If you find that your Wi-Fi network is struggling to reach parts of your home or office, rather than trailing Ethernet cables (which can look messy), or buy a Wi-Fi extender, which can still suffer from thick walls and floors, you can use a powerline adaptor.
These devices use the powerlines in your building to transmit network traffic. They are incredibly easy to install – just plug one into a power socket by your router or modem, and connect it via an Ethernet cable. Then, place a second adaptor where you want to supply the network or internet to, and connect any devices to the second adaptor.
You can add more adaptors throughout the building, and their network speeds are much faster than Wi-Fi, and thick walls and floors won't affect them. You will need the power lines in your building to be in good working order, however. Some Wi-Fi adaptors also include Wi-Fi antennae for bringing wireless networks into difficult to reach parts of a building.
There's a large range of power line adaptors available to buy, so to help you we've created this list of the very best power line adaptors.
The Devolo dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac one of the fastest powerline adaptors on the market, able to reach speeds of 1.2 gigabits a second – though you should note that you won't often get those kinds of speeds, as there are numerous factors that can affect powerline speeds.
Still, this is a very fast powerline adaptor, and the fact it can also broadcast dual-band wireless ac networks makes this a very versatile powerline adaptor. The adaptor also has a pass through power port, which means you won't lose a power socket – just plug other devices into the adaptor itself.
The TP-Link AV2000 takes the award for fastest power line adaptor, with a maximum speed of 2000Mbps – though of course actual speeds will be lower. Still, it offers fantastic speeds, along with built-in dual band wireless ac networks and a pass through socket.
In the starter kit you'll get two adaptors, one has a single Ethernet port, which you should use to connect to your modem or router, and the second one has two Ethernet ports for connecting wired devices.
Asus may not be the first company that comes to mind when you think about networking devices, but it makes some very good products – such as the Asus 1200Mbps AV2 1200 Wi-Fi Powerline Adapter.
As the name suggests this is a very fast powerline adaptor that is also able to broadcast a Wi-Fi network as well. Unlike other powerline adaptors with Wi-Fi, the Asus 1200Mbps AV2 1200 Wi-Fi Powerline Adapter has external antennae, which allow you to angle them for increased coverage – though it does mean the units themselves look a little bit ugly compared to some of its competitors.
If you're looking for a nice, cheap but reliable powerline adaptor, than the TP-LINK AV600 is a great choice. It's a lot less money than many of the adaptors on this list, but it still manages to offer plenty of features.
For example, it can broadcast Wi-Fi, and with a Wi-Fi clone button, you can easily extend your existing wireless network. it also features two Ethernet ports, and the second adaptor in the set includes a pass through socket so you don't lose out on a power socket when using the adaptor. While the 600Mbps top speed isn't as high as others on this list, it's still enough to transfer big files and stream media around your home.
This is an excellent entry-level power adaptor that does a very good job at transmitting your network traffic over your powerlines. It doesn't boast the highest speeds, nor does it have Wi-Fi or a passthrough socket, but it does the job well considering the price, and its low cost means it's easy to add adaptors to your network in the future.