is an intermittent problem cured by repowering the homeplug. That fixes the problem for a day or so. At all times the LEDs on the homeplug seem to be lit as normal. Any ideas?
 

Bizmuth

Standard Member
Just a quick question, which I think the previous post may have answered.
I have a homeplug through in my lounge but I now have several items that need plugged into it (AV reciever, Tivo, BD player etc) can I hook up a hub or switch so that all these can go through the one plug? Or will I need a separate one for each unit?
 

philwolstenholm

Standard Member
Help please! I have just got fibre broadband. If I plug the ethernet cable from the router to the homeplug direct into a laptop and run a speed test it gives 35Mbps. When I plug it back in the homeplug and connect the laptop to the other homeplug the speedtest gives a download speed of 1.25Mbps and an upload speed of 1.68Mbps.
I have reset the homeplugs and reconnected but the same result.
It appears to be losing 95% of the speed in transmission.
Can anyone help with advice as to why the output is so slow please?
( They are Newlink Homeplugs 200Mbps with Pass Though mains)
 
Last edited:

nemmi69

Standard Member
Just a quick question, which I think the previous post may have answered.
I have a homeplug through in my lounge but I now have several items that need plugged into it (AV reciever, Tivo, BD player etc) can I hook up a hub or switch so that all these can go through the one plug? Or will I need a separate one for each unit?
you need a port for each device. you can get multi port versions with 4 ports. hope that helps
 

Lestat_11

Active Member
Just a quick question, which I think the previous post may have answered.
I have a homeplug through in my lounge but I now have several items that need plugged into it (AV reciever, Tivo, BD player etc) can I hook up a hub or switch so that all these can go through the one plug? Or will I need a separate one for each unit?
I have a home plug in the bed room connected to a hub witch runs a printer / laptop / ps3 and sky box with no problems.
 

JimmyMac

Distinguished Member
Looking for a little advice,

I have a set of AVmini 500MBps homeplugs currently, previously they have worked brilliantly but since I moved over to fibre broadband they have been a royal pain in the proverbial! I've had to go back to a wireless setup due to problems with degrading speeds.

I am wondering if noise might be the problem, although nothing has changed since the previous setup but its about the only thing I can think of now.

The current setup means that the homeplug is plugged into a double wall socket, the other socket has a surge protected extension plugged into it. Into the extension is all my AV gear (TV, Sky, Popcorn hour, House phone, Router, BT fibre box etc). I had heard that surge protected extensions can actually cut out some of the potential noise itself but is it likely that these items all plugged in so close to the homeplug is causing the problems.

The basic issue is that I can get full tilt speeds on my pc for about 10 minutes then it drops to about a third all of sudden, the Devolo cockpit still shows that the homeplugs are sending data at around 175 Mbits
 

Simba

Distinguished Member
i was going to get another adapter but with wireless extender: TP Link TL-WPA281 AV200 Powerline Extender with Wireless N Access Point: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

but then looking at this:
TP Link TL-WA830RE 300Mbps Wireless N Range Extender: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

i would imagine the WA830RE would give better wifi ...only downside is that i would lose the ethernet on the existing av200 tp link as it would supply this..

i want to improve wifi around the house basically...thoughts?

edit:

think i might have misunderstood the way the WA830RE works - i take it the ethernet port is for providing an ethernet connection and not an input for wireless distribution?
 
Last edited:

yok0ross

Active Member
Need some advice

I'm thinking of purchasing homeplugs to extend my Internet connection upstairs
I want them in two separate rooms upstairs
Do I need two purchase two sets or can you buy a set of three?
Is what I want even possible?
 

DrGekko

Well-known Member
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0055Y6PUA/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1

This device worked fine for me... at last, a plug and play device for my requirements. They were easy to set up - basically plugged one in the kitchen and set up using my iPhone. Then plugged another one upstairs on the landing - getting full wi-fi signal in the kitchen and all my bedrooms. Main router is in a groundfloor study. :thumbsup:
 

Hochwertiger

Standard Member
Need some advice

I'm thinking of purchasing homeplugs to extend my Internet connection upstairs
I want them in two separate rooms upstairs
Do I need two purchase two sets or can you buy a set of three?
Is what I want even possible?
You can buy sets of three such as this

But you can get a set of 2 for about £25.00 (so you could buy to sets and have a spare/another for a future device)
 

Hochwertiger

Standard Member
Netgear WN3000RP Universal WiFi Range Extender: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

This device worked fine for me... at last, a plug and play device for my requirements. They were easy to set up - basically plugged one in the kitchen and set up using my iPhone. Then plugged another one upstairs on the landing - getting full wi-fi signal in the kitchen and all my bedrooms. Main router is in a groundfloor study. :thumbsup:
These are good products I got one from ebay a little while back.
 

Zero3K

Standard Member
I have some questions regarding Powerline Adapters:

1. Is it possible to get the Cable Internet to work using this method?:

Cable Modem and Powerline Adapter (both are in the basement) > 4 port Ethernet Switch (also in the basement) > Powerline Adapter and a Cisco Linksys E1200 Wireless Router (both are on the first floor)

2. Is there any firmware update for the 500 Mbps Actiontec brand Powerline Adapter? If so, how do I apply it?
 
Last edited:

mickevh

Distinguished Member
What else is plugged into your switch?

