I run a set here as my phone lines are all downstairs and my server / office upstairs. Have my ADSL router down, plugged in the device, upstairs I have the other end plugged into my server / firewall. Speed wise its alot more consistant than wireless and around the same speed overall. I dont notice any extra lag or anything playing games online. I used to use it to stream my dvd's over my network as wireless was way too unstable.
1: Regular Ethernet over cat5 network cable is 100Mbit/s full duplex, that means it can send and receive at the same time so theoretically you could be sending at 100Mbit/s and receiving at 100Mbit/s so it has a net bit rate of 200Mbit/s. Think of a 2 lane highway, one lane going north and one lane going south.
2: Wireless is half duplex meaning it has to alternate between sending and receiving. Think ping pong where the ball gets hit back and forth from side to side.
3: Most cheap wireless is 802.11b which has a net bit rate of 11Mbit/s, because it's half duplex that means 5.5Mbit/s max throughput. The 2.4 Ghz wireless band can be crowded with microwaves, cordless phones, other nearby wireless access points causing interference resulting in lower performance.
4: 802.11g has a net bit rate of 54 Mbit/s and a throughput of ~22Mbit/s, it uses the 2.4 Ghz band so the same caveats as 802.11b apply for possible interference.
5: 802.11a has a net bit rate of 54 Mbit/s and a throughput of ~27Mbit/s, it uses the 5 Ghz band for less interference.
Homeplug's claim to be 85Mbit not sure whether they are half or full duplex probably half, but in most reviews they seems have a real world throughput of around 10Mbit/s.
I think the homeplug will be better than 802.11b but probably worse than 802.11g or a unless you have a interference problems.
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