powerline vs wireless-ac bridge?

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by mjh, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Feb 1, 2016 #1 of 33
    mjh

    mjh Re: Member

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    I'm trying to connect a MINI to a room that does not have ethernet available to it. The two basic options that I can come up with to resolve is:

    1. Powerline networking adapter (e.g. this)
    2. Wirelss AC -> ethernet adapter (e.g. this)
    Looking for opinions on each setup. I would lean towards the powerline because it's cheaper. But I'm concerned that:
    • The performance isn't going to be good enough
    • Especially if I want to add another mini to a different room
    • I believe (not sure) that I may have multiple wiring (grids, loops, whatever the correct description is) in my house such that some rooms are not on the same thing as other rooms and hence powerline won't work
    Conversely going wifi:
    • It's a ton more expensive given that I also have to replace my router
    • Will it even work given how susceptible each range is to interference from other sources
    • If it works at all, I suspect it will scale better to multiple rooms than powerline.
    So I'm curious what other people have done and how well it's worked for them.
     
  2. Feb 1, 2016 #2 of 33
    Tico

    Tico Bear Down Cats!!!!!

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    I am running Tivos on both. Roamio Pro on AC bridge and 2 Minis on powerline adapters.

    Both work fine for me.

    I would go the cheaper route unless you want an excuse to upgrade your router.
     
  3. Feb 1, 2016 #3 of 33
    DallasGG

    DallasGG Member

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    I tried the powerline adapters on one of my Mini's and although it worked, it would lose the connection every 5-10 minutes. That was pretty annoying because when the Mini loses it's connection, it doesn't keep track of where you are in the recording and you have to fast forward back to the spot you left off. I switched to a wifi bridge and for me it's much more consistent. I have almost no lost connections now.

    From what I've read on this forum, the powerline adapters can be very hit and miss. Mine seemed to be more miss.

    If you wanted to try a wifi bridge, you could try something like this...it's a wifi extender that also has one ethernet port on it and it's only $14.99 at Staples right now.

    http://www.staples.com/Edimax-EW-7438RPn-Mini-Wireless-Range-Extender/product_1954139
     
  4. Feb 1, 2016 #4 of 33
    fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    The usual recommendation for setting up a network with the goal of performance is Ethernet first, MoCA second, Wireless, and powerline last. Ethernet is the ideal, but rarely found or easily installed. Tivo and many TV providers have therefore moved to and recommend the use of MoCA, which uses the already established coax available in most homes, in fact, all the minis as well as the 4 tuner Premiere, 6 tuner Roamios, and the new Bolt all have MoCA builtin and Tivo recommends its use. Wireless has been used successfully by some who have very good dual band routers and then use "wireless" bridges with Ethernet ports to "fool" the Tivo into thinking it is actually using Ethernet to connect. The usual recommendation is an AC rated router paired with AC rated wireless adapters to be successful. Powerline is very hit or miss, as it is very dependent on how and when your home wiring was done. If your plan includes using more than 2 devices, I would not suggest it.
    Tivo is heavily biased towards MoCA because, although it can be problematic on some coax setups, it can usually provides a stable and reliable outcome.
    If you want to ignore the recommendations and try a few powerline adapters to see how they work in your home, look for some with a good return policy like Amazon, so if they don't get the job done they can be easily returned. Otherwise, I would suggest you study up a bit on MoCA, it basically means Ethernet piggybacked over your TV Coax cable. The most costly going in is likely to be a new router and wireless adapters.
    EDIT: The term "bridge" is ill defined, and can lead to confusion, a wireless bridge like the above recommended Edimax unit and all similar plug in products work by "repeating" the wireless signal in and out from both the connected device and again back to the router. These "repeaters" therefore have the effect of halving your throughput while seeming to provide a "stronger" local wireless signal and may fall short of the necessary bandwidth while giving the illusion of signal strength. The type of device which is more commonly used is more accurately termed a wireless to Ethernet adapter/ bridge and do not "repeat" the wireless signal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
    Mikeguy and krkaufman like this.
  5. Feb 1, 2016 #5 of 33
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I have three WUMC710 units driving a v1 Mini, v2 Mini, and smart TV. They have been 100% reliable. I have never lost a connection. One Mini was next door for a few weeks.