Are you trying to use the HomePlugs to deliver any local LAN traffic, or is it exclusively to link the modem to your router?

A router is used to join networks together, separating everything connected to the "LAN" ports and wi-fi connected devices ("internal" network) from everything "upstream" of the WAN port which is a separate "external" network (in SOHO, effectively the rest of the world.)

The Homeplugs all talk to each other over the mains and thus participate in one network. So you can have your HomePlug "backplane" (mains) network as part of your "internal" network OR your "external" network, but not both at the same time (unless there are HomePlugs that you can bind up into "separate" networks somehow, but AFAIK this isn't how they work.)

So you coud do something like this...

Cable Modem---Powerline Adapter~~~Powerline Adapter---[WAN]Router[LAN]---everything else.

...but in such a config you coudn't use HomePlugs for any LAN traffic.

Why do you need you router (physically) where it is?

It would be better to do something like this...

Cable Modem---[WAN]Router[LAN]---Powerline Adapter~~~Powerline Adapter---everything else.

(Switch could remain in basement also if router doesn't avail anough LAN port)

...and add an additional Wi-fi Access Point at the first floor location if the reason for having the router there is to avail wi-fi.
 
Last edited:

Zero3K

Standard Member
What else is plugged into your switch?

Are you trying to use the HomePlugs to deliver any local LAN traffic, or is it exclusively to link the modem to your router?
1. Nothing else.

2. I'm just wanting to forward the internet upstairs so it can be forwarded back downstairs and upstairs to the 2nd floor along with any wireless clients.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
2. I'm just wanting to forward the internet upstairs
so it can be forwarded back downstairs and upstairs to the 2nd floor along with any wireless clients.
I don't think that will work as you are trying. As discussed, I think your HomePlugs need participate in either your "internal" network or your "external" network, but they cannot be involved in both at the same time.

I'd suggest you move your router down to the basement with the modem, extend the LAN over the mains using HomePlugs to the other floor(s) and deploy additional switches to add ethernet ports and Wi-fi Access Point(s) on the other floors as needed to beef up the wi-fi coverage.

I'm not sure what purpose the switch in the basement is serving if nothing is plugged into it.
 
Last edited:

Zero3K

Standard Member
I meant to type that nothing else besides the Powerline Adapter and the Cable Modem would be plugged into the switch.

Also, I have more questions:

1. Could I just tighten the wires in the outlets that the Powerline Adapters are plugged in and get some improvement in their speed?

2. What does it mean when the Power LED (of the Actiontec 500 Mbps Powerline Adapter) is a solid amber color or flashing between amber and green?
 
Last edited:

stevos

Distinguished Member
The utility that came with my homeplug 500 is stating 180mbs up /down, but I don't seem to be getting that constantly, since XBMC needs to buffer regularly whilst watching bluray ripped MKV's, which is annoying to say the least.

I have read that you can improve the data stability by putting cheap mains filters on 'noisy' products. Any idea if this works and if so, what is likely to be causing the noise.
 

whufc4ever76

Well-known Member
Hi there,
I have just recently purchased some Netgear Powerline AV 200 Homeplugs (XAVB1301) and am having problems getting one of them to work!!

My set up is as follows:
(Downstairs)
Sky Wireless N Router > Ethernet Cable > Powerline (plugged in Mains socket)

All 3 lights are on, and all are green

(Upstairs)
Powerline (plugged in Mains socket) > Ethernet Cable > Desktop PC

Only 2 lights on (Power and Ethernet LED, Powerline LED not on)

The problem i have is the Homeplug being used upstairs (in ANY Mains socket) is not recognising the Homeplug being used downstairs.

I then thought i would try using the Secondary Homeplug (from upstairs) in a different Mains socket downstairs, and hey presto, it recognised the main Homeplug used from the Router!! (All 3 lights green, on both plugs)

I have had a good look through these FAQ's but cannot see an answer to my problem, has anyone got any idea what could be preventing this from working upstairs?? (My ring main is going from one Fuse box as well)

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as i have no other way of getting internet on PC upstairs :-(
 

chriswyatt

Novice Member
Just a quick question, which I think the previous post may have answered.
I have a homeplug through in my lounge but I now have several items that need plugged into it (AV reciever, Tivo, BD player etc) can I hook up a hub or switch so that all these can go through the one plug? Or will I need a separate one for each unit?
A network hub/switch or a router will work fine. I've also been using a network switch with mine with no issues. You will probably get the best performance with a network switch.
 
Last edited:
I have Devolo AV200s.

At my Master Socket I get 40Mbps internet connection. I use the homeplugs to connect my kit upstairs. I can only get 26Mbps upstairs. So I am losing quite a lot of speed through them.

So beware!
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
I have a single old eBuyer homeplug (passthrough version) and TP Link pair.

The TP link pair fine, but I haven't used the eBuyer one for ages - does anyone know how I can add it to the linked pair of TP Link adaptors?
 

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