In our homes, schools, offices and shopping malls, we have some Wi-Fi connection from different network service providers. The recent birth of 4G network service providers like Surfline, Blu and Busy have come to solve some of our problems with regards to the speed and effectiveness of Wi-fi connectivity. There is more demand for bandwidth in our homes, schools and offices. Such a demand has been met halfway by the introduction of 4G network service providers.
Nevertheless, you can testify with me that there is more to be desired taking into account the amount of money we invest in purchasing bundles for our Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi is available in nearly every home these days. Smartphones, tablets and laptops demand it, and most recently, latest versions of television sets and game consoles also demand Wi-Fi.
However, as we all know, Wi-Fi signals lose strength the further away you are from the wireless router, especially as you move through different rooms. Well, in every dark situation such as this, we must remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
There is something much faster than Wi-Fi, which is a wired connection using an Ethernet cable, just like the cable that connects your router to your PC. You lose less data to the limitations of Wi-Fi, which loses strength the further you are away from the wireless router, hates going through walls and gets interference from all sorts of other devices and structures.
Powerline communications (PLC) are systems for carrying data on a conductor also used for electric power transmission. Powerline technology turns your home’s electrical wiring into a network, which uses the existing power lines and power outlets in a home to send and receive information from one computer to another. This serves as a great home-network technology. It is simple to set up and a faster-than-Wi-Fi home network.
Powerline communications can also be used in a home to interconnect home computers, peripherals and home entertainment devices that have an Ethernet port. Adaptors allowing for such connectivity are often marketed as “Ethernet over power” (EOP). Powerline adaptor sets plug into power outlets and establish an Ethernet connection using the existing electrical wiring in the home.
You need at least two Powerline adaptors – most starter kits come with everything you need including adaptors and Ethernet cables.
Playing with electrical sockets is not recommended child’s play, but Powerline really is child’s play for adults to set up. It is very easy to set up on your own, even if you think you know nothing about technology. All you need to do is use a plug and connect a couple of cables. It really does act like a ‘plug and play’ and will also set up a basic computer network to enable you to share files among other computers in the house.
A PLC connection has many advantages to a wireless connection. However, the quality of the connection will still depend on the quality of the domestic electrical system. Improper wiring and circuit breakers in between the connected cables can negatively affect the performance, and can cause connection interruptions. It is very easy to install, requires no changes to your computer, and connections can easily be configured and made available in any room.
Even though it is better than Wi-Fi in terms of the bandwidth it comes with, Powerline technology has some downsides such as being less reliable than wired connections, less flexible than wireless connections, and uses large plug-in wall devices that may take up space.
I think it is time for most companies in Ghana to incorporate Powerline technologies in their operations to assist them to boost the performance of their businesses.
Author: Kwesi Otoo, threesixtyGh Writer