    You are correct about the price and the router. I just went from a Netgear R7500 to R8000. No difference for the Mini. I have a dozen wireless devices and all are 802.11ac except my printer - the only 2.4GHz device. In the room with the modem and router I have a wired Roamio. I have a Roamio on a different floor using an ASUS EA-N66R. Since both Roamio are basic boxes, my transfer rate is only 100MBps.

    The choice is yours. I have poor power and all equipment is on a UPS. It's a very old house. I may move this spring and I can take it all with me.
     
  6. Feb 1, 2016 #6 of 33
    mjh

    mjh Re: Member

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    Oh, yeah. Totally forgot about MoCa. I have done a little research on this, but still confused about it. Will take it to the moca thread. But thanks for that reminder.
     
  7. Feb 1, 2016 #7 of 33
    jim1971

    jim1971 Member

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    Powerline is unreliable. If it works ok today, wait until tomorrow.

    I'm using an ac wifi bridge for my upstairs network, although my upstairs mini is on moca. I used powerline for a while, but it petered out and became unreliable. My wifi bridge is a netgear ac router with DD-WRT installed. It works great.

    I used a small tplink travel router as a wifi bridge to test my premier before installing it. It was also 100% reliable. A permanent install should use a better router, though.

    I have used a wifi bridge to power large segments of my home network in the past. It was completely reliable. Many ac routers have a bridge mode. TP link and Netgear are two. DD-WRT powered my Netgear better than stock Netgear firmware in bridge mode. You do not need to replace your main router to put a bridge on your network.

    re moca: tivo uses it on many dvrs as a stock alternative. Tivo also appears to work ok with aftermarket moca adapters. In general, moca has, anecdotally, been a slow alternative for a cat5/5e/6 replacement. A wireless bridge, assuming you don't have 3 floors to cover in an odd configuration, is a better alternative unless speed is not a concern for you. I'm getting nearly 200Mbits wireless ac actual speed over the home network according to lantest lite. Stories on Amazon reviews give moca a lesser actual speed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  8. Feb 1, 2016 #8 of 33
    borabora

    borabora New Member

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    Powerline is hit or miss and mostly miss for an old house.
    Wireless is a great solution if you are not in an overly spectrum-crowded area (with many competing wireless networks) and if you set it up correctly. Select a an available channel (only 1,6, or 11 in the 2.4 Ghz spectrum) and make sure that you get decent signal strength. If you have an Android device then download "Wifi Analyzer" to do a cursory assessment.

    While ac networks are great even a 802.11n network with 100 mbps ports can easily support 3 concurrent Minis. The 802.11n standard is mature and dirt cheap. You can keep your current router and just add an access point (aka wireless bridge) if you like your router. I recommend wireless gear from Ubiquiti, Engenius, and the outdoor stuff from TP-Link.
     
  9. Feb 1, 2016 #9 of 33
    dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    Powerline can work just fine provided you have reasonable wiring (always the contrarian I am) as the resident powerline fangirl I have to speak up.


    I have a 2 story house with no ethernet or COAX to the 2nd floor, my PC in the office and mini in the bedroom have run off powerline for 3 years with almost zero issues, when I have had an issue I've found a wiring or connection issue that was easily resolved and I get far better performance than wireless.

    I've also done 3 powerline nodes for my dad in his house and other than one of the units dying he has had equally solid results. I'd till suggest MoCA as my first line of connection with a mini.
     
  10. aspexil

    aspexil Active Member

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    I'm setup the same way except I have the latest Netgear 8500 X8 (because it came out before I got the Bolt and had to upgrade the router to 802.11ac) in the basement where the cable line comes in and with the Bolt on a WUMC710 in the living room and one v2 Mini on a WUMC710 in the basement. Note the WUMC710 only runs on 802.11ac so if your current router doesn't support 802.11ac you'll need to upgrade the router.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  11. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I didn't need to go for the R8500, but it was tempting. The R7500 is buggy.

    TiVo may not support wireless, but you would never know it by viewing the help screens.
     
