What options are available if your wifi is weak in just one room? The signal seems fine in most parts of the house, but just one room is bugging you as the signal keeps dropping out there?
Powerline adapters are an excellent solution for solving weak wifi in the house, whether to one room or several rooms. By using the house’s existing electrical wiring to deliver a strong internet connection to any room in the house, you can target the specific room which is suffering from the weak wifi and browse, stream and game without any issues.
Which specific type and model of adapter you will need will depend on the number and type of devices you have in the room in question. Standard powerline adapter kits are great for wired devices and come with up to three ethernet ports. For connecting smaller portable devices like tablets and iPhones then wireless powerline adapters are the model of choice, delivering a strong cloned wifi access point in your room as well as wired ports. Let’s look at the issue in more detail below.
Wifi Can Be Temperamental
Unfortunately wifi can be unpredicatable and temperamental. Wireless signals belong to the radio frequency or RF spectrum of waves and as such always disperse and weaken over distance as per the inverse square law of physics. So the signal will always tend to get weaker the further you are from the router. The signal also tends to be disrupted the more obstacles it has to pass through, like walls, floors and furniture.
However wifi can also be confusing as it can seem to work fine in almost every room in the house, with just one room having problems with a weak signal. This room can be far away from the router or even close by, whilst rooms further away can be fine using the wifi.
This is the temperamental nature of wifi as there are so many factors which influence how well the signals gets from the router to the device being used. Perhaps there is something about the structure of the wall it has to pass through to get to the room in question, or else some particular object is in the way.
Router technology has improved in recent years so these problems are on the whole less common, though they can still happen in larger or older houses in particular. Let’s look at how we can solve this problem using an underutilized networking solution.
Powerline Adapters Explained in 2 Minutes
Powerline Adapters as a Solution
To solve this problem of weak wifi to one room, powerline adapters are an ideal solution. They consist of a kit or pair of adapters, one of which you plug in and connect to your router, and the other of which you plug in and connect to your device. The two plugs then communicate using the existing electrical circuitry of the house, delivering a strong wired internet connection to any room in the house you want.
In this way the problem of weak wifi in that room can be bypassed and you can have a solid, reliable internet connection to that room for gaming, streaming, downloading and other bandwidth intensive activities which need a strong signal.
In many cases they will deliver a connection which is almost as good as if you were plugged directly into the router itself, allowing you to extract the maximum possible bandwidth out of your internet package, as opposed to unreliable wifi drop outs causing buffering, lag and slow downloads.
TheTP Link Nano TL-PA4010 Kit model is an entry level, best selling no nonsense powerline adapter model with just one ethernet port and no passthrough. Click here to view on Amazon. It will provide a solid, wired ethernet connection to your router using the existing electrical wiring of your house. See our full review of the product and our Powerline Adapters page. Our Product Comparison Table compares all the wired and wireless powerline adapter models at a glance by feature and functionality.
As we have covered in another article, wired connections are always better than wireless ones in terms of reliability and throughput (transfer of data). For general light browsing then there may not be much difference between wired and wireless but once you get to activities which need more bandwidth or less latency, then the difference will be more noticable.
Wired connections are just preferable; videos play smoother, games don’t lag and pages load faster on wired connections. The browsing experience is just more reliable and speedier on wired connections.
Powerline adapters are an ingenious home networking solution in that they allow the user to get onto a wired connection, even several rooms away from the router, without the need for any expensive (and usually noisy!) DIY work, running long ethernet cables through the house.
They basically do the same job but instead by using the existing electrical circuitry of the house to carry the signal, without needing visible wires trailing through walls or up stairs. The plug and play nature of these devices makes them an excellent option.
Standard powerline adapters provide wired connections only; models come with one, two or three ethernet ports depending on how many devices you want to connect up in the room in question.
For users wanting to also connect wireless devices like tablets, notebooks and iPhones, you will need a wireless powerline adapter model, which has one or more wired ports but also produces a cloned, wireless access point at the receiving end, meaning your portable devices can pick up this much closer and stronger signal rather than the one from the main router.
The wireless powerline adapters are more advanced models in this sense, allowing for more reliable portable browsing by reproducing the wifi signal from the main router in the room you need it. These models also have at least one ethernet port to connect up any wired devices you have. Our Quick Product Comparison Table compares all the TP Link products by feature and functionality so you can get the exact model you need.
Can I Use These Adapters in Other Rooms?
You can absolutely purchase more powerline adapter kits if you want and create a powerline network around the home with multiple access points in different rooms. Powerline adapters tend to be no nonsense plug and play devices and so you can add more wired access points if the weak wifi problem shows up in other rooms, or bandwidth demands for streaming and gaming increase around the home.
Powerline adapter kits tend to come in pairs, and you obviously always need one adapter to connect to the router end. So buying one kit will give you one access point around the home, two kits will give you three access points, three kits will give you five, and so on. See our article on creating powerline networks around the home.
Any Drawbacks to Using Powerline Adapters?
Powerline adapters will work fine in the vast majority or modern and semi modern houses and even in a fair number of older houses. You simply need all the rooms in question to be on the same general household circuit, in other words, fed off the same meter.
The wiring of the house also needs to be in a good enough condition to be able to send the data between the two adapters. In much older houses where the copper wiring is old or worn then you may run into problems but in reality this is quite rare.
Powerline adapters can also be susceptible to interference from certain high energy consumption devices like washers and dryers, and also from certain devices with alternating currents or electric motors like phone chargers and certain household tools.
This problem is not a deal breaker and simply keeping the adapter plugged in away from these devices resolves any problems of interference which may occur. The newer models of adapter have also got better at filtering out this kind of noise as well.
House wiring can be idiosyncratic in some homes and if you cannot get an adapter to work in one socket, it is always worth trying it in another socket in the same room. Any problems which occur with powerline adapters can usually be worked around; see our troubleshooting guide for a full breakdown and also this excellent FAQ guide for more advice.
Most people will have no problems using the newer models that we link to on this site and they are an excellent way of solving weak wifi in one (or more) rooms.
See our Product Comparison Table for a side by side comparison of all the main wired and wireless TP Link powerline products by features and functionality.