Saturday, January 27, 2007

Powerline, the good, the bad and the ugly ...

After much esitance I decided to jump on the bandwagon of Powerline (a.k.a. Homeplug), that's it, ethernet over power!
At first it sounds great, I mean, no cabling, no pesky radiations going round like with WiFi and so on ... an easy way of sharing internet connection for my 2 PCs at home.
I tested WiFi 802.11b before and wasn't impressed with it's performance, so I reached my purse and got a pair of Powerline adaptors, plugged them in and ... voilĂ , instant networking [the good].
This looked extremely good, easier than WiFi, but after some usage I noticed that it was a quite slow connection, so, unfortunately, I took a peak at the manual and discovered that max theoretical (including channel control data) speed is 85Mbit/s, while effective maximum network speed can't exceed 25Mbit/s :-( [the bad (1)] and that you need to install more software/drivers in order to add security to your network, much like WEP for WiFi, which adds to complication and is likely to subtract network speed [the bad (2)].
Network speed was unimpressive, so I run a quick test with JGaa's NetCPS and here are the results for you to read, as seen from both sides


C:\>netcps -s

NetCPS 1.0 - Entering server mode. Press ^C to quit

Waiting for new connection...

Client connected from 192.168.1.9

---> CPS 1519616.00 KPS: 1484.00 MPS: 1.45

Avrg CPS 1515546.00 KPS: 1480.03 MPS: 1.45

Peek CPS 1542144.00 KPS: 1506.00 MPS: 1.47

Client disconnected. 104857600 Kb transferred in 69.19 seconds.



C:\>netcps 192.168.1.5

NetCPS 1.0 - Entering client mode. Press ^C to quit

Connecting to 192.168.1.5 port 4455... Connected!

---> CPS 1518097.88 KPS: 1482.52 MPS: 1.45

Avrg CPS 1515524.13 KPS: 1480.00 MPS: 1.45

Peek CPS 1553373.25 KPS: 1516.97 MPS: 1.48

Done. 104857600 Kb transferred in 69.19 seconds.


I'd not say very fast ...
You read about [the good], [the bad] and here is [the ugly]



(when I'll be able to retrieve a photo from my mobile) Ok, I've made it

the plug is very light, but quite big, or at least bigger than what I expected.
After all this could seem a bashing post, so I'm adding the results of the same test under 802.11b

C:\>netcps -s

NetCPS 1.0 - Entering server mode. Press ^C to quit

Waiting for new connection...

Client connected from 192.168.1.10

---> CPS 495616.00 KPS: 484.00 MPS: 0.47

Avrg CPS 487532.91 KPS: 476.11 MPS: 0.46

Peek CPS 526336.00 KPS: 514.00 MPS: 0.50

Client disconnected. 104857600 Kb transferred in 215.08 seconds.

As you can see homeplug is much faster than 802.11b, don't have a more recent 802.11x device to compare :-(

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How did you get the output from NetCPS as text? I've tried:
NetCPS.exe -s > result.txt
...but it doesn't work for me.

Are you able to show the cmd line you used?

cswilly said...

"to add security to your network, much like WEP for WiFi, which adds to complication and is likely to subtract network speed"

No need to worry about security impacting network speed. In HomePlug, security is always on, you are only changing the default key to on you know.