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Customer Review

53 of 69 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Serious Fatal Flaw, November 23, 2012
This review is from: Linksys Powerline AV Wireless Network Extender (PLWK400) (Personal Computers)
Installed easily, functioned briefly. The main issue was that I could no longer connect to my networked PS3. I contacted Linksys and we quickly determined an IP conflict. I was then told and this is a direct quote from the Live Chat support

from Jeffrey (18183) to All Participants:
I am very sorry for the inconvenience but we need it to be on the same circuit breaker for it to communicate. It is a product limitation.

I explained that modern houses have dozens of circuit breakers and nowhere on the packing was this limitation mentioned. Apologies and reaffirmation that I was screwed.

Sorry but this is a non existant solution unless you want to extend your connection from one side of the room to another!
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 23, 2012 11:13:42 PM PST
Linksys says:
Hi Jeff.

We regret the device you purchased is causing you difficulties. We would like to review what has missed by our support and we are sorry for the inconvenience. Please tell us your case number given by our support.

Cisco-Linksys Support

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 12:21:35 PM PST
Cody Jones says:
I don't think they diagnosed your problem correctly. What would circuit breakers have to do with an IP address conflict?

Your complaint is valid, though. My package says "Power outlets and electrical wiring must all be part of the same electrical system." I always thought my house had one electrical system made up of many circuits. Does this mean I have two circulatory systems in my body (if you consider the heart a breaker)?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012 5:40:48 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2012 5:43:10 AM PST
JNH says:
You are correct, the circuit breakers do not have anything to do with an IP Address conflict. That is a networking issue that is easily corrected with just a little bit of work.

In most applications, these will work across circuit breakers, but based on the actual electrical wiring scheme, there may be a loss of signal which results in slower than 200 Mbps communications that are advertised. In my case, it is much slower, but still faster than my Turbo Cable connection so plenty fast enough.

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 9:35:14 PM PST
Pointer says:
While your problem is (was?) an IP conflict, which has nothing to do with a breaker, breakers may cause a problem with Powerline devices. Its a known problem and only with certain breakers.
In addition, some UPS devices and surge protectors are now Powerline compliant and will work with them in spite of instructions with the Powerline device to the contrary. Its usually advertised in the product literature.

Posted on Feb 24, 2013 3:49:23 PM PST
I am not an electrical engineer, but from what I understand it may not be related to the breakers. US houses are served by two 110v legs from their power company with each supplying roughly 1/2 of your circuit breakers. My understanding is all equipment related to your powerline extender must be on the same leg of your AC as it cannot communicate between the two.

Posted on Apr 24, 2013 12:23:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 24, 2013 2:17:04 PM PDT
S. C. says:
If it's an IP conflict, then the problem is most likely with your router setting. Particularly, the DHCP server may have caused your powerline to have the same IP address as your computer.

Possible causes are many and here is just one example:

The DHCP server at first assign an IP address (say to your computer and then another (say to the adapter. So it work fine and dandy.

Then something happened, such as power outage, that causes the router (and the DHCP server within) to restart. Your powerline adapter lost its IP address and requests one from the router. Your router, having lost connection to your computer, decides to give the next available IP ( to the powerline adapter. Meanwhile your computer has no idea what took place and continues to try to use the same, which obviously doesn't work. In this case, you may have to manually change your computer's IP address in order to connect to the network.

But then, there's no telling which IP address the powerline might "steal" next time the router/DHCP server resets! (It'll most likely steal IP address of downline connected devices).

It is also possible (but less likely) that another device (not connected to the powerline adapter) takes over adapter's IP address when the router (DHCP server) reset.

So the ultimate fix, in my opinion, is when using an Access Point (powerline adapter or wifi) to connect additional devices, it's best to lock-down its IP address by reserving it on the DHCP server. Better yet, manually set the Access Point's IP address outside the DHCP server range so that it'll have an IP address all to itself!

Note: I haven't tried to create/test the above situations. Maybe the powerline adapter is smart enough to avoid them. But I have had these problems with my WiFi AP in the past until I gave it a fixed (static) IP outside the DHCP range. See:

Hope that helps!

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 4:09:35 PM PDT
Tech geek says:
I had an X.10 network to control various electrical devices. The X.10 product family has (had?) a 220 volt device you could plug in, perhaps where your clothes dryer plugs in, that bridges signals being carried on household electrical wiring from one 110 volt leg to the other 110 volt leg. Perhaps such a device might work here? It may be that "on the same circuit breaker" actually means on the same leg of a household electrical supply.

I needed the X.10 bridge to circumvent a failing circuit breaker in an apartment I leased. The failing breaker was the main breaker that shut off all power in the apartment. I asked management to replace the breaker but they refused until it totally failed; I lost everything in my fridge - aaarrgghh. The X.10 bridge was reasonably successful but that circuit breaker was creating an enormous amount of noise on the apartment's electrical wiring. I do not know if that X.10 bridge would carry the Linksys signals but perhaps there are other devices that would similarly solve the problem?

Posted on Jun 22, 2013 12:19:12 PM PDT
C. Hufnagel says:
FYI, I think they may have meant that you be on the same 110v leg. Usually (in the US) the home wiring has a 220v circuit that is then split into two 110v circuits. Most powerline type devices cannot talk on both legs unless there is a bridge installed. As a test, sometimes if you run the dryer (or other 220v appliance) you can get the device to communicate on both legs, but only while the device is running.

Posted on Jul 15, 2013 4:24:07 PM PDT
Most houses have dozens of circuits, but one circuit breaker. I'm assuming he meant the panel, not each individual circuit. I have 1 "master" unit and two "slave" units running, all three units on different circuits in my house. I've never had a problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2013 5:48:57 PM PDT
Simon says:
Exactly. My garage is on a different circuit. My office is on top of the garage. Thing never worked. I must say that if you need to be on the same circuit for best performance, it defeats the purpose.
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