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Extension cords are a great way to plug in multiple devices that don’t have enough outlets nearby. But can you plug a router into an extension cord?
You can plug a router into an extension cord just like other electronic devices and it will still function normally. This is a simple method to place the router in a location that is most convenient for use and increase its reach.
Can a Router Be Plugged into an Extension Cord?
The simple answer is yes. As the name suggests, an extension cord creates an extended platform for you to plug-in electrical appliances. Typically, the number of direct wall outlets in a home is limited. So, you use an extension cord or power strip to attach multiple devices simultaneously and then plug the extension cord into the wall outlet.
And a router is just another piece of electric hardware that creates a wireless network for your home or office space. So, if you plug the router’s power adapter or AC adapter into the cord, it will draw in the electricity it needs. Then the adapter converts the AC supply to a more useable and less volatile form in order to run the device.
Now, there are some rules for using an extension or power cord. There are things you can put into it and there are several things that you should always avoid putting in. One common rule you should follow is that – never plug in a machine that has a higher power requirement than the extension cord allows.
So you should refrain from inserting high-powered devices such as an electrical oven, refrigerator, or heater into an extension cord. Because the extra load will overheat the circuits. This will cause the circuit to trip if you are lucky. Or it will cause a full-blown fire if the situation is dire.
Of course, the average router needs about 20 to 30 wattages to run efficiently. So, any decent extension cord will be able to supply the necessary amount without reaching its limit. In fact, you can even put multiple routers in the same extension cord and they will all receive adequate power.
Of course, placing two or more routers so close to each other is not advisable, as they can interrupt one another’s signal, particularly if they have a near similar frequency. But the actual connection to the cord should not cause any problem.
One thing you have to keep in mind is the risk of power surges. A power surge is when there is a sudden burst of high voltage electricity that can cause serious damage to any appliance attached to the power line and this can happen due to a number of reasons. As such, you should try to use surge protectors to prevent this from happening.
Many extension cords do come with built-in surge protectors while many others do not. So, we recommend you get one that does have this added amenity, as it can potentially save you from a nightmarish scenario. This way you ensure that even if there is a violent fluctuation in the power in your home, your router will be protected at all times.
Would Plugging a Router into an Extension Cord Affect Its Performance?
This primarily depends on how you have set up the router, as there are different ways to go about this. Normally, a fully functioning extension cord will not affect the performance of your router. So, if you have a stable power supply, then there should be no problem with the router.
Most extension cords are simple devices that simply act as an extension of the main power outlet. So, they really should not have any impact on the speed of data transmission or the strength of the signal of your router.
Yes, the extension cord may increase the distance the data has to travel. But that distance is so minuscule that the actual difference in performance is completely negligible. In fact, you would need to use a cable that is over 100 meters before you start to see a negative impact on your router’s speed.
Of course, a faulty extension cord can still cause you headaches. It can fail to supply sufficient power or provide continuous electricity. This can result in the router turning on or off multiple times during use. So, every time the router has to restart, you will be losing valuable time.
Also, if your router is subjugated to repeated power surges, that can damage the internal circuitry of the machine. This can lead to diminished return and may end up ruining your router entirely.
But in terms of speed or signal strength, the extension cord has very little impact, if at all. It is there simply to provide power to the router.
Can You Plug in a Router to the Extension Cord with a Powerline Adapter?
A powerline adapter is a nifty device that is sort of the in-between stage of a wireless connection and ethernet connection. Usually, you use at least two adapters for setting up the network.
You connect one adapter to the router with an ethernet cable and plug it in the nearby wall socket. Then you attach the other one to your device or devices (again with ethernet cables) and plug in the adapter to a socket that is close to the device.
The adapters will use the electrical wiring inside the walls of your home to transmit the data. So, unlike a traditional ethernet setup, you are not creating a complete circuit using ethernet cables. Instead, you are essentially turning the wiring in your walls into a makeshift ethernet cable.
This way you do not have to deal with an intricate tangle of wires and cables that is both a tripping and potential fire hazard. But since you are using wires to a limited extent, you will get more speed than a completely wireless setup.
Now, we mentioned how the extension cord does not mess with the router’s performance levels in most cases. This is true if you have complete wireless or a traditional ethernet setup.
However, some extension cords might have filters that can create some potential problems. These filters are put in to block out unnecessary frequencies of electricity so that the connected devices receive only the necessary amount of power. And these filters will identify any unrecognized frequency as noise and block it out.
This can be particularly problematic for you if you are using your router with a powerline adapter. The adapter has to send the data through the same wires that are simultaneously transferring electricity to power your home. So, the frequency of the transmitted data has to be different fromthan that of the power supply.
The problem is that the filters in your surge protector or the extension cord, will often not recognize this frequency. As such, it will block the incoming data as unnecessary noise. What little data that can manage to get through will result in very poor internet speed. Basically, you will be receiving a fraction of the bandwidth you are paying for.
Is It Safe to Use an Extension Cord to Power PC/Routers on An Already Used Circuit?
You can plug in two different devices in the same outlet, provided there is enough space and pin-holes for both of them. So, you can put your router in the same circuit that is being used by another device.
However, the thing you have to keep in mind is the power demand of all the devices combined. If the total power demand surpasses the capacity of the cord, it can cause the circuit to trip or fry the wires.
An extension cord provides amazing utility, allowing you to set up your router at your convenience. But you should handle it with care and not overwork the cord. Otherwise, you may end up with damaged hardware and a hefty repair bill.