In home networking, the fastest way -- in terms of data speed -- to connect devices together is via network cables. However, running cables properly, which involves making networking ports and connector heads, is no easy task. This is part of the reason the wireless network (Wi-Fi) has become so popular. But chances are, there's a spot in your home that the Wi-Fi signal can't reach, because of distance or thick walls. This is when a power-line connection can be a useful alternative.
Power-line adapters basically turn the electrical wiring of a home into network cables for a computer network. You need at least two power-line adapters to form the first power-line connection. The first adapter is connected to the router and the second to the Ethernet-ready device at the far end. There are some routers on the market, such as the D-Link DHP-1320, that have built-in support for power-line connectivity, meaning you can skip the first adapter. After the first connection, you just need one more adapter to add another Ethernet-ready device to the home network.
Apart from the ability to bridge the network through thick walls, power-line connections are also a lot more stable than Wi-Fi signal and have as low latency and a regular Ethernet wired connections.
Currently there are two main standards for power-line networking, HomePlug AV and Powerline AV 500. They offer speed caps of 200Mbps and 500Mbps, respectively. The following is the list of top five power-line adapters on the market. This list is sorted by the review date, starting with the most recently reviewed. It will be updated as more devices are reviewed.… Read more