It has been over three years since Ryan took a look at ethernet over mains, or powerline ethernet so it seems about time to revisit that technology.   Wireless technology looks nice but comes with a variety of problems such as security and signal interference as well as really not being all that fast in many cases.  Powerline ethernet attempts to bring the best of both worlds together by using wires which already exist hidden in your walls to also transfer the data.  Since there are very few wirelessly powered TVs, HTPCs or desktop PCs you obviously already have access to a wall wart.  Guru 3D tried the current generation Sitecom Powerline Ethernet system which claims a 500Mbps raw top speed and offers encryption capabilities if you are worried about the power company spying on you.  Their testing showed performance varying from about 100Mbps in the best scenario to 35Mbps when the adapters were on separate fuse lines and kitchen appliances were present on those fuse lines.  So while your microwave might steal some bandwidth from you, surfing the web is still going to be fine.

"The Sitecom Powerline Ethernet adapters allow you to use your mains electricity circuit to transfer data, this way you can extend your network to wherever you have a free plug socket. The product we test today comes from Sitecom, their 500 Mbps plus Homeplug.

The kit provides a connection of up to 500Mbits/sec. Divide that by 8 bits and you’d in theory would be able to see transfer speeds of 62.5 Megabyte per second. In practice, however we tested the maximum net data rate is much MUCH lower, 60~100 Mbits/sec – still that is faster than Wi-Fi and sufficient enough or streaming high-definition video from say your PC with network shares to, for instance, your HTPC."

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