Powerline adapters are marvelous gadgets, especially for those with older houses or thick walls that might distort the Wi-Fi signal from your router, causing you slower speeds or even packet loss.
They offer a wired connection by routing the internet through your home’s electrical wiring, making each of your power sockets an access point to the internet, when a powerline adapter is connected to it.
Some powerline adapters will not only act as an access point, but they will also extend the range of your Wi-Fi signal too, offering you both better wired and wireless connectivity throughout your home.
Choosing a Powerline Adapter
Generally speaking, a wired connection will always be quicker and more reliable than a wireless connection, which makes powerline adapters a perfect choice for gamers. Gamers require a constant steady connection to remain competitive in their favorite games.
However, choosing the right powerline adapter isn’t as easy as just picking one up from the store. There are a couple of important things to note when looking at buying a powerline adapter to use for gaming.
Firstly, you need to make sure that you purchase a powerline adapter with the correct standard to obtain the highest speed possible for your network. If you’re not sure what speeds you are getting, you can either check the throughput speeds on your router or contact your ISP for more information.
Secondly, you should check that there are no existing issues with your home’s internal wiring. This can be a problem with older houses and might adversely affect the performance of your powerline adapters.
What Powerline Adapter Standards Are There?
There are several types of powerline adapter standards available. Some of these standards are simply newer than others and therefore offer faster and more reliable technology. Others are simply designed to be capped at certain speeds, helping you to save money by not needing to splash out on a powerline adapter that offers data transfer rates that your network simply cannot achieve.
The most common powerline adapter standards are:
- AV 500
- AV2 600
- AV2 1000
- AV2 1200
- AV2 2000
Of all the powerline adapter standards, G.hn is the newest, followed by AV2 and then AV. With AV powerline adapters the letters indicate the technology, so either AV or AV2. The numbers in the second part of the naming convention indicate the top transfer rates for the device, making the AV2 2000 the quickest, with speeds up to 2000Mbps.
Yet the newer G.hn standard boasts speeds of up to 2400Mbps making it the fastest powerline adapter available for gaming.
AV vs. AV2
You will notice that there are both AV and AV2 standards such as the AV500 and the AV2 600. To put it simply, the AV2 is a newer powerline adapter standard; it utilizes better technology to more reliably obtain faster speeds for your network.
With the AV2 2000 standard, you can reach speeds of up to 2000Mbps compared to the AV 500 which can only reach speeds of up to 500Mbps.
On top of this, AV2 powerline adapters can also use Beamforming technology, which is used to increase the throughput to specific devices. For example, it will determine where your smart TV, laptop, or gaming PC is located and project a stronger signal in that direction, which helps to improve the transfer rate on powerline adapters with Wi-Fi extending capabilities.
G.hn powerline adapters, like AV2, can also leverage Beamforming technology. However, they offer higher speeds, a more reliable connection, and have a greater range of Wi-Fi range-extending capabilities.
But as the technology is superior and newer, compared to AV or AV2 standards, they come at a much higher price range, making them a less viable option for those looking for the best powerline adapters on a reasonable budget.
With AV and AV2 powerline adapter standards, you can mix and match powerline adapters from different brands, and those at different speeds. Because G.hn is an entirely different technology, it’s not possible to use an AV2 and G.hn powerline adapter together; you would have to purchase an entirely new set of powerline adapters if you wanted to use the G.hn standard.
G.hn is currently the fastest powerline adapter standard, with the highest possible speeds, the best Wi-Fi extending technology, and improved reliability. It is shortly followed by the AV 2000 standard which only just falls short of the technology used in G.hn powerline adapters.
Are Powerline Adapters Backward Compatible?
If you are on a slower connection, such as ADSL+ or FTTC which only offers a max speed of up to 80Mbps, it might be worth saving money and looking at AV 600 powerline adapters. Purchasing an AV 2000 adapter would not increase your speed.
That being said, powerline adapters are backward compatible, meaning if you decide to invest in an AV 2000 powerline adapter, it will work with a slower connection and can be used when you eventually do upgrade your internet to FTTP, which can often reach speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Mesh Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Extenders
Mesh Wi-Fi is designed to eliminate any wireless dead zones within your property. Mesh systems work by placing nodes (or satellites) in areas of your home that either receive weak or no wireless signal at all. The nodes receive a signal from your modem or router and extend the range of your Wi-Fi.
Thankfully, you can combine mesh Wi-Fi systems alongside powerline adapters to ensure that the extended Wi-Fi signal offers the best speeds possible. Many powerline adapters now come with built-in Wi-Fi extending technology, eliminating the need to purchase a mesh system or a separate Wi-Fi extender, depending on your home or requirements.
The Fastest Powerline Adapter Standard
If you are looking for the fastest powerline adapter standard for gaming, G.hn is the best choice. However, if you’re struggling to get hold of a G.hn powerline adapter, the industry-standard still leans toward AV2, with AV2 2000 powerline adapters being the fastest.
Searching for a powerline adapter from a top brand, such as Netgear or TP-Link, you might find it harder to obtain a solid G.hn powerline adapter, making the AV 2000 a better option due to its more affordable price and wider availability.
How to Set Up Ethernet and Wireless Powerline Adapters
About The Author
Kegan Mooney (10 Articles Published)
Kegan is an avid gamer and enjoys most things tech, always having to have the latest technology. If he’s not playing on his gaming PC, he can be found tinkering with it.