TP Link Gigabit Powerline- 800Mbs down to 15Mbs

dave343

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I picked up a pair of TP Link power line adapters to solve the wifi issue my condo has with 8" thick concrete support walls. I have a mesh network as well which works great, but for main PC I wanted hardwire, so I gave the powerline a try. It's been flawless with me getting between 800Mbs-600Mbs steady. Then within the last few days it's dropped down to a measly 15Mbs, with no normal trouble-shooting steps rectifying the issue. At first I thought it was just this PC, but plugging a laptop directly into the powerline also only pulls 15-20Mbs. What could have happened? If I go back to the main end, and unplug the power line that runs back into the router and plug that same cable into my laptop, I'm right back at over 800Mbs... so it's either one of these powerline adapters is faulty? or am I getting some interference on the power lines? My condo unit has it's own breaker panel, and each powerline (2 total) are on different breakers as they are on opposite ends of the condo.

Ideas? Thanks in advance.
 

SamirD

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Condos and other multi-tenant units are tough to diagnose as noise can come from anywhere in the whole building (in theory).

The easy test is for the adapters themselves--you simply plug both of them into a power strip (surge ones are fine) to isolate them on their own circuit and then plug one directly to your router and then another to your laptop and you should see your 800Mbps again. If not, powerline adapter issue.

Once you've figure that your powerlines are fine, then comes the hard part--diagnosing your condo. You'll need to start with the source at the router and then try the most simple test of plugging them into the same outlet (if possible--I know alot of gigabit ones block outlets), and then move onto outlets on the same wall. If you can get 800Mbps here, great! Then you've got a shot at figuring out the issue.

Keep moving them more and more apart until you've 'cleared' that room. Then comes the fun part of moving one of the units to another room, one room at a time, basically clearing each outlet as you go. Hopefully you discover something simple that it is just that one outlet or room that has an issue.

But one thing that can fast track all this is simply unplug everything that uses a transformer or power adapter. The garbage ones will typically mess up powerlines and you might have recently plugged in one that you don't remember--these can very easily be the culprit and can be even more easily removed from the picture by putting them on a surge strip to isolate them from the power grid that the powerlines are using.

Hope this helps!
 

Vengance_01

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Noise on the power circuit. Did you plug anything new into your Condo? Start with those devices. Have you also power cycled each end of the power-line adapters.
 

dave343

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Condos and other multi-tenant units are tough to diagnose as noise can come from anywhere in the whole building (in theory).

The easy test is for the adapters themselves--you simply plug both of them into a power strip (surge ones are fine) to isolate them on their own circuit and then plug one directly to your router and then another to your laptop and you should see your 800Mbps again. If not, powerline adapter issue.

Once you've figure that your powerlines are fine, then comes the hard part--diagnosing your condo. You'll need to start with the source at the router and then try the most simple test of plugging them into the same outlet (if possible--I know alot of gigabit ones block outlets), and then move onto outlets on the same wall. If you can get 800Mbps here, great! Then you've got a shot at figuring out the issue.

Keep moving them more and more apart until you've 'cleared' that room. Then comes the fun part of moving one of the units to another room, one room at a time, basically clearing each outlet as you go. Hopefully you discover something simple that it is just that one outlet or room that has an issue.

But one thing that can fast track all this is simply unplug everything that uses a transformer or power adapter. The garbage ones will typically mess up powerlines and you might have recently plugged in one that you don't remember--these can very easily be the culprit and can be even more easily removed from the picture by putting them on a surge strip to isolate them from the power grid that the powerlines are using.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the detailed reply, appreciate it. So I did what you suggested and plugged both the adapters so that they would be on the same circuit. Speeds increased to 160-180Mbs, so a heck of a lot better. Not 800, but at least I can assume that the adapters are "ok", and the culprit is most likely noise on the line from somewhere. I don't think anything new is plugged in, however kids and wifey may have plugged stuff in so I'll check around. If I can find the culprit, I will post back. Thanks again

Noise on the power circuit. Did you plug anything new into your Condo? Start with those devices. Have you also power cycled each end of the power-line adapters.

Thanks for the reply. I did power cycle both the adapters yes. The receiving adapter that's in my office I even moved to a different outlet all-together just to test that out. On the Router end, I also did the same and move it to another outlet. I know power line devices are the last resort, but it's been working so well for months that it has been the perfect solution to my concrete wall issue. My office is the only room that is really hard to get decent wifi. I'm going to seach around for anything new the fam may have plugged in and will report back if I can find the evil culprit.
 

