Stable powerline connection on Devolo Magic 2 wifi mesh
Devolo Magic 2 wifi is a series of products made to create a mesh wifi network in your home with multiple wifi accesspoints connected to the router over the powerline network. It can sometimes be difficult to obtain a reliable, stable connection of the powerline as noise in the powerline can interfere.
This is how I make it as stable as possible.
- Do not connect the powerline adapter via an extension cord. It should be connected directly to the outlet.
- Try to find outlets as close to the fuse box as possible. Especially for the unit connected to the router, because this unit will need to communicate well with all other units on the network.
- If possible, connect the units to outlets that belongs to the same phase. Even though connection over different phases should be possible, it gives lower throughput and more unreliable connection.
- If possible, use grounded outlets only. This will make it possible for the device to use MIMO technology instead of instead of SISO. MIMO gives higher throughput and is more reliable. Screenshots: SISO mode (left) compared to MIMO mode (right).
- In the powerline configuration, deselecting Automatic compatibility mode (recommended) * and choosing VDSL 17a (default) seems to be most reliable for me. (In automatic mode the unit sometimes gets very poor connection and needs to be rebooted in my case.)
- The kit came with one router unit and two client units. After a while I was moving things around and for a while I was only going to need coverage where one of the client units where located so I disconnected the other. Now, the wifi connection became very unstable for the clients, even though they were very close to the remaining unit. I just reconnected the disconnected Devolo unit and voila – the wifi connection became much more stable. Is it built into the design that there should be at least two Devolo units up and running?
Powerline ethernet and RFI
As an active radio amatuer (aka “ham”), I am very keen on using equipment that are not causing radio interference (RFI). The Devolo units seems to stay well out of amatuer radio shortwave bands, but on citizens band (CB, or 27 MHz), that is not the case. Heavy RFI can be heard on the 27 MHz band.
Powerline ethernet / home plug and amateur radio
The above statement concerns listingening on the shortwave. If you are a ham or radio amateur transmitting on the shortwave bands you probably should just forget powerline ethernet / home plug systems. My Devolo just died with a 100% packet loss when I was transmitting on 20, 40 or 80 meter bands. In my case, I had to get rid of the powerline ethernet system and installed a ethernet twisted pair network using shielded twisted pair cables (SFTP) grounding all ends of the cables. Well worth the trouble and the noise levels actually decreased overall when doing this.