Question wifi vs powerline

alexrp12345

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Jun 7, 2016
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This is the powerline I have https://www.bestbuy.com/site/netgear-powerline-ac1200-gigabit-ethernet-adapter-2-pack-white/4002029.p?skuId=4002029

and I have this wifi card https://www.bestbuy.com/site/netgear-ac1200-dual-band-wifi-usb-3-0-adapter-black/8860004.p?skuId=8860004&ref=212&loc=1&extStoreId=533&ref=212&loc=1&ds_rl=1266837&ds_rl=1266837&gclid=Cj0KCQjwv8nqBRDGARIsAHfR9wARGuOSMAvp5oq-xtZfoPpDiKt5ls0VuNNKgXXt8G3E0diboE0X7E4aApfEEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

I play counter-strike competitively. My wifi connection feels AMAZING compared to my powerline. However, my wifi lags/spikes/is completely unstable and can be unbearable.

On the same server locations, I ping for an example 25 (which spikes but still) on my wifi card compared to my powerline where I'll ping like 50-60 or even higher.

What is up with my powerline? It's REALLY stable, which is amazing and a game changer as I can't connect to the upstairs desktop which has the router.
 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
To troubleshoot your connections, you have to understand the different types of interference that affect wireless and powerline adapters.

Wireless has far more potential sources of interference, from other networks, other machines on your network, or the many devices that operate on 2.4 or 5GHz. Consider all of the wireless devices around your computer or in line with the signal. Also consider that 2.4GHz penetrates matter better than 5Ghz but is unfortunately more crowded as there are only 3 non-overlapping 2.4GHz channels (1, 6, and 11).

The most common issue with wireless is the inability to maintain a stable signal with uses that are very latency dependent (like gaming) or bandwidth intensive (high res video).

Powerline by contrast is generally very stable for latency unless there is a large electric motor (floor fan, appliances) or other source of interference on the circuit (like fluorescent lights). While it depends somewhat on your electrical circuit quality -- most modern homes are not a problem with the newer PL adapters.

Also, you cannot use surge protectors in the circuit with a PL adapter. If you do have a large motor that is an issue you can try using a short (4-6 foot ) extension cord that can reduce the noise.

You can try other outlets with your PL adapters or perhaps try re-initializing them and reconnecting them.

In the end though, nothing beats an Ethernet cable. Sometimes a combination of a PL adapter or cable to another location can make the difference.
 
You should not see that high latency on powerline. I have seen other posts where people reported similar powerline issues and I don't remember if there was a actual cause.


You get a very slight increase in latency maybe 4-5ms on most powerline systems.

Powerline function very much like ethernet. It does not do data retransmission. It has some small ability to correct damaged data they send extra bits in the encoding but if it is damaged too bad the packet is just discarded.

Wifi on the other hard will retransmit data trying to get a valid copy sent. This can increase the time greatly because it will try to retransmit many times before it gives up.

I can see no way you can get 50ms pinging your router IP on the powerline units. The higher latency means some device is holding the data in a buffer. The actual transmission time over the wires is some fraction of the speed of light so it is not the actual data traveling in the wires that is causing the delay.
 

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