SamirD

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Thanks for the detailed reply, appreciate it. So I did what you suggested and plugged both the adapters so that they would be on the same circuit. Speeds increased to 160-180Mbs, so a heck of a lot better.
You're welcome! But something is still wrong then because if you were using a surge protected power strip, the powerlines were fully isolated from any of the noise and should have been at full speed, if not approaching theoretical maximums.

Since a set of powerlines are relatively easy to find at the local best buy and office supply stores, I would pick up a brand new set and see if they behave the same in the power strip test as a 'control'. If they are running full speed and yours are not, they could point to yours being bad (if the new ones are the same model), or maybe the newer ones just deal with the noise better. What model do you currently have?
 

dave343

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You're welcome! But something is still wrong then because if you were using a surge protected power strip, the powerlines were fully isolated from any of the noise and should have been at full speed, if not approaching theoretical maximums.

Since a set of powerlines are relatively easy to find at the local best buy and office supply stores, I would pick up a brand new set and see if they behave the same in the power strip test as a 'control'. If they are running full speed and yours are not, they could point to yours being bad (if the new ones are the same model), or maybe the newer ones just deal with the noise better. What model do you currently have?

Model is - TP-LinkTL-PA7017P AV1000

I should have been more specific yesterday as I couldn't use a power bar last night (although now I can) So what I did was take the recieving adapter and I moved it to the same room and wall that the other powerline adapter (one connecting to the router) was on. I know forsure those 2 are on the same circuit as the plugs are right next to eachother. That test as noted resulted in the 160-180Mbs, which I then assumed the adapters "may" be good and it was noise. That being said, I'll have the opportunity to completely isolate the adapters onto a power bar today.
I'll also grab another set of those adapters, a good idea since that'll really tell me which side is faulty.

As for things plugged into the wall, I took a look around last night but can't find anything new. There are a few of those Febreeze plugins that aren't new - new as within the last few days, but I'm going to unplug them and test (while the wife gives me squinting glares as I remove them 😂). I can't stand the smell of those anyways.

Otherwise I cannot find anything else that I wasn't already aware of, adapters etc.
Progress, thanks again, I'll post back later.
 

zandor

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I'm assuming the condo is not wired for ethernet... but any chance you have coaxial pre-installed? The last one I lived in had coax drops in the living room and both bedrooms and all of it ran back to a panel in a closet. If you have coax you can try MoCA adapters. They can share a wire with cable TV & internet service. The latest ones go up to 2.5Gb/s. Also don't forget the point of entry (PoE) filter if you have cable.
 

toast0

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Also possible the condo's telephone wiring can be repurposed. My MIL's condo (built 2005ish) has cat5e from room to room, and a run back to the telco closet. Sure, they've hooked two pair up to the phone jacks, but you can put two rj45 jacks instead (except the last room gets just one, and the first from the closet maybe gets an rj11 jack if you use the phone anymore) and have a little point to point ethernet. Need a drop in the room? put a switch there, don't need a drop, just put a patch cable between the two jacks. Condos aren't likely to have the crazy mix of wiring that older homes developed, and also probably don't have a star topology either (unless wired for ethernet, but I'd guess that's pretty rare)
 

dave343

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I'm assuming the condo is not wired for ethernet... but any chance you have coaxial pre-installed? The last one I lived in had coax drops in the living room and both bedrooms and all of it ran back to a panel in a closet. If you have coax you can try MoCA adapters. They can share a wire with cable TV & internet service. The latest ones go up to 2.5Gb/s. Also don't forget the point of entry (PoE) filter if you have cable.
Unfortunately while there is coax drops in each room, there are two coax runs into our unit with one drop feed rooms on one half of our unit, and the 2nd drop feeding the other half. These two seperate runs don't cross over, so I wouldn't be able to utilize that tech.
Also possible the condo's telephone wiring can be repurposed. My MIL's condo (built 2005ish) has cat5e from room to room, and a run back to the telco closet. Sure, they've hooked two pair up to the phone jacks, but you can put two rj45 jacks instead (except the last room gets just one, and the first from the closet maybe gets an rj11 jack if you use the phone anymore) and have a little point to point ethernet. Need a drop in the room? put a switch there, don't need a drop, just put a patch cable between the two jacks. Condos aren't likely to have the crazy mix of wiring that older homes developed, and also probably don't have a star topology either (unless wired for ethernet, but I'd guess that's pretty rare)

