Question Devolo dLan 500+ WiFi Powerline - Throughput Problem

paulbasel

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I have a home that was remodeled a few years ago and had new wiring and sockets installed throughout the entire house.

Home office - 2nd floor
Bedrooms - 1st floor
Living area - ground floor

Home Office
Linksys router WRT3200ACM with a wired Devolo dLan 500 duo+ powerline adaptor in a wall socket 1 meter away from the modem (no power strip). My ISP service is 100 Mbit/s down 10Mbit/s up, 2.4 GHz, Channel 11 (5 GHz not supported).

Desktop ethernet connected Win10: 100 down, 10.0 up (+/-1%)
Laptop wireless Win10: 95.0 down, 7.0 up (+/-1%)
Latency for both from Pingtest is good

Living area
The Devolo Cockpit software shows that the dLan sub unit is receiving about 45 Mbit/s. In the living area my iPad and iPhone receive about 18 Mbit/s down and 9 Mbit/s up standing right next to the wireless sub unit. At these speeds it is difficult to even read the online news on these devices.

This in my opinion is very poor performance. What can I do to improve it?
 

kanewolf

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500Mbit powerline is very old technology. To get the best performance you need to replace that old technology with newer model powerline OR run an ethernet cable. The current generation powerline products are marked with "AV2 MIMO". They will be listed as either 1000 or 2000 "speed". If you want WIFI, then use a proper access point, IMO. The combo devices are compromises.
 

paulbasel

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Get a faster set, AV2-1000 or better, which use MIMO and you will get around 200Mbps in real world use. They are quite a bit faster than the old AV500 models.

Two examples: THIS or THIS.
Many thanks for the advice. What is the difference between the devolo dLan 1200+ wifi and the devolo Magic 2 WiFi. The devolo website is short on technical comparison information. Would appreciate your input.
 

paulbasel

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If you want WIFI, then use a proper access point, IMO. The combo devices are compromises.
I have to use a powerline solution to get the signal from the top floor to the ground floor. Are you saying then at that point I should use a powerline adaptor without wifi and connect an access point with an ethernet cable to the powerline adaptor on the ground floor? Would I see a significant difference given that my isp speed is only 100 Mbit/s?
 

RealBeast

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Many thanks for the advice. What is the difference between the devolo dLan 1200+ wifi and the devolo Magic 2 WiFi. The devolo website is short on technical comparison information. Would appreciate your input.
The Magic 2 setup is a mesh wireless solution using multiple PL adapters (still all AV-2 MIMO). Think of the basic Magic 2 (one wireless point and one base connector) as being similar to the Devolo pair that I linked. It does not sound like you need to spend quite as much as the Magic 2 to do what you are now only faster.

As to the point of using two AV2-1000 adapters (without wifi) and then attaching a cheap router as an AP at the distant point -- that is how I usually accomplish what you are doing, but involves more gear. Either way will work fine and improve greatly upon your current situation.

The bottom line is that your older AV500 units are just far slower than the newer AV-2 units that use MIMO by incorporating the ground line into the usable wiring. Either newer AV-2 solution will be an improvement, and I would go with the least cost of the newer solutions to address your current issue.

If in the future you want more distant wired connections at the distant PL adapter you can always just add a 4 or 5 port switch to the distant unit LAN port.
 

paulbasel

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I looked at some consumer reviews of the Magic 2 and was less than thrilled by what I saw. Most of the negative reviews indicated that they were pleased with their existing AC 1200 units but not with the Magic 2. I also concluded that as you said that solution was more than what I need.

I think I might try using an old router that serve me well for many years as an access point and see what happens. I can disable the WLAN and setup the router and see if there is any improvement. At least it is an easy experiment before laying out cash for new gear.

Thanks again for the info and your help. Much appreciated.
 

gggplaya

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You should have had them run an ethernet line between floors while they did the wiring, I bet you're kicking yourself now, lol.

Do you have cable wires run throughout the house?? MOCA adapters work the best in terms of actual achievable speeds, you'll actually get gigabit speed between ends. It runs through your cable tv wires. Typically, you'll have cable in several rooms running to a cable splitter in the attic or basement. Just disconnect the cable lines, at the splitter, which lead to your home office and ground floor. Connect those two lines together using a coupler. Then connect the moca adapter to each end of those lines, and bobs your uncle.

