Powerline adapters – are they a security threat?

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Wifi and the home or office network that sits behind it has fast become an Utility that we cannot do without. Read below about the latest developments in Wifi in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

If you are experiencing poor Wi-Fi or reduced bandwidth around your home then you may be tempted to use powerline adapters in an attempt to fix your Wi-Fi problems. They can be a good solution that doesn’t require any costly cables being run through your home or rented accommodation but they aren’t all good.

Advertised as a way to get around poor Wi-Fi signal across your home; adapters seem to be the ideal solution to broken Wi-Fi. But are powerline adapters safe to use? What sort of security risks do they pose, especially in apartment blocks?

What are powerline adapters?

Powerline adapters plug into your router with an Ethernet cable and then into a power socket to use the power lines within your home to send the internet data to another adapter plugged into any other power socket in your home. This adapter can then be connected to a PC or smart TV via another Ethernet cable.

They are designed for devices which don’t have wireless capabilities or for homes where the Wi-Fi signal is weak or interrupted by the thick reinforced walls we see in many of our homes here the UAE.

What kind of risk do they pose?

Powerline adapters are often advertised as a secure network as they plug into your power sockets and use cables to transfer data. However, those cables are open-ended. The signal should stop at the fuse box, but, depending on your electrical network configuration the signal can go well beyond your front door. If you are using powerline adapters in your apartment and someone else in your building has the same powerline adapter plugged in they could be straight into your home network. No password, no security, no firewall, straight in. A massive security threat.

In apartment blocks, you have no way of knowing just how many people can actually tap into your network through using powerline adapters in their own apartment. As all of the main electricity lines are connected, in theory, someone in another apartment could plug in their own adapter and be piggy backing off your network and internet connection. Not only will this slow down your own internet but also open up all your devices and data to a complete stranger.

In a Villa you should be better protected as the electrical system should be insulated from the outside world. However, with differing construction standards and methods across Dubai and Abu Dhabi – you won’t know where your network signal stops and where your vulnerabilities lie.

Seek expert advice

If you have a weak Wi-Fi connection and you are looking for ways to fix your Wi-Fi then your best option is to seek advice from a professional. Aquila Wifi, can help you find the best ways to improve your struggling Wi-Fi performance in a variety of homes, apartments and villas. Trying to do it yourself can often leave your network vulnerable, so email the experts today.


Contact Aquila Wifi now – betterwifi@aquilawifi.com.