ST & Powerline Ethernet Extender / Adapters

Rather than running ethernet in the house (we did when we built)…I was thinking about those who don’t have ethernet options to insure their ST hub is sufficiently spaced from their high powered wireless routers. Would the power line ethernet be sufficiently clean for ST to run through an outlet further away in the house?

I know that separation I did in my house drastically improved our network from optimal placement for the zigbee 2.4ghz, and probably zwave improved just because of better location.

It’s not officially supported, but some people have hacked a way around it:

I was thinking more like you power the hub via the USB like normal, but you run your ethernet to the power line device plugged into the power outlet.

So not POE per se like we use in the office to power our wireless access points…

1 Like

Sorry, I’m tired tonight…powerline, not POE, understood. Might work, might not, you’d just have to try it. This will vary a lot from house to house.

I think so; though I can’t speak from personal experience.

I would read reviews of the various adaptor brands / models and look for low latency and general reliability. I think the amount of data is relatively small (it’s not streaming movies … well… actually, if you are using video capture service, then the data speed and such may become more important).

In other words, if you are only using it to extend a single ethernet port to an extended location for the SmartThings hub, I would lean a bit towards the more reliable side, rather than the raw throughput. Hopefully a generally well ranked adapter will balance the factors.

What frequency do these run on? I presume they don’t interfere with ZigBee RF or Z-Wave RF, since they modulate over the 120v power line instead. I guess I’m lucky … small home and easy access to the “basement” so I’m able to run 30ft to 50ft CAT6 to a few locations. Might move the Hub to one of them and see if any improvement in performance.

I forgot to mention that there have been some reports that a Z wave wall switch, in wall relay, or in wall receptacle may create interference on a circuit which can interrupt a powerline transmission on that same circuit. It doesn’t seem to be a problem just having zwave in the house. As long as they are on two separate circuits you’re OK. But if they’re on the same circuit it can be a problem and it can be a problem that is hard to diagnose unless you know to look for it.

One other thing that you may already know and it may even be related: powerline is famous for creating static on speakers that are plugged into the same circuit. Again, no problem even just being in the same room as long as they are on a different circuit, but the noise from the powerline can sometimes create noise on a speaker plugged into that circuit.

So this is another of those “all home automation is local” things, what might work perfectly in one house might not work at all in another.

There is a reported problem in England that powerline can interfere with wireless signals in a band that theoretically might affect zigbee, but I’ve never heard of an actual problem with this, and I don’t think it’s been reported in the US. But of course wiring in the UK is different so again, it may be a local issue.

We have powerline in two rooms on opposite ends of the house, each connected to an Xbox, with zigbee lights in those rooms and have not had any issues for what that’s worth. But we’re in the US.

1 Like

Hope this discussion helps others!


I’m using Powerline Ethernet extenders from Netgear for about 6 months now and It’s working great.
I do have Z-Wave and ZigBee Switches (plug-in not in wall) connected to the same circuit.
Tonight I’ll move my ST Hub to another room, where I do have Ethernet ports available, just out of curiosity, but I have several Servers running on that room and I never had any issues.

If you’re not already having problems with your zwave switches, I don’t think they’re likely to develop. :sunglasses:

I have TP-Link powerline extender for my v1 hub. My z-wave was fine but pretty much all my 110v zigbee receptacles went down after a couple hours with the extender running. That’s with the WiFi option turned off and the extender on a different circuit from the zigbee receptacles but on the same phase side at the circuit breaker. Powerline extender is really tricky and not reliable in my experience.

1 Like

Wouldn’t powerline introduce the possibility of a surge into the Ethernet port of SmartThings or whatever it’s connected to for that matter?

I had a surge take out my cable modem and the line in on my router. The router worked fine as a repeater after that but the line in from the cable modem to the router no longer works.

There will always be that possibility and to protect my router. So have surge powerbar on them. I have surge powerbar with ethernet protection on the router side both in and out. As for the other extender connecting to my ST V1… it’s a spare hub and a surge powerbar should be enough.

I have an old house with plastor walls and with metal mesh holding it up (we have come a long way with dry wall!) It basically destroys any wifi or z-wave signal from exiting my house (zigbee still worked pretty well though). I also have a detached garage where I have a bunch of devices. At one point I had devices stuck in windows at my house and garage facing each other to attempt to extend my networks (worked like 25 to 50 percent of the time). Now I use a Powerline adapters to get to my old V1 hub in the garage. I’d rather have one hub and location, but its a decent solution and everything works perfectly with two different hubs now. I also have a wifi router in my garage connected to my Powerline adapters, so I can have wifi in my backyard. All works 100% perfectly.

I was able to wire up my house with Ethernet over the last couple of years (pain in the butt to do that in a 110 year old house). Prior to that I had Powerline adapters everywhere to make up for wifi working poorly in some spots. I did a lot of research and testing Powerline adapters over the years. TP-Link adapters are really solid, but the best (and a little unknown) adapters are the 1000 Mbps ones from Monoprice.

I get 100 Mpbs or faster speeds in my detached garage (3 times faster then the TP-Link AV600 adapters). Some of those old AV500 adapters wouldn’t even connect out to the garage! Plus they are priced really well.


1 Like