If you actually need to use those cable lines for cable, you still can as long as you're not using satelite or cable tv boxes with DLNA streaming. These systems are typically used for whole home DVR systems.
 

paulbasel

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You should have had them run an ethernet line between floors while they did the wiring, I bet you're kicking yourself now, lol.
I do have ethernet between the 1st and 2nd floors but not on the ground floor. When we remodeled 15 years ago iPhones, iPads and Android devices didn't exist. There were Tablet PCs from MS and Newtons from Apple but it seemed that nobody bought them or needed them. We had no idea that one day we would use these WiFi enabled devices in our living area, ergo no need for ethernet on the ground floor.

I have never looked into MoCA adapters but we do have cable throughout the entire house. I'm not sure where the splitter is if we have one at all. I've not seen one in the basement and we don't have an attic. I may have to ask the electrician for the plans. I don't have satelite TV but I don't know if my cable TV box has DLNA streaming. I don't have a whole home DVR system. How can I find out if the box would support MoCA adapters?

I haven't done much reading about MoCA systems as yet but what little I have read suggests that there isn't much difference in throughput between them. I still must have WiFi on the ground floor because that is our only need there. I am not using a laptop or PC in that area that would benefit from an ethernet connection.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into it in more detail.
 

paulbasel

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As to the point of using two AV2-1000 adapters (without wifi) and then attaching a cheap router as an AP at the distant point -- that is how I usually accomplish what you are doing, but involves more gear. Either way will work fine and improve greatly upon your current situation.
I sent the same question that I originally posted here to Devolo support, i.e., how to improve the throughput of the adapters. Their reply:

"Speed tests are designed to test your internet speed if you are connected directly to the router. When testing a connection with dLAN adapters or WLAN they are often unreliable. For a more reliable result, please download a larger file on both the adapter as well as directly through the router and compare the download speed or time."

I'm not sure how to download a large file through the adapter since the only devices connected to it are iPads. And even if I chose to download a book or something like that, how would I measure the speed. Maybe there is a way.

They also indicated that the values determined by the Cockpit software do not show the actual data rate between the main unit and the sub units, but rather the gross data rate. The net data rate corresponds to about 40% of the indicated data rate.

In fact that is accurate. The sub unit shows 45 Mbit/s most of the time and 40% of that is 18 Mbit/s which is about what the speedtest on the iPad shows. Why don't they just show the net data rate? And, they didn't address the issue of how to improve the performance of the system.

I haven't tested my old router as an access point as yet. Banged up my knee and out of commission for awhile.
 

gggplaya

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Since you have an ethernet connector on the 1st floor, I would just put your router there. You can leave your modem where it is, and just connect the ethernet line to your WAN port on the 1st floor with the bedrooms. That might give you better coverage throughout the house.
 

paulbasel

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Since you have an ethernet connector on the 1st floor, I would just put your router there. You can leave your modem where it is, and just connect the ethernet line to your WAN port on the 1st floor with the bedrooms. That might give you better coverage throughout the house.
It just might do that but unfortunately I have several other devices connected to the router. Thanks for the idea.

After researching MoCA devices and how to set them up I find that there was only one manufacturer selling these devices here in Switzerland and it was only rated at 400 Mbit/s. Not sure why they are not sold here.
 

gggplaya

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I would suggest you try setting up another access point on the 1st floor with the ethernet connector. You can give it the same SSID and password as the main floor. That way the family doesn't have to concern themselves with connecting to different access points. You can set the wireless channels to be different in each access point if auto doesn't work well.

You can also get a wireless mesh system with a wired backhaul.

I'm hesistant to suggest Moca because Europe may be different than the U.S. in terms of cable tv standards. Your boxes may already be using MOCA, so adding more MOCA communications through the same line would obviously cause a problem. Our standard boxes here in the U.S. don't use MOCA, but some of our newer tv boxes do use MOCA, which is why I suggest people disconnect cable lines at the splitter to isolate them and use them for networking instead. Then I can be sure to recommend it because I know it's isolated, but in your case, it's a bit uncertain if you only have 1 cable line going to the ground floor and you're using it for cable tv. If you have another cable line in the ground floor, you could use that for networking.
 

paulbasel

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Our TV box is made by Kathrein, now part of Ericsson and it appears that it uses MoCA. I think it best not to fool around with MoCA adapters. I will give your idea about an access point on the first floor a try and see if it helps. Thanks again for the suggestion.
 

paulbasel

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Get a faster set, AV2-1000 or better, which use MIMO and you will get around 200Mbps in real world use. They are quite a bit faster than the old AV500 models.
This is an update for anyone still watching this thread. I bought and installed the Devolo dlan 1200+ wifi system and have tested it for over a week now.

