Powerline Networking Guide -How To Setup HomePlug Adapters

alternatively of running new Ethernet cables to connect your devices to your dwelling network then why not use your existing electrical power cables ?
That is the estimate behind Powerline or Homeplug networks .
Note: HomePlug is the family identify for baron occupation specifications for network over existing home electric wire .
HomePlug adapters are typically used to connect not Wi-Fi equipped devices to a home net, and to extend the range of existing networks.

You normally buy homeplug adapters in pairs, and in this character all you need to do is plug them in, and they work .
however replacing defective devices or extending an existing powerline network is a different story.

What you will Learn

In this steer we will look at powerline networking using homeplug Ethernet adapters, how it works, and how you set up a home network. You will learn :

  • How powerline networking works.
  • How It integrates into your existing home network.
  • How to create a powerline network using homeplug adapters
  • How to add and remove adapters from a network
  • How various standards interoperate.
  • What tools you can use.

Powerline Networking Overview

Powerline networking use your existing mains electric cable to connect devices in concert .
Devices like computers plug into a powerline adapter using an Ethernet cable with a UTP connection, just like they would plug into an Ethernet hub or switch .
The exponent occupation arranger then plugs into the mains, and uses the mains wiring to transmit the data .
Another office production line arranger is required somewhere on the like mains cable system to extract the signal .


  • No additional wiring required
  • Wiring is usually hidden
  • Can use Powerline adapter to power the device e.g. with pass through devices
  • Fast speeds of 500Mbps are possible with new models
  • Long range and not affected by thick walls and other obstacles like Wi-Fi.

Common Powerline Uses

They are much used :

  • To connect devices to a home network that are out of range of the wireless router.
  • To connect a device to the network that requires a high speed and reliable connection e.g. games consoles.
  • To provide wireless range extension using a powerline Wi-Fi booster.

Powerline/Homeplug Standards

Powerline standards have evolved since the initial homeplug 1.0. It is important to be mindful of the different standards because of likely bury operability issues .
The standards are :

  • Homeplug 1.0 Speeds 14Mbs
  • Homeplug 1.0 with Turbo Speeds 85Mbs
  • Homeplug AV speeds 200Mbs speeds of 500Mbps are now available and marketed normally as AV500.
  • Homeplug AV2 (latest) Maximum speed currently 1200Mbps
  • HomePlug Green PHY -low power version and low speed.

See Wiki- for more detail .

HomePlug Inter-Operability

You will credibly face bury operability issues when you need to add another arranger to an existing network or replace a defective arranger .
by and large homeplug 1.0 devices will only work with other homeplug 1.0 devices, and Homeplug AV, AV2 and HomePlug Green PHY will all work together, but will not work with Homeplug 1.0 devices .

  • Homeplug 1.0 works with HomePlug 1.0 Turbo (85 Mbps).
  • HomePlug AV can coexist on same cable with Homeplug 1.0 adapters, but will not work with homeplug 1.0.
  • HomePlug AV 200 works with homeplug AV 500M but at the lower speed.
  • AV,AV2 and HomePlug Green PHY are fully interoperable but at the speed of the lowest speed adapter.

Note: Coexist means that they do not interfere with each other when plugged into the same mains wiring system

How Powerline Adapters Work

Having a basic sympathize of how the powerline network works is crucial to troubleshooting problems, and for build, repairing and upgrading them .
Powerline adapters share the same physical media ( the mains cable ) .
This means that in a neighborhood of houses that all use powerline adapters there is a electric potential security risk .
To overcome this powerline adapters human body logical networks based on a security key or password called a NMK ( Network Management Key ) .
This key is used to encrypt the data on the network using 128 bit AES ( AV2 standard ) or 56 bite DES ( AV1 standard ) .

Creating Powerline Networks

To build a powerline network you need at least two homeplug adapters .
normally you buy adapters in pairs, and the manufacturer will normally ship each pair with a common NMK.
This means that when you plug them into your mains socket they will establish a connection between themselves, and form a coherent network .
If they don ’ thyroxine mechanically establish a connection then you will need to intervene and manually initiate pairing.
The basic theme is that you put one of the adapters in a receptive mode where it listens for another adapter trying to establish a connection .
You then do the lapp with the other arranger. The two adapters should locate each early and agree a shared key .
Note: the adapters will remember this key even if they are unplugged from the mains .
Note: On Older adapters ( AV1 ) don ’ t have a share/security clitoris to initiate the par summons you may need to program each arranger with the lapp key using the software utility that comes with the arranger .
Some manufactures will ship adapters with a common NMK.
This means that adding adapters to an existing net is easy as the modern adapters have the lapp NMK as the ones already on the net .
however this is a security hazard and you should change the NMK from the default .

Powerline Networking Scenarios

  1. Creating a new powerline network.
  2. Replacing a broken adapter.
  3. Adding new adapters to an existing powerline network.
  4. Leaving a Network.

