Powerline as backhaul?


  • Has anyone tried this?

    In a situation where it’s not possible to run a long cable would it be possible to connect/use RAMP via powerline?


  • @Raka74 Yes, I have tried it and it works absolutely fine.


  • Thanks, good to know - If it doest work out with cabling in my new home I might try this.


  • @Ali-Hadi getting good speeds via power line? Which powerline adapters are you using?


  • @Richard1864 I am using the Tenda AV1000 which are giving me decent speeds to stream 4K videos with Atmos Dolby from my Plex server with no problems although I haven't bothered measuring exact speeds. My home electrical wiring is also fairly old to be honest.


  • @Ali-Hadi I will look into them. Thank you very much.


  • @Richard1864 said in Powerline as backhaul?:

    I will look into them. Thank you very much.

    I would be VERY grateful if you could report back if you get them, especially if you can do some data transfer rate measurements. I'm currently in a 2-story rented home, and I've just replaced a 3 TB Apple 802.11ac 3TB internal backup drive "Airport ExtremeTime Capsule" (using an 802.11n "Airport Express" as an extender) with a single Alien. I have a cluster of devices on WiFi, EN, and USB in an upstairs office, about 40 feet away from the router, and even without a RAMP I get Speedtest.net DL speeds approaching the 400 mbps I'm paying for (and typically 450 mbps to devices downstairs in the same room as the Alien doing the routing.

    Most of the reviews I've read about PowerLine either gripe about speeds < 10% of advertised, or home wiring that makes them not work at all, or report good performance not accompanied by numbers.

    If I were to add a second Alien upstairs as a RAMP, I'd have to use WiFi backhaul, and my main reason for adding it would be because I could use its embedded gigabit 4 port switch for networked devices. I would do it if the WiFi backhaul didn't reduce my single-router performance. I actually can get gigabit internet in my little tiny rural Montana town, but I have no need of it.

    Time to transfer a 4K movie file (2-5 Gigabytes) from a device near your main router to one near the RAMP device would be sufficient for me. I don't know of measuring tools that can provide more precision than that.

    Thanks so much,


  • @jsrnephdoc I can tell you that it will be something between your wireless speed and your straight ethernet cable speed. I don't think anyone can give you an accurate figure as this is completely dependent upon your home wiring and it's quality.


  • @Ali-Hadi said in Powerline as backhaul?:

    I can tell you that it will be something between your wireless speed and your straight ethernet cable speed. I don't think anyone can give you an accurate figure as this is completely dependent upon your home wiring and it's quality.

    I'm not asking for a promise, just individual datapoint. For example, many of the people who report they're happy also say that their transfer rates are 20-50 mbps. That may be enough for streaming to individual devices, but it's 2 orders of magnitude less than what one would get if one had gigabit Ethernet cabling (Cat5e or Cat6) throughout one's home, and those "satisfactory' performances pale even in comparison to what one gets using WiFi backhaul between two Alien routers. I've seen virtually no one report Ethernet transfer rates exceeding 100 mbps between "gigabit" or even "2 gbps" Powerline adapters, and I've seen LOTs of reports of noise on nearby speakers and other headaches.

    Now that we have decent performance using RAMP, the role for PowerLine adapters may be pretty close to non-existent, unless verified by real-world experiences.

    If you have data that contradicts that, I'd love to hear it, because there's no way I can do true wired backhaul between two Aliens in my home.


  • @jsrnephdoc Unfortunately I have no solid data and I am unable to do measurements now as I have removed my RAMP and using a different configuration at present. What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that it was miles faster than wireless backhaul that was causing media buffering all the time, a problem that completely disappeared when using the powerline adapter.


  • On speed tests, I’m getting speeds averaging between 200-400 Mbps via powerline backbone with RAMP. HOWEVER, the ping to my RAMP went from 36 ms wireless to 16 ms, which is a big difference.

    Transfer of a 4.3 GB movie via airdrop from my MacBook (on the main router) to my iPhone Pro 11 Max (on the RAMP) took less than 15 seconds over powerline vs 89 seconds wireless backbone.

    So speed test app says slower via powerline, but data transfer says faster. Interesting don’t you think?

    Oh websites and data heavy apps are loading faster with powerline backbone than via wireless backbone.


  • ...my main reason for adding it would be because I could use its embedded gigabit 4 port switch for networked devices. I would do it if the WiFi backhaul didn't reduce my single-router performance.

    Hi @jsrnephdoc - if you are not already using the feature for something else and you can find a cheap 802.11ac MIMO router that supports wireless bridging then you could enable the Alien's Additional 5 GHz Radio with a unique SSID and add remote Ethernet ports that way

    I have repurposed old AmpliFi HD routers for doing this by installing them in 3rd Party Router mode, but they act as WiFi extenders instead of bridges, which can be an advantage in some other scenarios, but then you need to be more careful with manual channel selections

    The Alien's Additional 5 GHz Radio uses only the 5.2 GHz band independently of the main WiFi-6 radios, so it does not interfere with any other WiFi activity or clients on the Alien

    By using an uncommon SSID, you can limit the client connection to only the bridging device knowing it, giving it exclusive access to the bandwidth for the wireless bridge, however it unfortunately does use the same password and cannot be hidden

    The HD's are only 3x3 MIMO (vs the 4x4 Alien for 802.11ac) and I average around 400 Mbps for the bridge in my environment, but that can go down quickly based on distance and interference


  • @Ali-Hadi said in Powerline as backhaul?:

    Unfortunately I have no solid data and I am unable to do measurements now as I have removed my RAMP and using a different configuration at present. What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that it was miles faster than wireless backhaul

    So, that IS a datapoint even without a number. It will be useful to me if I decide to purchase the second Alien to use as a RAMP.

    I hope you won't mind a few other questions:

    • Were you using the gigabit switch embedded in the RAMP device? If so, do you have any idea whether the devices using those ports contributed to the decay in streaming performance when you were using WiFi backhaul?

    • Do you know whether the two Powerline adapters were on the same home wiring circuit?

    Here's an example of the actual throughput achieved by one tester of the Tenda AV1000:
    0_1597529061362_Tenda_AV1000_Kit-Chart-Lan_Speed_Test-fixed.png image url)


  • @jsrnephdoc in an answer to your questions:

    1. All devices connected to my RAMP were doing so via WiFi and none were wired directly to the LAN ports. Media streaming using Plex client on a Firestick connected to RAMP wirelessly was very glitchy and slow when RAMP was wirelessly connected to main router but this problem had resolved by using the Tenda power adapters and ethernet (via powerline) backhauling to the main router instead while leaving everything else unchanged in my setup.

    2. Both powerline adapters were on the same wiring circuit (fairly old wiring in my property).

    I guess that if extending an ethernet cable from the main router to the RAMP is not an option (as in my case), then you will just have to accept using the powerline adapter as the second best option.


  • Hi @Ali-Hadi - MoCA can work as well f you happen to have coax run on premise


  • @Derek-Saville Thank you. I have recently learnt about these adapters but I don't have coax cables running through the house but also not sure how they compare in speed and quality to the powerline adapters.



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