My condo was built in 1972, and each room only has a RJ11 drop which feeds back into the Kitchen wall outlet. Interestingly, when you open the kitchen RJ11 outlet, there is a bundle as thick as a fist with all the RJ11 wires feeding other units... 🤔😈 😆.
 

toast0

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My condo was built in 1972, and each room only has a RJ11 drop which feeds back into the Kitchen wall outlet. Interestingly, when you open the kitchen RJ11 outlet, there is a bundle as thick as a fist with all the RJ11 wires feeding other units... 🤔😈 😆.
Ok, well it sounds like you've got a network center in the kitchen ;) 1972 wiring is likely just two pair cat3 red/green/yellow/black though? Not really in-spec for 100Base-Tx, but it might work; probably not worth the hassle, if you can get the powerline stuff to work again.
 

dave343

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I temporarily caves due to work being busy and so I've been using a wifi adapter. When I get some more time this week I'll try some more things. Would be nice if the powerline adapters started to behave again.
 

travm

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You're welcome! But something is still wrong then because if you were using a surge protected power strip, the powerlines were fully isolated from any of the noise and should have been at full speed, if not approaching theoretical maximums.
That's not entirely accurate. Surge protectors don't isolate noise. Some high end units have filters (that also could interfere with powerline), but they aren't isolated, and the noise path remains.
 

Vengance_01

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Its not recommended to plug power-line adapters into anything but the direct wall socket
 

SamirD

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Model is - TP-LinkTL-PA7017P AV1000

There are a few of those Febreeze plugins that aren't new - new as within the last few days, but I'm going to unplug them and test (while the wife gives me squinting glares as I remove them 😂). I can't stand the smell of those anyways.
Those can definitely be culprits as they adjust their heating based on some girly fluff non-sense. I hate those things! Why would anyone want to have some fake smell to cover up the other smells going on? Just lysol the damn place and clean it up! My wife has some of these too and I hate them, lol.
 

SamirD

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Also possible the condo's telephone wiring can be repurposed. My MIL's condo (built 2005ish) has cat5e from room to room, and a run back to the telco closet. Sure, they've hooked two pair up to the phone jacks, but you can put two rj45 jacks instead (except the last room gets just one, and the first from the closet maybe gets an rj11 jack if you use the phone anymore) and have a little point to point ethernet. Need a drop in the room? put a switch there, don't need a drop, just put a patch cable between the two jacks. Condos aren't likely to have the crazy mix of wiring that older homes developed, and also probably don't have a star topology either (unless wired for ethernet, but I'd guess that's pretty rare)
Yep! And a lot of times the ends are still wired for ethernet (all 4 pairs) even though the demarc is just punched down for phone as ours was. You can also run phone over the ethernet as the middle pair is functionally equivalent to rj11. :) So no need to worry about phone at all--just punch it down for ethernet and you're done. :)
 

SamirD

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Unfortunately while there is coax drops in each room, there are two coax runs into our unit with one drop feed rooms on one half of our unit, and the 2nd drop feeding the other half. These two seperate runs don't cross over, so I wouldn't be able to utilize that tech.


My condo was built in 1972, and each room only has a RJ11 drop which feeds back into the Kitchen wall outlet. Interestingly, when you open the kitchen RJ11 outlet, there is a bundle as thick as a fist with all the RJ11 wires feeding other units... 🤔😈 😆.
You can actually still use moca over those coax runs--you'll just need to bridge the ethernet between each segment in the demarc (or somewhere else between the two).

If it's truly only rj11 wire, you can't do much with out vdsl ethernet adapters, but if it's got more than 1 pair each, you can get 100Mbs ethernet working over 2 pair (4 wires). You'd have a switch in the kitchen though.
 

SamirD

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That's not entirely accurate. Surge protectors don't isolate noise. Some high end units have filters (that also could interfere with powerline), but they aren't isolated, and the noise path remains.
Depends on who makes them. Cheap ones don't do anything. Better ones definitely do filter because my powerlines won't see the others.
 
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