Mains-lining to the video vein

Martin Pipe tries a networking solution that bridges wi-fi and powerline

Powerline networking, which uses your home’s mains wiring to transport data, has become quite popular. But there can be messy cables to deal with, and when you discover that one of your items is ‘wi-fi only’, and there’s not enough signal from your existing router, this product comes to the rescue. This kit consists of 200Mbps HomePlug AV network adaptors, incorporating a Wireless 802.11n extender.

Highs

Setup is easy. If you’re out of cables, an Ethernet patch cord is supplied. On the base of the larger second unit, you’ll find a ‘sec ID’ printed on a label. Power up your wireless device, and look for a strong signal (id Devolo). Connect, and enter this ‘sec ID’ as a passphrase via the WPA2 security.

Wireless can be turned off and the larger plug also incorporates a three-port Ethernet hub for devices with conventional ‘wired’ connections such as desktop PCs. For those with large houses, the integral wireless repeater is a great way to improve wi-fi coverage.

The system performed well. A Samsung notebook PC was connected wirelessly, and over 200MB of data was transferred to another PC via the network in about 90secs. Streaming video to devices connected to the Ethernet ports fared well, too.

Lows

‘Dirty’ mains supplies and the use of filters or conditioners can affect performance. We recommend plugging the adaptors directly into wall sockets.

It’s essential that both units are on the same mains circuit. If they’re not, they won’t find each other – that’s where the status LEDs can help you.


Devolo DLAN 200AV
Price:
£110 Approx

Overall: 4/5