Fix the WiFi dead zones in your house, and get excellent signal strength everywhere. Ethernet Powerline Adapters are different from standard WiFi extenders – they use the electrical wires in your walls to carry the Ethernet data. So no need to run any wires or cables, and no drilling holes in the walls. Speaking of walls, your signal doesn’t get blocked by your walls (like can happen with WiFi boosters / extenders) since the electrical wires go through the walls.
To get started with Powerline, you’ll need to already have a router (that gets Internet into your home) with at least one open Ethernet port. Add in the Powerline modules and you are ready to go.
This solution is especially good for getting WiFi to the areas of your house that are far from your router – like the garage, attic, backyard or guest bedroom. Since these are reasonably low-cost, you can put one in each part of your house (living room, kitchen, bedroom) and have great internet access no matter where you are.
The modules below are all “AV2 Homeplug” compliant, and are backwards compatible to the earlier (pre-2012) standards. However, if you have any older devices it’s best to upgrade them to the faster AV2 since the data speeds for ALL the devices will be set by the SLOWEST one on the network.
Top Choice – TP-Link AV600
The TP-Link AV600 Powerline WiFi Extender Kit (TL-WPA4220 KIT), about $50, includes the TL-PA4010 and TL-WPA4220.
The PA4010 is the Powerline Adapter (PA) module which is the bridge between your router and all your Powerline modules.
The WiFi Powerline Adapter (WPA) module extends your WiFi into other parts of your house, and also provides 2 dedicated wired Ethernet ports.
The LEDs are easy to read, and provide all the status indicators that you need for configuration, and normal operations. After the set up, you can optionally turn off the lights from the app. This is great if you have one of these in your bedroom and want to have as much darkness as possible for sleeping.
Note that you need to have an unused Ethernet port on your router.
You only need one of these to interface with all the other adapters in your home. Think of this as the “base station”.
In the room where you want to have WiFi, simply plug the TL-WPA4220 module in a electrical wall outlet.
Keep in mind that these must be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Do not use a surge protector or power strip, since these typically have electronics in them which can interfere with the Ethernet over powerline functionality. And while it may work with an plain extension cord, you’ll most likely not get the best performance.
The “AV600” refers to maximum of 600Mbps Ethernet over power. The WiFi signal from the adapter will be 300Mbps. This is for your in-home network. Since most people are getting only 100Mbps to 200Mbps internet service from their service provider (e.g., Spectrum, AT&T, etc.), the 600Mbps / 300Mbps is more than enough.
The WiFi is single-band (2.4Ghz) only, but that should work fine for 99% of your needs.
If you are one of the lucky folks that get Gigabit service (1,000Mbps), or just want to have a faster in-home network, we can recommend the TP-Link AV1000 Powerline WiFi Extender Kit. It provides up to 1000Mbps Ethernet over power, up to dual band 750Mbps (300Mbps 2.4Ghz + 433Mbps 5GHz) Wi-Fi , for about $80 .
Installation and set-up is quick – you can do your entire house in under 15 minutes. To set up:
- Plug the Powerline Adapter (PA) module into a nearby outlet and connect it to your router using the included Ethernet cable.
- Press the Wi-Fi Clone button along with the WPS button on your router will automatically copy the router’s SSID and Password, and establish your extended Wi-Fi network.
- Plug the WiFi Powerline Adapter (WPA) module into an outlet where you want your WiFi extended. Your powerline adapters should automatically detect and establish a strong AV600 connection.
- For added security, press the Pair button on the WPA. This enables data protection with one-touch 128-bit AES encryption.
If you run into any problems, and the user guides are enough to help you out, TP-Link has free tech support. Their team is available 24/7 to provide no-cost technical service, including setup assistance.
You can cover a large house for under $125 – that will buy you the starter kit and 2 additional extender modules for a total of 3 modules.
We like that each of the WPA modules comes with two Ethernet Ports. You can use these to connect up to two wired devices, such as a game consoles or smart TVs.
The other feature we like is the “Power Saving Mode”. Each adapter reduces energy consumption when not in use, which means you save on electricity – yay!
The app is one of the best out there – you can name each of the modules (e.g., garage, kitchen, etc.) and can also see a real-time data flow to each of the devices.
You may also want to update your router – check out our review of best low cost routers (under $50), including two from TP-Link.
If you need (and really, who doesn’t?) better WiFi coverage in your house, the TP-Link modules are the easiest, cost-efficient way to go. Use the links below to get more details, or to order through Amazon:
TP-Link AV600 Powerline WiFi Extender Kit (TL-WPA4220 KIT), includes the TL-PA4010 and TL-WPA4220, about $50
TP-Link AV600 Powerline WiFi Extenders (TL-WPA4220), about $40 each
TP-Link AV1000 Powerline Wifi Extender Kit (Tl-WPA7510 KIT) – 1,000 Mbps, Dual Band WiFi, Gigabit Port, about $80