  12. jim1971

    jim1971 Member

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    I have had mixed results with Netgear routers. I have a R6300 version 2 with stock firmware and it works fine. It's working as a wireless access point. I have a R6300 version 1 configured as a wireless bridge and it needed DD-WRT to work properly. Stock firmware provided a slow ... very very slow ... wireless speed. DD-WRT, a recent version, brought it up to ac level speeds.

    If you feel ambitious, why not try DD-WRT or Tomato shibby on your Netgear router? myopenrouter.com has DD-WRT releases that are presumed to be stable.
     
  13. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Thanks, but ambitious is not my favorite word. :) The R8000 is working great. I'm waiting for the HDMI issues to be resolved, then move to 4k. I expect that to be around black Friday. :rolleyes:
     
  14. steelersruleman

    steelersruleman Member

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    I am actually getting a TIVO MINI(Latest version), on Tuesday from Amazon.

    I will be using a BELKIN POWERLINE Adapter to connect my ISP which is TWC EXTREME(30Mbps Down/5Mbps Up).

    I am currently using a Belkin PLA upstairs connected to my Tivo Roamio, and it works GREAT. NEVER any problems. House was built in 1986.

    So I won't put Powerline down. It has ALWAYS worked for me.

    If I do have issues, I will let you know. I will be adding only the ONE MINI.

    I already have a STREAM added to the network, but that is directly connected(ethernet) to my Netgear 6300 Wireless Router.
     
  15. brianbunge

    brianbunge New Member

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    I'm using an Apple Airport Express as a wireless bridge and it's working flawlessly.
     
  16. bobd

    bobd Member

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    My Bolt and Mini are not near my router so I first went with WUMC710's at each, it worked but would lose router connection almost daily and I'd have to reset it. So I switched to RE6500 range extenders. That has been working flawlessly.
     
  17. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    The two antennae are probably helpful. Glad it's working.
     
  18. sbb_Fios_MD

    sbb_Fios_MD New Member

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    Jan 7, 2016
    Brian: I saw that you are "using an Apple Airport Express as a wireless bridge and it's working flawlessly"

    Can you give me more details on how you have that set up and what other equipment, if any, is involved.

    I am trying to get the contents of my Bolt to a Tivo Mini and TV that are in another room. I can not lay Ethernet or Cox or HDMI between the two places.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  19. DallasGG

    DallasGG Member

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    An update. I tried using an Airlink 101 Access point (an old model - AP671W) and although it worked, it would occasionally lose it's connection and over time it was getting worse. Even worse, sometimes when it lost power it would have to be set up again from scratch...a real pain. So I used that until recently.

    Then last week I decided to try a TP-Link range extender via ethernet cable hooked to the Mini (model TL-WA855RE). For me it works much much better than the powerline adapters and the Airlink Access point. I have not had any lost connections since I started using it about a week ago. Anyway, for someone looking for a wireless solution to their Mini, this might be worth trying.

    Here's is that item listed on Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-Wi-F...TF8&qid=1468599872&sr=8-1&keywords=tl-wa855re
     
  20. DallasGG

    DallasGG Member

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    An update: I've gone back and forth from using powerline adapters, access point and range extender. Recently the range extender became very unreliable after I switched to a new wireless router. Previous to that I had mixed success with powerline adapters. Sometimes they seemed to work well but at other times they didn't. I was just about ready to pack up my Mini because it was disconnecting so much with my various options. But before I did that I decided to give my powerline adapters one more try because I had just switched to a new wifi router. The huge surprise to me is that the powerline adapters have been working flawlessly for the last 2 weeks...no disconnections and no loss of signal. I was completely surprised! I'm curious as to why the powerline adapters are now working without any issues. Anyway, my questions to anyone are:

    1) Have there been recent software changes to either the Roamio OTA or Mini to make streaming (buffering, etc) more efficient with would allow the powerline adapters to work better?
    2) Do powerline adapters work differently/more efficiently depending on the wifi router?
    3) Could the powerline adapters be working better just because of a change in what's plugged into the electrical outlets in my house? In other words, could I have had something plugged into an electrical outlet (but not plugged in now) in the past that conflicted with the powerline adapters working well?
     

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