I just received the Linksys PLWK400 but it's not working over two circuits. Their online tech support confirmed that they don't support these devices over more than one circuit.
[2013-01-30 20:09:48] Kevin G: I just received the PLWK400 to help extend the wifi to remote parts of our home.
[2013-01-30 20:09:58] Amerkhan M. (25017): I see.
[2013-01-30 20:11:02] Amerkhan M. (25017): Is your home using only 1 circuit breaker? The PLWK400 needs it to be located on the same circuit to distribute its signal.
[2013-01-30 20:12:41] Kevin G: No. I was told that it didn't need to be on the same breaker. Seems like a single breaker would get past a single room.
[2013-01-30 20:13:08] Kevin G: would NOT get past a single room.
[2013-01-30 20:13:52] Amerkhan M. (25017): Oh. As long as they are running on the same circuit, the powerline kit will work on your home.
[2013-01-30 20:14:54] Kevin G: Does cisco have any products that can do the same thing but on other circuits?
[2013-01-30 20:15:58] Amerkhan M. (25017): An alternate for poweline would be a range extender or a wireless bridge and to connect to your modem/router if it has a wireless signal on it.
[2013-01-30 20:17:45] Kevin G: Does cisco make such an item?
[2013-01-30 20:18:37] Amerkhan M. (25017): Yes. The model for the range extender is RE1000 and the model for the wireless bridge is WES610N (with 4 port switch) and WET610N (for only 1 Ethernet port).
[2013-01-30 20:19:33] Kevin G: I've heard that wifi range extenders actually cut the bandwidth in half. Is that true with your product?
[2013-01-30 20:20:42] Amerkhan M. (25017): Yes. As a wireless repeater, it is a trade-off between extending the wireless range of the router by cutting off the bandwidth by half.
[2013-01-30 20:21:15] Amerkhan M. (25017): If you are concerned about the bandwidth of the wireless network, wireless access points that is wired to the router is your second option.
[2013-01-30 20:21:56] Kevin G: Can I share my setup and problem and have you suggest a solution?
[2013-01-30 20:22:52] Amerkhan M. (25017): Sure thing, Kevin. I'll do my best to provide you the best solutions for your networking needs.
[2013-01-30 20:25:23] Kevin G: OK. I have cable internet service that comes into the SBG6580 modem/router. The 6580 is a good router to the iMac, Sonos system and provides decent wifi except for the farthest point in the house. I'm trying to find a solution that will allow me to get a strong wifi signal into that hard-to-reach area. What do you think?
[2013-01-30 20:27:35] Kevin G: I currently have 32Mbps download and 3.0 Mbps upload speeds.
[2013-01-30 20:29:24] Amerkhan M. (25017): If you can afford to have an Ethernet cable run through the house at the center, you can use a wireless access point to distribute the signal for your home. If some parts of your home still gets weaker signals, using a range extender would be beneficial as the wireless bandwidth of the network will just be cut in half (~150 Mbps or less at most) so a 32 Mbps connection would not suffer.
[2013-01-30 20:33:17] Kevin G: OK. So I string the ethernet cable from the router through the house into the center/farthest part of the house. Then I connect a WAP to the ethernet cable at that point. This would not jeopardize the bandwidth speed?
[2013-01-30 20:34:28] Amerkhan M. (25017): With using a wireless access point (WAP), no. Using an Ethernet cable to connect them would not result in a decrease of bandwidth for the wired or wireless network.
[2013-01-30 20:36:08] Kevin G: OK. So that's a hardwire solution. The other two options are (1) powerline and (2) wifi extender. Are there other options?
[2013-01-30 20:39:18] Amerkhan M. (25017): The other options are available, but it is no longer cost effective as it will be using more than 1 device to extend the network. Using a wireless access point that can be hardwired to the router would be the best one as it can be placed anywhere on the house, as long as you have the cable to supply the connection to it.
[2013-01-30 20:41:21] Kevin G: So which Cisco WAPs do you recommend for this configuration? I do not plan to add additional cables to this AP.
[2013-01-30 20:44:08] Amerkhan M. (25017): We have the WAP610N that I would recommend as it will only take 1 slot on your modem/router for the connection. You can then place it at the part of your home that gets lower signal.
[2013-01-30 20:44:53] Amerkhan M. (25017): You can also configure the WAP610N to use the same name and password as your router so wireless devices can easily connect to either devices without manually connecting to it. It will be on "roaming" mode afterwards.
[2013-01-30 20:47:07] Kevin G: OK. I think I'm resigned to pulling wire through the house to solve this problem. Have you ever heard of powerline adapters transcending a single circuit? I read a lot of forum chatter about cases where it was possible. But maybe that was just bad information.
[2013-01-30 20:49:35] Amerkhan M. (25017): A power line device will use the power cables of your house as an Ethernet cable. You can place a power extension cable and it will work when it is connected on both ends.
[2013-01-30 20:52:45] Kevin G: But only on a single circuit? I had read that it works within a single "drop" into a house and can work through multiple circuits. (Most wifi signals will extend farther than the typical extent of a single circuit.) I guess I'm not sure why the powerline option is really a serious option?
[2013-01-30 20:55:53] Amerkhan M. (25017): The power line will need it to be on the same circuit on your home for the PLE400 and PLW400 (on the power line kit) to communicate. An instance where powelines are a great help is when a part of the house, when covering large distance, still use the same circuit, the connection could easily disregard the walls of your home.