Alternative to WiFi

Update March 2020 – still current

When WiFi works it tends to work quite well but does have security issues. If you are away from home there’s not much choice apart from using a VPN. You could also use the mobile phone Data networks and use 3G/4G instead of WiFi but you would still (ideally) need a VPN for Internet banking etc.

However, when you are home you can dispense with WiFi altogether and use something called “Homeplug”.  This uses at least 2 x adapters that you plug in to your mains electrical wall socket. One you have near your router (static) and another (roving) in whichever room you want to use another PC or Laptop.

The one near the router, you connect a Ethernet cable between the router and the Homeplug static /master adapter and the other adapter “roving /slave” has an Ethernet cable between it and the Laptop or desktop PC. Data is then transmitted between the 2 adapters over the mains wiring – cool.

Don’t worry it’s very safe and from a data point of view it’s very secure so no worries about Internet banking and no need for a VPN.

This system is also called “Ethernet over mains” and most often you can have up to 15 of these devices on your “network” but most people would manage quite well with just the 2 or 3 adapters. Once the adapters have been setup you can unplug the “roving” one and put it in a different room without having to set it up again.

In my experience, the “Homeplug” system tends to be more reliable an more secure than WiFi and it certainly beats going to the cost of installing Ethernet cables all round the house. In most cases its fit n forget!

There are quite a lot of choices with Homeplug devices and they range from sensible prices to OMG how much! Most of the PC Parts suppliers will have something to fit your pocket or you could checkout Solwise and find out what Homeplug is all about. Solwise products work very well.

The main downside to the “homeplug” method (and Ethernet) is the lack of freedom to to “roam”. With WiFi, you can just carry your device around and if it remains connected to the WAP (Wireless Access Point / router) you’re free to roam 🙂