So I’ve been struggling with exceptionally patchy wi-fi at home for the last couple of weeks. I’ve had new flooring installed across the whole of the ground floor of the house, and the underlay for this flooring is clad with foil for insulation. Now having about thirty square metres of this stuff is great for warmth and sound-proofing, but absolutely rubbish for a good wi-fi signal. The wireless router is in the lounge on the ground floor and my iMac is downstairs in the cellar, and since the installation of the floor I’ve got absolutely no signal at all. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
I puzzled for a while about how I was going to rectify the situation. Could I move the router? No, because all my wired components are in the lounge. Should I try to get a long CAT5 cable down to the cellar? No, because I’ve just spent a fortune on new plastering and flooring, and the thought of hacking holes to get cable through was not at all appealing. And then the solution presented itself – Powerline networking.
It’s a bit of an expense (£55) but seemed to be the answer, so I ordered a starter kit – two plugs with RJ45 sockets on them. Plug an output from the router into one, and the computer into the other and switch on. And – amazingly for computer components – they worked immediately. No configuration, no nothing. And, pleasingly, the performance is much faster than wi-fi and a good deal more reliable. I can’t understand why more people don’t use it instead of fighting with wi-fi. I’m certainly converted.