Sick of wireless! Indeed, I'm sick of it! Is there any way to run a powerline network with Linux?
Wireless networking has been a fantastic step in technology. However, there are cases where it becomes really annoying:
- it doesn't have a great range,
- walls in a house or apartment building can block the signal,
- in multi-apartment buildings, you'll end up with 30 networks around you, poorly secured, creating plenty of interferences,
- lousy linux support by companies selling wireless cards,
- poor signal quality...
I had all of those. So I had to make a switch, and finally found the right solution: powerline networking. Powerline networking is possible with devices such as those manufactured by the members of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance (Wikipedia link). Basically, the idea is to connect devices to each other through the power lines in a home.
- transfer rates of up to 85 Mbps,
- high-speed Internet and DVD-quality video streaming,
- installation and configuration software for Windows, Mac and Linux,
- 200 m range, depending on design and architecture,
- interception protection with DESpro encryption,
Well, I tried, and it's amazing! Installation took two minutes, and I'm now running a home network at 60 Mbps, with no problem whatsoever, a lot better than anything I ever had with Wifi!
The procedure to install was as follow,
- plug one of the adaptors on one of the ethernet ports of the router,
- plug the second adaptor on the ethernet port of my PC,
- plug them both into a power outlet,
- boot up my computer.
That was it! My Linux box was configured in dHCP. It found the connection, treated it as plain ethernet cable, and connected to my router... A lot easier that anything I ever did with wifi. The next step was to secure the network. Following the instructions provided on the product CD,
- install the following packages:
libpcap0-devel(static library and header files for the pcap library). Both are available in Mandriva.
- Copy the linux software provided on the CD (
dlan-linux-software.tar.gz) onto your hard disk,
- in a terminal, log-in as root (type
- go into the
- unpack the archive:
tar xvfzp dlan-linux-software.tar.gz,
- move into the newly created folder:
- according to the instructions provided, build and install the Devolo software:
- run the configuration script:
/usr/local/sbin/dlanconfig eth0(replace eth0 with your ethernet port if you're running a non-standard setup),
- it will find the two adapters,
- set a password for the remote adapter,
- set a password for the local adapter,
- you're done!
In summary, I'm really impressed with the technology. I was also very pleased with Devolo for providing Linux support for its hardware. Not only did they claim to support Linux, their software worked without a glitch, unlike other companies that I won't cite here!
Congrats to Devolo! It's a great technology.