With the old AV500 model I reported that I got only about 16 - 20 Mbps and with the newer 1200 model I am now receiving about 56 - 64 Mbps. While this is about a 4 fold increase in throughput, it doesn't seem to translate into a "real world" difference. News sites such as The Guardian, BBC and the New York Times still load slowly and navigating them is as painful as before. No difference either with video clips as well.

Very disappointing for the money I had to lay out. Any ideas or advice?
 

RealBeast

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That speed should give you very good results as it is far more than "adequate" for streaming. I would try a direct connection to the distant Devolo PL unit and see what the results are leaving the wireless aspect out.

I would also recommend checking for other wireless signals using a free cell phone wifi analysis app. Determine if you are using a channel that is heavily used by others.
 

gggplaya

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Try turning off beamforming if you can. Are the slow downs during the download phase of your webbrowsing, or when you phone/tablet is trying to reach out to the website to request a download?
 

paulbasel

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I would try a direct connection to the distant Devolo PL unit

I would also recommend checking for other wireless signals
Devolo's software shows that the distant Devolo PL uni is receiving about 150 Mbps. I tried the direct connection with my Win 10 laptop, disconnected the WiFi and did 3 speed tests, all with the same software and server as when I tested the WiFi speed. The results were consistently at 65 Mbps, about the same as with the WiFi tests.

I always use CNN to test the real world because it is graphics and video heavy. With the direct connection the site loaded quickly, virtually no lag in the links and was almost as fast as with my desktop ethernet connected PC. Tested the same site again with my iPad: slow to load, links showed significant lag; same as before.

I'm not sure what is going on. My wireless tests are all done on a 5 year old iPad Air that has plenty of storage and only one or two apps running in the background. I close them regularly. Could the age be a factor? BTW, I switched to a different channel where only one other person was using but it made no difference in the speed.
 

gggplaya

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Like I said, try it with beamforming turned off if you can. I had problems with this in the past. I think it's because the phone or tablet believes it has a better wifi signal than it actually does, and lowers the wifi amplifier gain amperage to save power. Just a theory, I don't know. But beamforming turned off solved the issue for me in that case.
 

paulbasel

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Try turning off beamforming if you can. Are the slow downs during the download phase of your webbrowsing, or when you phone/tablet is trying to reach out to the website to request a download?
I am not familiar with beamforming but if it has to do with MU-MIMO it appears in my Devolo software under this heading:

Compatibility Mode Select the compatibility mode. This mode is a special mode, which resolves rare connection issues which can result from interaction with other technologies such as VDSL.

I can't find anywhere to turn it off. It is a choice between MIMO or SISO.

Sites generally load okay, but the lag is when I click a link to a page on the same site with some video on it or has a lot of graphics. Playing video, even small clips like Ronaldo scoring a goal is slow to load and some occasionally crash.
 

gggplaya

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You might actually need a new iPad. The original iPAD air only had 1GB of ram. Newer content may use too much ram. I have an original iPAD air which my son now uses, and replaced it with a 2019 iPad. I haven't used the original iPAD in a long time, but I can try it with CNN when I get home tonight.

The problem I had with beamforming sounds similar. Pages would load fine, but when you clicked on a link to request a new page, it would hang for minutes before loading. But wasn't specific to videos. It was all links.
 

paulbasel

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You might actually need a new iPad. The original iPAD air only had 1GB of ram.
I'm not ready to shell out more money right now. According to Adrian Kingsley-Hughes whom I have great respect for, speeding up an iPad is as simple as making a backup and then wipe the device and then restore the backup. I'm going to try it. If there is an improvement, I'll post the results in this thread.

Thanks for your help, much appreciated.
 

gggplaya

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It's definitely your iPad. I just checked on my ipad air and CNN.com is a dog. Videos don't load well, if at all and there's some buffering going on. Overall CNN wasn't a website designed with smartphones or tablets in mind. You may want to try their app instead of using your browser.

CNN's website ran "ok" on my 2019 ipad. It was still a little more sluggish than I would like, but everything worked fine.
 

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