How To Connect/Pair Powerline Adapters (Simple Steps)

This is a really basic first step to being able to use powerline adapters that I want to cover for complete-ness. The steps for pairing adapters is mostly on the packaging, but I’ll lay out a really simple process for connecting powerline adapters so they can send data between each other and provider an internet connection.

Here’s how you pair the adapters:

  1. Plug both adapters into wall outlets, with one connected to the main router.
  2. Press and hold the pair button on one adapter until the LED blinks
  3. Within 2 minutes, press and hold the pair button on the other adapter
  4. Wait up to 2 minutes for the adapters to find each other.
  5. A solid green light on both adapters indicates they have been paired.
  6. The adapters are now ready to use.

And that’s really it. Mostly within 20 seconds, you should effectively have a new internet access point in the home to use as you want.

Let’s cover the process in a little more detail, plus troubleshooting steps, plus an alternative method of making your powerline network even more secure.

Pairing – More Detailed Steps (Plus Video)

It should also be said that powerline adapters sometimes even “find” and pair with each other just by plugging them in on the same circuit, without needing to do anything.

However, the network that this creates isn’t very secure, so to actually “lock” the adapters together in their own secure network, it’s better to formally pair them.

Here’s how you do this:

Step #1 – The simplest way to pair adapters is actually to plug both of them in adjacent wall sockets. You can then move them around to where you need to once paired. Press and hold the pair button on one of the adapters for a few seconds. This is normally on the front, side or underside of the adapter, and is either a protruding or flat push button. You’ll see one of the LEDs start flashing, indicating it’s searching for other adapters on the network.

Step #2 – Within 2 minutes, press and hold the pair button on the other adapter until it also starts blinking, and then wait up to 2 minutes. You’ll see the LEDs on both adapters blink on and off, until they eventually find each other and the lights turn solid green.

Step #3 – Once paired, move the adapters to where you need them, and they should be ready to use. Use an ethernet cable to connect one adapter to one of the LAN ports on your router, and the other adapter to a LAN port on a device, and you should have a usable internet connection.

Pairing Adapters – Quick Video Demo


You’ll notice that in the video the top two LEDs turn solid green once the adapters have “found” each other and fully paired.

If you actually do this pairing with the adapters already in the places you want to use them (one connected to a router, the other connected to a device), then all three LEDs would turn solid, indicating there’s also a working internet connection and data transfer is taking place.

Otherwise, just pair them next to each other and then move them and connect to the device you need to use, as they’ll remember any pairing that’s been done until you reset them.

Three solid green lights on a powerline adapter indicates it’s all paired up and is delivering a working internet connection.

Adding More Adapters To A Powerline Network

If you want to, you can use more than two adapters and connect them all together in a network, installing multiple access points in the home.

To do this, you just follow the same basic pairing process you did with the first two, with any additional adapters:

  1. Install a third adapter in a wall socket
  2. Press and hold the pair button for a few seconds
  3. Press and hold the pair button on one of the existing adapters.
  4. Wait for the adapters to pair
  5. The third adapter has now been added to the network with the other two.
  6. Follow the same process to add more adapters.

See my full guide on using more than 2 powerline adapters for more info, including how to expand one powerline network and also to create multiple separate ones within the same home.

What If They Don’t Connect?

On rare occasions, powerline adapters may fail to pair with each other when you try the process laid out above.

Is this happens, here are some quick things you can try:

  • Try one or both adapters in a different wall outlet.
  • Move them right next to each in adjacent outlets and try again.
  • Move away from any high power use devices.
  • Make sure both adapters are on the same internal circuit.
  • Be sure to wait up to 2 minutes for the adapters to find each other.
  • Make sure you’re using compatible powerline adapters (mixing brands/models is possible sometimes, but not always and same brand/model is best).

See my full powerline adapter pairing troubleshooting guide for more things to try if you can’t get them to connect.

How To Connect Powerline Adapters Using An App/Utility (More Secure)

Some powerline adapter brands also offer an app/Utility CD feature that allows you to more manually create, administrate and control a powerline adapter network with more security than just using the pair button.

This can be useful for security conscious users who don’t to run any risk of the adapters being hacked or neighbors tapping into the powerline network and using their internet service (can happen between apartments especially, but isn’t very common).

Look for instructions to connect to or load up a Utility or app with your powerline kit.

Here are the general steps:

  • Install the powerline adapters as described above.
  • Run the CD Utility Program that came with the adapters on any PC/Laptop
  • With this Utility, you can find all the adapters connected on a powerline network, and set a password to protect that network.
  • You can also manually add more adapters to the network.
  • The MAC address and password of each individual adapter is on the actual adapter itself.
  • This is really just a manual, computerized way of doing what we have already described above.
  • If by any chance another adapter has gained unauthorized access to a powerline network (very unlikely anyway), you can also kick it off and set a password to protect the network from then on.

How To Disconnect & Reset Powerline Adapters

If you want to reverse the pairing process and un-couple/disconnect/reset powerline adapters, you’ve two main ways to do this:

  1. Use Pair Button – Just repeat the pairing process of pressing and holding pair buttons on both adapters, and on some brands/models, this will uncouple them and return them to a default state ready to be paired again.
  2. Use Factory Reset – Some adapters will also have a recessed factory reset hole that you can push a pin into for several seconds, which also removes all pairing and restores the adapters to a default state.

See my post on disconnecting/resetting powerline adapters for more detailed steps.

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