Creating a New Powerline Network

This assumes that you have purchased the adapters as a pair. In which case merely plug them into the mains socket preferably close to each early and they should pair .
once paired you can move them to the necessitate placement .
If they don ’ triiodothyronine pair then use the pair procedure below, but you may besides want to consult the documentation that came with the adapters .

Pairing Procedure
  1. Press the security or NMK button on adapter A for less than 3 seconds and the power LED should flash
  2. Within one minute Press the security or NMK button on adapter B for less than 3 seconds and the power LED should flash.
  3. Both power LEDs should stop flashing and stay illuminated for a successful connection.

If pairing is abortive then see troubleshooting section .

Replacing a Broken Adapter

If one of you adapters goes defective then you can replace it. however you should be aware of the comply .

  • Homeplug 1.0 works with HomePlug 1.0 Turbo (85 Mbps) but not with Homeplug AV1 or AV2 adapters. Therefore if you have the older adaptors then consider replacing both adapters with new ones.
  • If you Have Homeplug AV1 adapters then try to replace the broken one with one of the same speed, and from the same manufacturer when possible. However it is not crucial as devices from different manufactures should work together.
  • A Homeplug AV1 200Mbps adapter paired with a Homeplug AV1 500Mbps adapter will run at the lower speed.

To pair the new arranger to the existing one use the lapp match procedure as covered above, If pair is abortive then see troubleshooting section .

Adding new Adapters to an Existing Powerline Network

Adapters must be added one at a time and the pairing summons carried out each prison term .
For example to add two new adapters C and D to an existing net with adapters A and B then proceed as follows :

  1. Pair adapter C with either Adapter A or B but not both.
  2. Pair adapter D with either Adapter A or B or C.
  3. The Logical network now consists of adapters A,B,C,D

Note: match operation covered above :

Leaving a Network.

To remove an adapter from an existing network then press the security/NMK button for 10 seconds while still plugged it .
The adapter will generate a new random password which places it outside the existing coherent network .


Things to try

  • If they don’t pair you can try resetting both devices by pressing the security/NMK button for 10 seconds and then try again.
  • You can also use the the utility that came with your adapters to set the key on the adapters. See using the Powerline utility.

Extending Wi-Fi Coverage

Homeplug adapters can besides come with built in radio receiver access points which allows you to easily and quickly provide Wi-Fi coverage in early locations

Using The Powerline Software Utility

You should receive a DVD with your adapter containing software that you can use to mange your powerline adapters .
If not you should be able to download the software on-line .
I use TP-link adaptrrs and there are two utilities available .
The tpPLC.exe utility shows a dainty powerlink map whereas the powerline scan .exe utility is for configuring individual adapters .
The tpPLC.exe utility lets you add devices, set device names, turn off leds, set new security system password all through a nice GUI .
however the best feature is the network map which shows you all of the learn adapters and the course speeds and an model is shown below .

Powerline Speeds

good like WiFi there are published speeds for each powerline standard. These speeds are theoretical maximum speeds and you will no get them in practice .
The note focal ratio you get is determined by the cable in your home/office and the distance between adapters .
In summation because all powerline adapters parcel the like medium ( mains cable ) the count of devices that are connected besides affects the throughput speed .
If you look at my diagram taken form my network you can see that the maximal line accelerate is much less than the theoretical travel rapidly and that distance besides plays a character .
A good principle of thumb is to half the theoretical line speed sol for a 600Mbps arranger expect around 300Mbps .
There is an matter to mesa on this forum page showing live test results for adapters under different load conditions .
however generally the speed for even the low speed av200 adapters is a lot quicker than the Internet connection speeds ( 15-100Mbps ) .

Line Speeds and Throughput Speeds

The line focal ratio is the actual bit rate on the line. however because this line is shared by other devices the accelerate of each device ( throughput ) is less than the line rush .
so as a crude exercise if two device were sending on a 300Mbit/s note then each device would have a throughput focal ratio of 150Mbps .

Measuring Throughput Speeds

These are very unmanageable to measure as they work by transferring data between two computers at either end of the joining .
A common utility is LANSpeedTest by Totusoft which is a simple free and brawny tool for measuring Local Area Network ( LAN ) speeds .
It is not in truth for not technical users as it is not easy to setup .
A lot of people try to measure using an Internet speed checker but that measures your overall connection speed which is limited by the slowest connection in the chain which is normally the Internet connection itself. See Understanding Home Networking Speeds

Buying Adapters Quick Note

When purchasing high speed adapters e.g AV 500 and above check the speed of the Ethernet interface as many older adapters used 100Mbps Ethernet .
so even though the line speed was 300Mbps the actual accelerate out was limited by the Ethernet port .
Newer devices normally use 1Gbps Ethernet but check .


Powerline/Homeplug networks are very good way of extending your base network without running cables, and for connecting devices that need a fast and reliable connection .
Speeds are normally much better than Wi-Fi and much more dependable .

Abbreviations Used

PLC Power Line Communication
NMK Network Membership Key
AVLN – Logical network of AV adaptors

Useful Videos

TP link Setup Video – The procedure is used for all makes of adapter
relate Tutorials
Resources and references:
Please Let me Know if you found it useful






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