As per my current setup, illustrated here, I have since introduced a few more Powerline adapters in order to connect my rooms upstairs to the whole network. I needed to do this in order to connect the Nintendo Wii, two more TVs and the Popcorn media player.

Though to my surprise, I started running into all sort of issues where my network would get disconnected temporarily and to recover, all I had to do is, restart one of the switches…

Due to lack of time, I have been ignoring these issues but this weekend, things had to change.

How do Powerline devices work?

Each device will have on the side a small button used to pair two adapters; once pairing is successful, a broadcast domain and collision domain is created. As you add more adapters, they are added within the existent domains, even if the adapters are of different vendors, as long as the the network name is the same

Once two devices have successfully paired, they actually agree on a network name which has the same role as of a key.

As a result, not only I was ending up with a funny Layer2 topology, but also, all my devices connected through the Power grid would end up in the same collision domain too. What I wanted is to simulate point-to-point L2 links between individual device pairs.

To fix this issue, I had to use the Powerline Utility to pair the adapters with different network keys so I could actually simulate different pseudo-wires.

My final network diagram looks like this:

home-network-2

Two Standards
There are two standards for Powerline communication – HomeGrid and HomePlug (v1 & v2). All my adapters use HomePlug which is why I could pair them across vendors. Also, on the market, HomePlug seems to be rather more common.

 


Thank you,
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