dLAN Powerline Network

Event:

We didn’t talk about this, but I posted it earlier.

Problem: PCI wifi cards don’t work for us in our new apartment

Solution: dLAN powerline Internet

After little research, I thought the Devolo dLAN 200 Wireless G Starter kit was a way to fix things. It turned out I didn’t get what I expected, but it does appear to solve the problem in an efficient way (if you consider $220 or so efficient). I will get into some configuration detail, but long story short, had I understood what this hardware does, the install would have taken maybe 30 minutes tops.

This is for claiming our Mevio channel {Mevio-f85e64a2e4adfd5c58f1890138665d71}

The kits is delivered with software for Windows, Mac OS X and linux. I tried the first two. Maybe I’ll try the linux one some day.

Anyway, there are two main bits, the dLAN config and the Wifi config tools. Also, the manual in several languages is on the CD.

Plugging a computer into one of the LAN ports on the back of the unit and starting the Wifi config tool, you are immediately told to change the password which I did. Then you can choose to use DHCP or assign an IP. Since the default ranges was in 192.168.0 and my network is 192.168.1 I changed the IP to be 192.168.1.10. Then I set the channel to auto and allowed it to be compatible with both WPA and WPA2. This seemed to work although the Deveolo wifi signal is weaker than the Linksys upstairs.

Here’s what I didn’t understand

The Devolo main unit (wifi + 4 LAN ports) does not connect to a modem, or if it does this didn’t work on my modem to replace the Linksys. What I find odd is that it does work connected to a Linksys LAN port and the entire 192.168.1.??? network is pingable. Since this solves our problem, I may leave it that way, giving us two independent wifi signals in the house plus the powerline signal.

Security

So to the one adapter that comes with this kit. I plugged it into an outlet, fired up Windows and started the dLAN config app. It asks for the system password (set during the wifi setup) and then you need to enter security codes for the devices you want to allow to connect. This was the big question from people on VUC, what about the neighbors connecting or sniffing the powerline signal? There is an encryption button on the main unit. I haven’t tried that yet nor am I sure the encryption is really necessary. What I see is that the computer can’t connect to the network unless you have the security code for the Devolo router and the strong, user-configurable system password.

All in all, I am not sure a person without the curiosity and a little experience would ever get this to work or even understand what it is.

I like the look of these, and it’s all very lightweight and discrete, even the LEDs. The security seems adequate. Compared to the Linksys, there are four, not five LAN ports (the Linky has 4 LAN and a WAN). With the current setup I suddenly have 2 more LAN ports than before so maybe I can stick the AA50 Astersik Appliance in there somewhere 🙂

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