Repeater vs. PLC vs. PLC-WiFi
First let’s leave several clear concepts to know what we are talking about. There are several options to extend your home network, and we can summarize them in:
- A WiFi repeater It is the one that picks up a WiFi signal and sends it again, getting greater coverage. They are devices with an easy configuration, with an affordable price and very discreet, since all you need is a plug to place them. The problem they have is that they always suffer a loss of quality that will depend on the area where you place it, so that if you place it in an area away from the main router the quality of the signal they receive is bad, and therefore the signal Repeating is even worse.
- A PLC It is a device that uses your home’s electrical network to extend your internet network. At least you need two devices, one connected by ethernet cable to the main router and plugged into any power outlet, and another that plugged into another remote electrical outlet picks up that signal and transmits it via ethernet cable to any other device that connects to the. Depending on the electrical installation that you have the loss of signal will be greater or lesser, but they have the disadvantage that they do not allow the wireless connection, only through ethernet cable.
- A PLC-WiFi combine the two previous devices: use the electrical network to extend your home’s internet network, and the second receiver picks up that signal and creates a WiFi hotspot to which the devices can connect wirelessly.
Features that a WiFi PLC must have
WiFi PLC configuration
It’s very simple, or at least it should be.. Basically it is about plugging the transmitter into an outlet and connecting it via ethernet to the main router. Then connect the satellite to another outlet in the area where you get bad coverage and everything will be almost done. With this procedure you will have a different Wi-Fi network from the main one, which, as I said, is not what I was looking for. This TP-Link model has a cloning button that should make everything very easy, but I have as main router the Apple AirPort Extreme, which only allows WPS to connect printers, so I had to resort to manual configuration.
Now inside the “Security” menu change the password and put exactly the same as you have on the main router. You will already have your cloned WiFi network and your devices will have no problem connecting to the one generated by the router or to which the PLC-WiFi generates depending on the coverage.
Result: WiFi everywhere
It is an illusion to think that we will have the same connection speed with this duplicated network as with the network that the main router generates. I have a 300Mb connection, speed of getting smoothly connected via WiFi in the living room, where the router is. However, in the kitchen, where I have placed this PLC-WiFi, and that is at the other end of the house “only” I get 30Mb on my iPhone and about 50Mb on my MacBook. Despite the loss of speed in practice this means that I can play any streaming content or quickly download any application from the other side of my house, where until now suffered continuous cuts and speeds sometimes desperate. For me this has finally been the solution, I hope it helps you too.
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