When I put together my brand new Virtual Reality PC I immediately encountered a problem.
Wifi dead zone.
Now, the obvious solution is to do something with the Wifi itself.
You can move the ISP-supplied router to a better location, buy a new router. There are repeaters, and you can try 2.4g versus 5g frequencies.
But for a while, I have been tempted to go back to wired networking. So many issues with interference and dropped connections on webinars and streams. Maybe I needed to cut out the variables?
Playing with different operating systems via Wifi can be painful too. Not every OS supports every Wifi adapter or can have problems in set up that ethernet just bypasses entirely.
Regular ethernet was not going to be an option, unfortunately. The risk of causing more work by making holes and pulling cables.
Time to try these Powerline Ethernet gadgets!
As it was an experiment, and because I was going for internet connectivity, I went for the cheapest 2x pack. $49.99 CAD from Amazon, with Prime shipping. That’s $39.99 USD from Amazon.com!
In the box you get two adapters and two ethernet cables, plus some instructions and other paper junk.
So what’s it like in practice?
Plug and play – literally! I was up and running in seconds.
One adapter plugs into your router via the included ethernet cable, and the other you plug into the power outlet closest to the machine you want to provide connectivity to and that machine’s ethernet port.
You can also pair adapters for a more secure connection. I didn’t bother.
Through the magic of dynamic IP address provision, I didn’t have to do any configuration or setup in Windows 10.
A side benefit was it allowed my machine to free up a USB socket (it has no built-in Wifi but does have onboard ethernet).
As mentioned above, this also allows the machine to run other operating systems such as Linux, so I booted SimpleMiningOS (an Ubuntu variant) and mined some cryptocurrency 🙂
Speeds are not going to break any records, but I did go for the entry-level option. Upgrades include pass-through power sockets and gigabit or more speeds.
I couldn’t be happier with the value for money, or the convenience. We don’t have to worry about random slow-downs or drops, I can use Teamviewer to remote control the machine, and all the Windows 10 and Oculus updates just work.
Our house is relatively new so I don’t know how it would work with older wiring, but for under fifty bucks, it wouldn’t cost a lot to find out.