the IT city, the I.T. Baby


WiFi camera slow? Afraid of WiFi Radiation? Powerline it

TRENDnet adapterSomething we ran into with the Foscams is that sometimes there’s simply not enough ability to punch through old plaster and brick walls to reach a centrally located WiFi router.

My house being plaster over some sort of chicken wire (essentially a Faraday cage,) the prospect of running network cable through the walls is not something that appeals to me.

Enter the TRENDnet Powerline adapter series. The Powerlines use your house’s outlets as network cable and can deliver gigabit speeds on a properly wired house, and 600mbit speeds on older wiring projects.

Your WiFi camera is probably doing a max of about 54mbit (assuming the router is in the same room,) and significantly less the further away you get from the source. Most WiFi cameras I’ve played with have a backup 10/100/1000 RJ45 network adapter built in for the times when WiFi isn’t cutting it. You’ll probably never see a baby camera push over 100mbit however.

This is also gravy if you’re worried about WiFi radiation as you can disable WiFi and run data from point A to B over the electrical lines. While the effects of WiFi on a child’s health are impossible to measure because there’s so little effect and studies will take many years to complete, if you’re freaking out about a WiFi transmitter (the camera,) being near a baby you can use one of these to network over completely shielded wires.

The TRENDnet powerline adapters range from about $30 to $80. Your average baby camera isn’t going to be pushing above 100mbits of data for a baby stream, so you can grab the lower numbered versions and be pretty good with your camera and anything else you might want to network in that room (music player, air sensors, etc).

While you’ll be plunking down some money, you won’t be spending the cash on a long RJ45 cable and holes in the walls, or tripping hazards, as the power lines are already run.

One thing I did notice while playing wit these is they do not like surge protectors. So you’ll need to devote a wall plug for these. There are pass-through versions you can purchase that will handle double duty as a network device and also a pass through plug. I’d advise getting that if you’re limited on outlets.

The TRENDnet Powerline series is available on Amazon for between $30 and $80 for what you’d want for a baby cam.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.