Hello again. On behalf of eyeontheplace I’ve been testing homeplugs, also known as powerline adapters – and I am seriously impressed.
If you’ve not come across these, basically they’re adapters that carry your computer network signal through the mains electricity wires in your walls, but on a different frequency to the power. This sounds flaky, I know, but it’s actually a very exciting development for anyone who has used wireless CCTV cameras. Please read on…
First of all, here’s a typical homeplug:
Basically, you need at least two of these to make a start. For example, you can plug one into a wall socket near your router, and plug the other one into a socket near to the camera. Then, you connect the camera to the homeplug with an ordinary network cable – as you can see, it has a socket for a network cable underneath. You also connect the router to the other homeplug in the same way, with a network cable. Then, you follow the instructions that come with the homeplug – dead easy!
Notice how this model does not “use up” a power socket – because it has one on the front. This means that you can plug your router or camera into the homeplug instead of the wall socket where it was plugged in before, with no change to cabling!
You may be thinking, “why bother?” if you have a wireless camera. Well, here are a couple of important advantages:
- Reliability: Inevitably, wireless connections go wrong now and then, because of interference, failure to recover after a power outage etc. If you are miles away from the property where the camera is located, you will be stuck with no access to your camera, no motion detection, no recorded images etc. There is no such issue when you use homeplugs.
- Speed: The homeplug that I tested, which has a nominal 200Mbps maximum speed, gave noticeably faster connection speeds than the camera’s 54g wireless connection.
You can also add more homeplugs, so if, for example, you have three cameras, you could have a homeplug at each camera and one at the router – they can all be made to talk to one another very easily – for best results choose the same make for all of your plugs and check the manufacturer’s website for compatibility – basically, it’s easy. You can of course also use wired network connections and wireless connections alongside the homeplugs with no problems.
So are there any disadvantages to using homeplugs? Well, there is a small cost – the above model can be bought for £20 a plug. It is also sensible to get the type that has a power socket on the front, so you don’t lose a mains socket. Also, it is not recommended to plug a homeplug into an extension socket or a surge protector, because these items can, in theory, stop the network signal from getting through. But, in our tests, we used an extension socket and a surge protector, individually and even TOGETHER and there was no problem at all! Not that I would recommend this unless necessary.
In summary, I am very impressed by this technology. Here at eyeontheplace we’re going to recommend homeplugs as an option with immediate effect, especially where wireless connectivity may be a problem.