Solved Powerline/Homeplug - wifi extender or hotspot?

Hewlett-packard / Dc7900
March 5, 2015 at 02:12:24
Specs: Windows 8.1, Intel e5200 dual/2gb
Hello - hoping once again for guidance from this fine forum!

We live in a flat with very thick walls. As a result the wifi doesn't extend consistently to all rooms and at one end of the flat, not at all. This isn't the end of the world as we've managed to use a number of homeplug/powerline devices to take connectivity to the rooms that wifi fails to reach. This overcomes most teenage gaming console/Roku type demands!

Nevertheless, I would like if possible to enable an effective wifi option in the furthest room. I've tried a couple of ways of extending the coverage (extenders, boosters) but nothing has really worked properly.

My question - is a homeplug/powerline hotspot different from a homeplug/powerline extender?


In layman's terms, does the extender simply pick up the existing wifi signal and pass it on, whereas the hotspot creates a new point of access where it's plugged in? If I'm right, then I need the hotspot to solve my issue?

I'm very confused!

Many thanks

message edited by paulietheboy

See More: Powerline/Homeplug - wifi extender or hotspot?

Report •

March 5, 2015 at 02:35:41
✔ Best Answer
The second unit takes the signal transmitted over the mains wiring and radiates it as a wifi signal (creates a hotspot). Thus you have in effect two wifi hotspots - your router and homeplug (each presumably with its own ssid/access key) and "may" have to manually select whichever one in the far location (as is mentioned in the questions section for the second unit).

The first unit simply picks up the wifi signal from your router and reradiates it (extends the coverage). But it does require the incoming wifi from your router to be stable at least. It will take a weak, but stable, signal and rebroadcast it a decent level.

I would go with second unit as you will have a stable signal over mains, and thus no likelyhood of droputs (or at least minmial risk) compared to the first unit.

Incidentally I have used Devolo kit for (in the UK) several years. (They wre the first with the homeplug idea if I remember correctly). They have wifi hotspot modules too, although I haven't used them; I manage fine with the ethernet style. As I understand the homeplug standards, all such devices are supposed to be compatible with each other make...?

message edited by trvlr

Report •

March 5, 2015 at 03:06:53
Thank you for the reply, trvir. I think I made the mistake recently of buying an extender thinking that it was a hotspot creator, so to speak. The expression I've been struggling for is the distinction between radiate and reradiate - you've tidied that up for me very nicely, thank you!

I have a number of homeplugs - mostly but not all TP LINK branded, and they seem to work together. I know that if you introduce one of a lower speed (e.g. a 200 into a 500 network) it will drop the whole thing to that standard, although the speeds we get never get near that anyway.

Not sure I quite get the part about manual selection so will read closely the questions as indicated. This doesn't though mean that both hotspots (main and added) can't be used at the same time, does it?

Report •

March 5, 2015 at 08:29:38
If you're referring to in effect having two hotspots/access points available on a given device; "usually" the stronger one will be selected automatically. However that doesn't mean one can't manually select the other one if preferred. You would see all available access the device can detect; and then make your selection (and provide the appropriate access-key. Also once you have set up/established a connection with the a given access point, generally one can elect to have it "remembered" by the device for future use/connection...

I use to use both my own home system and that of another Iocation on a regular basis; both "remembered and automatically connected once within range accordingly.

Also re' Devolo units (at least): Devolo advise that their earlier 25 and 85Mbps modules won't work with their later faster modules.. I have all 85Mbps modules; they work fine for me...

I tend to prefer using cat-5 connections whenever possible regardless of strength/stability of the wifi signal.

Report •

Related Solutions

March 12, 2015 at 05:22:58
Just a final word - I purchased a hotspot homeplug as per the 2nd link in the original post and it works perfectly and is exactly what I wanted.

Thanks to Trvir!

Report •

Ask Question