What's the best Powerline adapter you can buy today? We look at the five best Powerline adapters after extensive testing in real-world environments.[Updated December 2, 2013.]
Powerline is a simple-to-install digital home technology that gets you faster speeds than Wi-Fi for connecting devices to your network despite them being in different rooms to your router. It uses your home's power lines to create a network that's much faster than distant Wi-Fi, and can create new Wi-Fi hotspots to boost your home's wireless speeds.
Simply plug one Powerline adapter into a power socket near your router and attach it to the router with an ethernet cable (usually supplied with the Powerline adapter kit). Then go to the room where you want to hook up a device (maybe another PC or laptop, a smart TV or a set-top box for catch-up TV such as Sky+, Tivo and Apple TV), plug the second adapter into a nearby power socket and connect another ethernet cable from that to the device or devices.
That's it. It really is plug and play.
Some of Powerline adapters also have wireless functionality so they create a new Wi-Fi hotspot in that second room, too – so you get much faster Wi-Fi for your laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Read our Powerline adapter reviews for more detail, and check out our list below for our group test results and recommendations.
For more information on Powerline speed myths, tips and recommendations read our Powerline FAQ What is Powerline – simple to set up, faster-than-Wi-Fi home network.