What are the differences between PLC and WiFi signal repeater?

between a PLC and a Wi-Fi Signal RepeaterWho should you choose?

One of the things I enjoy the most is having a good internet connection throughout my house. I recently moved into a 2-story house and the first thing I thought about was how to get signal to all the rooms.

I consulted a friend and he recommended using a PLC or a WiFi signal repeater, but he wasn’t sure which was the best option. So, I started doing a thorough research on each one.

internet signal

Both are options that accomplish the same function: to extend the range of an Internet signal. However, they do it differently and this is where you can assess which one offers the most benefits.

To help you clarify their differences, here I will tell you what is a PLC and what is a WiFi repeater, along with the advantages that each offers you.

What is PLC?

PLC is an abbreviation for power line communicationA technology with which it is possible to access electrical networks boosting internet signal, This is not a new method, as it has been used for over a decade and is still used as an option in many homes today.

The function of a PLC device is to use the cables of a home or building’s electrical installation as a means of transporting Internet signals instead of Ethernet cables. This way, it allows the signal to reach any room, as long as it has an outlet.

To see it better, a PLC is composed of two devices: a transmitter and a receiver (although, viewed theoretically, both carry out the function of sending and receiving data).

The sender connects via an outlet and receives an Internet signal from the router via an Ethernet cable. The receiver receives the signal through the electrical network and sends it to any compatible device with an Ethernet port (such as a computer, TV, video game console, etc.).

This is a cost-effective option, as it takes advantage of existing electrical wiring in the infrastructure, avoiding spending money on meters of Ethernet cable. In addition, you can now find PLC models that integrate WiFi technology to bring signals to mobile phones, tablets, and any other devices without an Ethernet port.

What is WiFi Signal Repeater?

now one wifi signal repeaterAs its name indicates, WiFi serves the function of repeating the signal, Extending the range to areas where the signal is weak, This helps in improving the signal quality and internet speed in the places which are farthest from the main router.

It works wirelessly, receiving internet signal through the main WiFi and retransmitting it to other devices while maintaining the signal strength. It can also connect directly to a router via an Ethernet cable, fulfilling the same function.

It is an economical and easy-to-use alternative. It is enough just to synchronize it with the router, so that it starts working without the need for additional wiring.

Connected: How to fix slow Wi-Fi connection easily and at no cost

difference between plc and wifi signal repeater

Surely you have already noticed what is the most notable difference between PLC and WiFi signal repeater: connection type,

difference between plc and wifi signal repeater

PLC devices are connected to the electrical network and rely on Ethernet cables to receive and distribute signals, making them a bit more complicated to install than WiFi signal repeaters.

However, this is not the only difference. Below I will tell you what you should consider before choosing between PLC and repeater.

number of devices

The PLC must work simultaneously with 2 devices: one that emits the signal and another that receives it.

In contrast, to use a WiFi repeater, only 1 device is needed to extend the coverage range across rooms or between rooms.

ease of connection

For PLC devices to work, they must be connected to an electrical network in a direct or linear direction. If the connections start from different points or are interrupted at some point, the connection is not achieved (this usually happens in two-story houses).

Instead, the WiFi repeater can be connected anywhere, as long as it is within the coverage area reported by the device and there is a power outlet nearby. In this case, connecting the repeater is easy.

more stable connection

In the case of a PLC, the connection is more stable because it has fixed communication with the electrical network and Ethernet cable, but it depends on the use of electrical energy in the home; So if the same current is used to power a large appliance (such as a washing machine, for example), the quality of the network may be affected.

For WiFi repeaters, signal strength may vary according to distance and the number of obstacles that may affect the coverage range (such as walls or doors). PLC being more stable in comparison.

connection radius

By using a PLC to deliver internet to a computer or game console, the connection you get is pretty much direct and the same across a room, no matter how large, as long as it has the same electrical network Are.

With WiFi signal repeaters, communication interruptions can occur when used over long distances or even connection failure when used on different floors. Therefore, in this case, it is more reasonable to use a PLC.

last note
While there are advantages and disadvantages to each, in the end it all depends on the use you want to give it. In my case, I chose to use both methods to maintain a good signal at home. I have combined a PLC with a WiFi signal, getting the best of both techniques. This way I can enjoy a stable connection on the console and TV while still using WiFi on the mobile.

In any case, now it is up to you which one benefits you the most.

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