We do not always have the Internet coverage that we would like and that means that we must use certain devices to improve the problem. One of the most used options is to have a PLC. They work very well to take the connection from one place to another in the house. Now, it is important to install them correctly and avoid making mistakes. For this reason, in this article we are going to make a complete review of all the factors that you must take into account to ensure that PLC devices work perfectly, with good speed and stability.
How PLCs work
First of all we are going to explain how PLC devices work. They are normally made up of two devices that are connected to each other. We plug one of them into both the router and a plug, while the other is placed in another place in the house, connected to the electrical current. The connection will go from one to another through electrical wiring, so they are connected to each other by this means.
Unlike other options such as Wi-Fi repeaters or Mesh systems, the connection will not travel wirelessly but instead uses electrical cables . This is how you can take the Internet connection from one place (where the router is located) to another room (where you are going to place the second device).
You will be able to connect all kinds of devices to these devices, such as computers, mobile phones, tablets… You will be able to connect them both wirelessly and via Wi-Fi, since PLC devices, at least many models, have Ethernet ports and also option for Wi-Fi.
Tips to install them
It is important that you take into account certain recommendations to ensure that the PLC devices work as well as possible. The goal is to achieve good connection speed, quality, and stability. Sometimes we make mistakes when installing them and that means that we do not achieve adequate performance.
The first thing is the location where we are going to put the PLC devices. Ideally, they should be in a place isolated from other devices that may interfere. For example, do not put it near a television or computer, as they could affect the quality of the signal and make them start to work worse.
If you are going to connect via Wi-Fi to the PLCs, it is best that it be located in a place where you can really take advantage of it. For example, near the room from which you are going to connect or in a space where you can distribute the signal well to other devices and there are no cuts.
Beware of the distance
Although PLC devices are very good at bridging a significant distance, the truth is that the further away you put them, the worse they will be. After all, it can lose signal as the distance progresses. However, we are talking about the fact that you can place it without problems at several tens of meters .
The problem is if you are using an old installation. In this case, if the electrical wiring is not in good condition, you may notice a significant loss of signal as soon as you start to move away from the PLC that is connected to the router.
same electrical circuit
The house is divided into different electrical circuits . That’s why sometimes you can lose light in the kitchen, but you still have it in another room. For the PLC devices to work correctly, making the most of the resources, the ideal is that they are connected in the same electrical circuit.
This will not always be possible, as you may need to bring the connection to a room that is on another circuit. However, whenever possible it is a good idea to keep in mind to make it work as well as possible.
Avoid the rules
You should also avoid connecting the PLCs to a power strip . Ideally, plugs directly into the wall, into an electrical outlet. Avoid using devices of this type, since they will make the signal lose more easily, noise will be generated and, ultimately, you will not be able to achieve the same speed and quality.
You should also apply this when you have several plugs very close. Avoid connecting the PLCs if there is another plug next to it and you have another device connected. It could also cause failures and make them not work well.
What to consider when buying them
After explaining some essential tips to correctly install PLCs, we are going to talk about what to take into account when you go to buy one. You will find many different models and not all of them work equally well. Therefore, being clear about some factors can help you make a good purchase.
WiFi and Ethernet
First of all, it’s a good idea to buy PLC devices that have both Wi-Fi and Ethernet . In this way you will be able to connect equipment wirelessly, which is the most common nowadays, but also through an Ethernet cable. For example, you can connect a computer or television via cable and use mobile devices via Wi-Fi.
You will find options that have only Wi-Fi and others that only have the possibility of connecting by cable. If you buy devices that have both options available, much better to be able to choose at all times.
Of course, it is a good idea for PLC devices to be dual band. What does this mean? You will be able to connect to both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands . Each one has its positive and negative points, so sometimes it may be more advisable to use one or the other and thus take better advantage of the connection.
Basically we can say that the 5 GHz band is the one that will allow you to browse the Internet faster, although it will also be more sensitive to distance. On the other hand, if you are going to connect from further away, what is best for you is to use the 2.4 Ghz band, although the speed in this case is lower.
Here you should look at the maximum speed it supports and a good way to find out is the type of standard it uses. For example, AV600 guarantees you 200-300 real Mbps. It is a very interesting speed to connect a computer that is located in another room, far from the router, and be able to work normally. The higher the standard, the better.
You can also look at the speed that comes next to the model name. For example 1,200, which means that it supports a maximum speed of up to 1,200 Mbps. Again, the higher this number, the better they will go and you will be able to navigate the network faster.
number of ports
On the other hand, one more factor to take into account when buying PLC devices is the number of ports they have. If you plan to connect devices via Ethernet, you should see if they have the capacity for what you need to avoid the problem of running out of available ports and being forced to use only Wi-Fi.
But beyond the number of ports, it is also a good idea to see if they are Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet. The ideal is that they are Gigabit , since in this way you will be able to have a speed greater than 100 Mbps and you will not be limited.
In short, as you can see, it is important to choose the PLC devices well and also to configure them. In this way you will be able to take the Internet connection from one place to another in the house, achieving good speed and stability. There are many options available, but not all of them are going to work equally well.