Best Cheap Powerline Adaptors and Who Can Use Them
A good quality cheap power line adaptor this a great way of extending the network to all the areas of your home that you'll need internet, without any expensive wiring taking place. A power line adaptor uses the existing electrical wiring that is already in place. The power line plug will contain an ethernet port, or maybe 2 ports. One end of the adaptor plugs into an electrical socket near the router, or modem, and the other plugs in at the area of the house where you need the internet. To add more rooms on to the network, just plug in more adaptors in the rooms required.
A power line signal will still degrade over distance, much like an ethernet cable will, but it will also degrade when it goes over circuits in the wiring also. This will cause attenuation, basically weakening the strength of the connection even more. So it does have some limitations, but it's uses will seem obvious to those who have a large house and can only get WiFi in certain areas, like a garage, loft space or bedrooms further away. Older buildings are also good for this as they tend to have thicker walls and WiFi isn't passed though as easily as newer buildings.
WiFi extenders are also available, however these are usually a lot more expensive and a power line adaptor is still the cheapest option we feel.
Other things to be aware of when getting a cheap power line adaptor are that you don't want to connect a power line adaptor to a surge protector, or a multiple socket extension. Most powerline adaptors have 2 1GB ethernet ports, if you require more ports than this, i.e. you want to connect a laptop, TV and a games console, then you should look into getting a network switch. A network switch is cheaper than more poowerline adaptors and multiple power line adaptors in one room don't work as well together.
The technology of power line adaptors has move on pretty quick. If you can pick up a cheap 2015 power line adaptor, then this will work perfectly for most peoples needs. Just remember though, that the newer 2016 models are about twice as fast, so if speed is important, like in fast action gaming, then you may want to pay the extra for a better quality 2016 poewrline adaptor.
Brands of Powerline Adaptors
So now you know what to look for in a cheap power line adaptor, it's best to look at which are the best brands to choose from. There's some names that you'll no doubt know of, and some which are less well known, but still decent quality kits.
BT Powerline Adaptors BT are the UK's biggest internet service provider and they also have a great range of networking hardware. They have 2 different power line adaptor kits. One is a 600Mbps kit, and the other is a 1000Mbps second kit. There's a £50 difference between the two, but the Mbps isn't the only difference. The cheaper BT powerline adaptor will be more than enough for the basic user who just wants to boost the signal whilst in a far away room of the house, but you do get some better features for the £50 more you'll be paying for the other kit. You get 4 ports, instead of just one, and also it has a pass though plug socket so you can still use the socket it is connected too.
TP-Link Powerline Adaptors TP-Link are a decent network tools brand. The power line adaptor they have is a good middle ground between the BT ones. It's around £50 and for this you get 600Mbps, 4 ports and a pass though socket. So you can see from the specifications why is a middle ground power line adaptor. They also have a higher end one that offers all the same features, but 1200Mbps speed. This is £20 more so it's worth making sure you need such high speeds.
Linksys Linksys are another mid range brand and offer just one power line adaptor to choose. It's only got speeds of 500Mbps and just the one port. It's also fairly expensive, at around £60, when you look at the comparable features. With this in mind we feel that their are better options of cheap power line adaptors to help you save some money.
ZyXEL No doubt you've never heard of a ZyXEL power line adaptor. It's a good quality adaptor that has some decent hardware in it and gets good solid reviews too. It has speeds of up to 100Mbps and 1 port, but it's fairly low priced so a good alternative to the cheapest BT power line adaptor.
Where to get Cheap Powerline Adaptors
Getting your hands on a low priced powerline adaptor doesn't take to long. They aren't too readily available, but you can find them at a few of the big UK retailers. We feel this is also the place to get the best savings and get hold of some good sales on power line adaptors too. These are the 3 that we feel offer the biggest discounts, and also have some good customer reviews.
Cheap Argos Powerline Adaptors There isn't to much in the way of a good selection from Argos, but the one big positive is that they have some good sales, and most of us are never too far from our nearest Argos store. This makes it so easy to reserve online and then pick up in store. They also have a great returns policy if the product isn't right for you.
Cheap Currys Powerline Adaptors A good thing about getting electrical from Currys is that they have some pretty knowledgable staff on hand to offer advice and point you in the right direction on what is the best power line adaptor for you. They also have some good deals running, making a Currys power line adaptor good value for money.
Cheap eBuyer Powerline Adaptors eBuyer are one of the biggest online electrical retailers in the UK. Because they don't have the same high operating costs as high street stores they can offer their products a little cheaper. This is a good place to look around the clearance section to see if you can pick up a good discount of some quality electrical items.