Choose Powerline Adaptors For Distance, Wireless AC For Speed

Most of use use wireless to connect the devices in our home, but as we've discussed before, wired is usually faster, even if it's through your wall with a powerline adaptor. With wireless AC, however, the game has changed a bit.

A direct wired Ethernet connection will always give you the best speed, but if that isn't an option, powerline and wireless are your next best bet. NCIX compared powerline with wireless AC in the video above, and found that wireless AC actually performed better — as long as the distance was short. Powerline was more consistent, and performs better over long distances, where wireless performance starts to degrade.

Your mileage will always vary, depending on your house's wiring and your walls, but it's good to know how far wireless has come. Check out the video to see the test in action, with a bit more explanation on when it's better to use one over the other.

Wireless 802.11 AC vs Powerline Real World Test [NCIX Tech Tips (YouTube)]


    I tried watching the video, but couldn't decipher the shrieks and squawks made by the strange pierced gerbil. Does anyone have a transcript?

    Unfortunately isn't always an option. Using wireless on my PS3 is useless, I've got no other option but wired (over Powerline Ethernet Adaptors).

      I found when using ps3 media centre and wireless it took ages to load thumbnails, yet over even 100mbps Ethernet it was a lot faster by a large margin. It's absolutely woeful. Like you I'm forced to use it wired.

    My new Asus RT-AC68U seems to penetrate brick walls better than any other WiFi router I have tried. I'm using it as an access point (connected to the main Netgear CG3100-2 cable modem by ethernet). Same SSID & passkey, different channel. It's a beauty! All I need now are some ac devices!

    Last edited 17/11/14 6:25 pm

    Unless you're on the NBN or doing some serious lanning, there's a good chance you wont be using the extra bandwith wireless gets you.

    My home fileserver is hooked up via an old EoP adapter and gets about 15Mb/s throughput. That's awful by pretty much any standard, but it's enough to max out my (terrible) DSL connection while simultaneously streaming to multiple XMBC boxes.

      I use a file server that contains common home directories for almost all my systems. E.g, on my Windows systems my documents etc is actually on the file server. And you a wireless ac router and access point to bridge across my house to 2 separate wired Ethernet lans, so the speed offered can be advantageous to some, although I don't know if that would fall into serious lanning.
      Even with say syncing files from your phone or tablet, faster is always better.

    Sometimes stability is priority.... working on a remote connection that constantly drops out due to bad wireless is pretty useless

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