Powerline adapters

First not technically savy so apologies. At times the Atom cannot be found by the app and Naim invariably say it is the network and should connect Atom by cable directly to the router. Ideal but not possible. So current set up is Atom connected to router by WiFi from BT whole home disc which itself connected tothe router by a powerline adapter. Perhaps not ideal but feasible. My questionis would the WiFi signal be inferior because of the adapters in comparison to “straight” WiFi. Have to use adapters as live in Victorian semi with thick walls and signal does not get to ground floor from first floor where BT Smarthub is.
Thank you

Powerline adaptors are considered a last resort by many people but, if your setup works using them, then it’s a decent work around.
In some houses (we have a 3 phase supply) they don’t work reliably as some room spa eon a different phase so the adaptors won’t talk to each other.
There is also the opinion that because they are transmitting along mains cables, they are subjected to a lot of electrical noise.
These days, many ISP’s offer “Mesh” wi-fi systems which seamlessly link together to create a robust network around most homes - designed with the kind of houses we tend to have in the UK in mind.
My own home dates way back and in places, the walls are 3 feet thick. As we did a major refurb a few years ago, I had a full ethernet system with multiple wi-fi access points installed, along with many ethernet ports in every room. I do appreciate not everyone is not able to make those kind of changes and a workaround is often the best or easiest solution.

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These adaptors are banned in our household. Having spent money to clean up the mains I would not want them introducing artefacts into the system.

As said they are a last resort and these days somewhat of an old fashioned work around… they don’t offer Ethernet performance and can confuse performance optimised devices connected to them(they can make Naim streamers work harder than they otherwise should need to in the network stack) , they have increased unreliability for data, and they can cause phenomenal amounts of radio frequency interference, just as a by product of them functioning… and that isn’t limited to conducted interference but also the near field of the wave lengths involved (the living space) within your house.

I would only recommend as last resort if and only if you can’t use a modern system such as an Easy Mesh wireless system, assuming you are unable to use Ethernet.
If you do use, I personally would recommend you switch off/disconnect from the mains prior to your family sleeping at might, especially with children.

In trying to gather the extent of RFI and RF field strength in your living space as a by product of using them try the AM radio test on MW or SW. if at the higher frequency (shorter wavelengths) end of the dial, the interference is hardly audible when not tuned to a station (it will sound kind of like an electronic motor boat) then it is probably having minimal impact.

Thank you for all your comments. The problem is I live in a Victorian semi with thick walls etc and the BT Whole Home discs cannot deliver WiFi where needed. I am happy to replace them but, as mentioned, not technically minded so cannot judge which mesh system,if any, would provide greater “wall penetration”.

Thanks agaian

The BT Whole Home system is an Easy Mesh system.
In a large house we put the APs in halls and landings, the signal can pass through wooden doors and wooden floor joists. I live in an Edwardian house with brick internal walls and works well with wired multiple access points.

If a truly large house, then it may be best to lay ethernet cable anyway, as anything else including EasyMesh will be a compromise if totally reliant on non Ethernet connectivity.

EasyMesh etc is nothing about ‘wall penetration’ or refraction, that is more to do with the bands used. 2.4GHz penetrates further and refracts (bends) more, but is more crowded, than 5GHz.

The thing to avoid is a Wifi extender… these are a real performance compromise, best use EasyMesh nodes/discs/access points if you can’t Ethernet connect your access points , this method uses a different system of wireless connectivity and is hugely more efficient than the old fashioned extenders.

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The best way to get ‘wall penetration’ is, of course, with a drill and some long Ethernet cables. I do accept that this can seem impossible, or very disruptive, but it is cheap, and possibly worth having it done professionally by someone who is practiced in pulling cables. Even if you can just run a single cable to a strategic location, and connect a WAP to it, that would be better than trying to resort to powerline adapters.
Failing that, Mesh type extenders often need to be set up in groups to give whole house coverage, and it could be that you need to experiment with perhaps 3 in a variety of locations to get them working well for you. Good luck!

Many thanks. I have played with the three BT discs in many locations but the coverage I want has alluded me. Just need to remember where I left my drill!!!

Remember the easy way to run cables is around the OUTSIDE of the house! So wall lan socket behind router. LAN cable through a hole in the wall behind the socket. Use hyatts to fix lan cable around the outside of the house (outdoor cat5 of course). Then through the outside wall again to the room where you need the connection. Again finish off with a proper wall lan socket. Took me three hours to run 4 sockets; it would have taken half that time if I hadn’t had to thread the lan cable carefully behind the ivy that covers the side of the house :frowning:

Another trick… put the sockets on the skirting boards. Use a plunge cutter to cut the recess on the skirting and the face plate of the socket then simply screws over the cutout. No unsightly surface boxes or having to spend ages chiselling for a sunken wall box.

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Indeed, and if you put the Wifi access point discs on the ceiling or high up, you can use models that are PoE, that is they are powered via the Ethernet lead, having used power injectors or a PoE source switch. Cuts down on clutter and the need for wall wart PSUs… the Wifi disc then just looks like a regular smoke alarm or CO disc and quite inconspicuous. That’s what I do in SiS towers.
Unfortunately the BT system doesn’t currently support PoE, I use the Ubiquiti Wifi products and they do … and haven’t looked back.
I believe Naim have used Ubiquiti in the past for ‘special’ Naim installs

If you concerned about an install, and what to have it done properly (thinking of house value, long term reliability etc) then inquire for a qualified electrician firm or data network cable installer with CNCI accreditation.
There are compliance requirements for permanent installation of data networks cabling, and most doing DIY are probably unaware… probably not essential for casual home network, but if you are one of those people that like to have things done correctly it’s worth looking at… especially if the project is off putting and you don’t want to research the Ethernet infrastructure cabling standards.

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Ubiquitous is a company o only heard of a few days ago but has been recommended on other sites. Is likely to have better coverage than the BT discs which I would be happy to pay for.
Thank you

The coverage will be about the same. The BT product is simple plug and play, the Ubiquiti requires a little setup.

Thank you but on that basis getting a decent signal throughout the house may require running cable

If you have a large house, with mostly internal double bricked or stone walls then yes… I’d bite the bullet and do it or get it done.
If you get it done, see if they can install trunking, so you can drag through and replace cables at a later date should you wish to… if not, at least get then to run double cable… with perhaps one of the cables not initially connected.
Once you have a good house network, especially in a large house, it could be quite liberating with home automation, and home security uses as well as obvious benefits for the inhabitants.

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Had “experts” in who could not help in running a cable on the outside of the house. One suggested power line adapters which I do not want to return to. So should I try a better Wi-Fi mesh system than current BT Whole home system if so any suggestions? Many thanks.

My gut feeling is that you need better “experts” rather than better WiFi equipment, but of course, without seeing your house, it’s hard to know just how hard it would be to run a cable.

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The problem is they want an easy route to run the cable , perhaps not unreasonably, when I want a more discrete running of the cable but that involves drilling through thick stone walls.

I had/have very similar challenges, I live in an old cottage with one metre thick stone walls and WiFi is non existent in some parts of the building. I worked with my electrician to find routes through the roof spaces as the stone walls tend to scaled down above ceiling height, if your’e lucky you can feed the cable down from the roof space behind the wall lining and form a wall point. Bit more work and had to external cable to the two storey part of the building.


Exactly, if your house can be wired for electricity, it can just as well be wired for data… at the physical cabling level there are many similarities, albeit data shouldn’t be as demanding as mains…

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