Author Topic: Networking over powerlines -- a solution against running traditional ethernet  (Read 2220 times)

Offline Gardener

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I'm writing this in case anyone is unaware and they find this could be a good solution.

Recently I have installed a device in our house which is capable of both ethernet and wifi connection. Unfortunately, the wifi is enabled by WPS. If the device drops its connection, or the power goes out, etc., you have to manually re-add it. That's a pain if you are away from the house or otherwise don't realize it happened. I figured this out the hard way and some internet research indicates this device is prone to this and the only solution people have found to get it to stop is to do factory reset. No thanks, I went through a bunch of custom settings to get it how I wanted -- not interested in doing that X times.

The obvious solution is to just connect it via ethernet, right? Well, yeah, but that means potentially stringing ethernet cable all over the house -- major pain.

Enter the Network Powerline Adapter.

Basic idea is this:

Device > ethernet cable > adapter > sending wall power outlet > electrical lines in home > receiving power outlet > adapter > ethernet cable > router

Black magic you say? Not really. Ethernet cables just transmit electrical signals over copper wire just like your house's electrical. This is also why you can get internet through your telephone line with DSL -- it's just electrical signals.

It works like this:



Since implementing this solution I have not experienced a drop in packets or connectivity. As far as the device and router are concerned, their connection is ethernet -- cus it is. The middle medium just happens to be the electrical lines.

But what about security? Can't someone just plug into an outside AC outlet and sniff your traffic? Yes and no. The traffic is encrypted and both adapters share the key. Simply put, someone can sniff your traffic, but they'll just get a garbled mess of data.

Caveats:
* doesn't work as well with power strips, if at all, depending on the strip.
* If you are trying to accomplish connectivity across breaker boxes, too bad because the signal will not cross over. i.e., you have a workshop with its own breaker box, you're SOL for this solution.

There are some which use multiple ports for the sending adapter.

You could also use a single port version and plug it into a cheap switch if you have a room with multiple devices needing ethernet.

The model I went with is this one:
http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-Powerline-existing-electrical-TPL-406E2K/dp/B008F537KC/ref=cm_cd_al_qh_dp_t

Earlier iterations of this technology were not that great, so it sort of fell by the wayside of the public consciousness with the rising of reliable and fast wifi. However, I think this is a good middle solution for those situations where ethernet is a better option but stringing cables all over the house is not.
 
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Offline Kaesekopf

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All of electricity is black magic.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

Wie dein Sonntag, so dein Sterbetag.

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Offline Heinrich

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I really enjoy this type of stuff. Thanks, Jon.

Incidentally, isn't this the type of tech that Israel used to (remotely) virus cripple the Iranian newcyooler power plant?
Schaff Recht mir Gott und führe meine Sache gegen ein unheiliges Volk . . .   .                          
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They did this on the show "Person of Interest"..
If thou wilt receive profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and seek not at any time the fame of being learned.

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Offline Gardener

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I really enjoy this type of stuff. Thanks, Jon.

Incidentally, isn't this the type of tech that Israel used to (remotely) virus cripple the Iranian newcyooler power plant?

It was delivered via infected thumbdrives and exploited a flaw in Windows' processing of shortcuts.

Stuxnet was interesting, as it was selective in the way it targeted systems. Systems had to have a specific configuration. They weren't interested in targeting Ahmad's personal laptop. They wanted his centrifuge control system to go down. If Ahmad's laptop had been infected, the virus would lay dormant.

http://www.cnet.com/news/stuxnet-delivered-to-iranian-nuclear-plant-on-thumb-drive/

 

Offline Bernadette

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* If you are trying to accomplish connectivity across breaker boxes, too bad because the signal will not cross over. i.e., you have a workshop with its own breaker box, you're SOL for this solution.


Well, that's me out. :(
"Make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found."
 

Offline Gardener

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* If you are trying to accomplish connectivity across breaker boxes, too bad because the signal will not cross over. i.e., you have a workshop with its own breaker box, you're SOL for this solution.


Well, that's me out. :(

Can you run an extension cord? That should allow the solution to work as it would be "bringing" the router's grid into your physical location.
 

Offline dellery

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Gardner, for future reference never tell anybody on the internet you have a device with WPS enabled -- it's a rookie's exploit.
The Fisherman's worm.
 

Offline Gardener

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Gardner, for future reference never tell anybody on the internet you have a device with WPS enabled -- it's a rookie's exploit.

Most devices of this nature use WPS. And I don't have one with it enabled. And yes, I use Kali, too. ;)