When it comes to connecting to the Internet, we can do it in different ways. One of them is Wi-Fi so we will connect directly to the router, a repeater or a Wi-Fi Mesh system. The other option would be the Ethernet network cable, which is undoubtedly the best option to take advantage of all the bandwidth of our connection. However, we still have a third also widely used: PLC or Powerline devices. When we use PLC devices, data travels through the electrical wiring in our home. So we wonder if its use is going to raise the electricity bill a lot. In this article we are going to see if the PLCs consume a lot of light and we are going to learn more about how it works.
We currently live in a time when we are concerned about the energy consumption of our devices. One of the reasons is because we want to pay as little as possible on our electricity bill. The other for ecological reasons and the sustainability of the planet. For that reason, we are concerned if PLCs and other devices consume a lot of light. In this regard, if possible, we should opt for devices that are as energy efficient as possible.
The operating mode of PLCs and their easy installation
The PLC we can define it as a simple device that will allow us transmit the signal of our Internet connection through the electrical wiring of our home. This type of device can be very interesting because sometimes bringing the Ethernet network cable to one end of the house can be a complicated task. As for Wi-Fi, the thick walls and the distance sometimes make this type of wireless connectivity not the most advisable. This would be an example of a PLC:
One of the main advantages they offer us is that the data when traveling through our electrical wiring is not exposed to interference with neighboring networks as is the case with Wi-Fi. They are usually plug-in type and are easy to install. One we will plug in near the router and connect it to it by Ethernet network cable. We will place the other in the room and the device that we want to connect would do so by network cable or Wi-Fi. Usually by pressing a button on both PLCs that is used to pair, they would already be in operation.
In recent years, manufacturers such as devolo have launched PLCs with WiFi Mesh technology, this allows us to form a complete mesh WiFi network in our home, and the interconnection between the PLCs and the WiFi network traffic will go through the electrical wiring, with the goal of achieving the best possible performance in terms of download speed, upload speed and also stability.
Consumption of PLC devices
Regarding the energy consumption of the PLCs, we have several doubts. One of them is if they are constantly transmitting data through our electrical wiring. Another question is whether the PLCs consume the same light at all times, regardless of what we are doing. The best thing we can do to know the consumption of a PLC is to consult its technical data sheet. In this case we have chosen the devolo dLAN 1200+ although other good manufacturers that make good PLCs are D-Link, ASUS and AVM with their FRITZ! Powerline. You can see the technical sheet of this devolo model here. With a red arrow you have indicated the light consumption:
As can be seen, it has a maximum consumption of 4.2W, a typical one of 3W and when it is in standby of only 0.7W. One of the doubts we had is whether it would be consuming the same energy all the time and as you can see, the answer is no. This happens because PLCs have a power saving mode in which they go into standby mode after a period of inactivity.
Regarding the other question of whether they are transmitting data all the time and, therefore, consuming energy, the answer is that neither. All they are going to do is do some periodic checks to verify that the PLCs are still paired and when they detect traffic, increase the power consumption to start transmitting the data. Therefore, with this way of working we can say that PLC devices consume very little electrical energy.
Finally, if you have some Powerline PLC devices and they work slowly, you may be interested in some tips to improve the speed of the PLCs. A good tip is not to connect it to a power strip, but to connect it directly to the wall socket.