Do you want to get the internet round your house but fall foul of the technical agility to get motivated? I have found that setting up Wi-Fi connections can be a real strain, sometimes the technology is not compatible with existing set-ups, and sometimes the signal being transmitted is just not enough to get you going. My very first Wi-Fi set up was terrible, I had to sit in certain positions, and could not move my laptop in case I lost my connection.
A recent purchase of a BT Vision box opened my eyes to the world of Powerline Extenders, and their phenomenal use. There are three major advantages to using a powerline extender over a Wi-Fi connection, the first that the signal strength is almost as good at the output source (where you are receiving your internet connection), the second is that you can get the internet wherever you have a plug, and third and finally no worries about anyone else using your internet connection, your connection stays in your household.
So how does the powerline extender work, and how easy is it to install?
The Powerline extender sends the internet signal through your power supply instead of via telephone sockets. The signal dilution is minimal from the transmission source (your modem) and the receiving source (your laptop, PC, or games system). I don't know the exact transmission speeds but as rough example I downloaded a DIVX player on my PC's at the same time. The PC connected to the main modem took 19 seconds to download, the Laptop in my living room (about 30 feet away) downloaded the same program in 25 seconds. But that could be down to other issues like my PC's capabilities as much as the connection.
Connection is the easiest I have ever encountered in my life, but there is one flaw; your modem needs to either have two Ethernet connections (the chunky socket that looks like a telephone socket) or a Ethernet and a USB socket (USB sockets are the small flat plugs, most PC's have two or three of these) in order to receive the best optimum output from your device. Otherwise your modem is going through a slightly slower internet signal from the offset.
The powerline extenders are simply chunky plugs, plug one in at the source point (modem) and one where you want the signal to go, the receiving end is not set forever, wherever you put the plug you will receive an internet signal providing you are using the same electrical circuit (most houses do, only bigger houses that might have been two at one time may have issues). Take the Ethernet cable at source and plug it into the first plug. At the other end run an Ethernet cable from the plug to your device.
You may need to install the software that came with your modem at the receiving end. Believe it or not this is the end of your task, you'll now be enjoying broadband internet at two or more locations. I say or more because you can get more than just one set up to work off the powerline extenders, the more plugs you buy the more connections you can have (however the signal does weaken from here on) I have four connections (a total of four plugs) one for the source point, one to power the BT Vision box, one to power my laptop, and the final one for my Xbox 360. As it's highly unlikely that four are going at the same time, I only have one set of hands after all; the signal does not seem to weaken, though I expect for a busy household you might notice it, but it won't be anywhere as slow as a Wi-Fi connection.
For my money, I'll never look at Wi-Fi again (not in the home certainly), powerline extenders have revolutionised my home network practices. Powerline extenders are easy to install, 100 percent reliable and secure from outside sources. With prices starting at £20 which is what I paid for these from Ebay, to £100 for real high-tech ones that can actually increase signal; Powerline extenders are also a very cheap way of getting a home network started.
One last point I would recommend a surge protector for use with this product, but if you are concerned about your electric supply hopefully you are already using one.