Wi-Fi Adapters Connect Desktop PC Where Powerline Adapters Fail

Rider Research administrator Brittany Demmon recently moved and found herself in a perfect situation to use a pair of powerline adapters to connect her desktop PC to the Net. Here’s an account of the travails that ensued.

By Brittany Demmon

Connecting my desktop PC to my in-home Wi-Fi Internet, both located in different rooms, was the obstacle that I faced.

I was given three different options to solve my connectivity dilemma: run an Ethernet cable across the apartment from my router to my PC, connect using the D-Link Powerline AV2 2000 Gigabit Starter Kit or use the Netgear N600 Wi-Fi USB Adapter.


D-Link Powerline AV2 2000

The first device tested was the D-Link Powerline AV2 2000 adapter boasting “speeds up to 200 Mbps using HomePlug AV2 MIMO technology.”

I plugged each DHP-700 AV Powerline AV2 2000 Gigabit adapter into wall outlets in the desired locations, one near the router and one in another room near the computer. I held down the Simple Connect button on one of the adapters until the LED blinked then pressed the Simple Connect button on the other adapter waiting until the LED glowed bright green indicating a secure connection between the devices.

After establishing a connection between the devices using Ethernet cables, I connected one adapter to the router and the other adapter to the computer. Despite these efforts no home Powerline network was established. Even after numerous attempts I was not able to connect the desktop PC to the Internet using the powerline device.


Netgear N600 Wi-Fi USB Adapter

The next device tested was the Netgear N600 Wi-Fi USB Adapter with 802.11n Dual Band technology, which plugs into a PC’s USB port. Setting up this device required using the included resource CD to install Netgear genie on the PC, this process was simply following prompts and inserting the Wi-Fi USB adapter into the USB port when instructed to do so.

I joined the Wi-Fi network using Wi-Fi Protected Set-Up (WPS) that requires pressing the WPS button on the adapter until the LED blinks then pressing the WPS button on the Wi-Fi router within two minutes.

Connection with the Internet was not achieved using this method and after three failed attempts I consulted with a friend who is an IT professional. Within minutes he was able to connect the adapter to the network by simply starting the wireless zero configuration service that was not running before.

The PC is working flawlessly and I have yet to experience any Internet connectivity problems, the speed is satisfactory and the connection status is strong.

The success of the Wi-Fi adapter meant avoiding the hassle of running an Ethernet cable through the entire apartment but I asked the IT pro if there was a hidden fix for the Powerline adapter similar to the Wi-Fi adapter solution.

Unfortunately, he had no solution because the connection uses existing wiring in the home, opening up the possibility that there may be a problem with the internal wiring. After manipulating the variables to further test the Powerline adapters such as using different outlets, Ethernet cables and Ethernet ports in the router no connection to the network occurred.

Although there are other factors at work that could play into why the Powerline AV2 2000 adapter did not work, the ease of operation of the N600 Wi-Fi USB adapter gives it an advantage over the Powerline adapter and to put things more frankly, while the Powerline adapter was unsuccessful, the Wi-Fi adapter was successful at connecting PC to the Internet.

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