Fast Homeplug adapters that don’t block the mains socket
There is no denying the convenience of powerline adapters, which allow networked devices to be connected together using the domestic mains wiring. They are a great solution for those struggling with wireless coverage, or where laying network cables is impractical. The Dlan 500 AV Plus (which use the Homeplug powerline standard) supports connection speeds of up to 500Mbits/sec, compared to the 200Mbits/sec of some older Homeplug products.
This starter kit comprises a pair of adapters, each of which has a ‘piggyback' mains socket on the top. This means the adapter doesn't take up a socket, as other devices can be plugged into it. The adapters are quite large, measuring 6.5 by 4.5 by 13cm (excluding the mains pins), and might be a tight fit on multi-socket extension cables or some dual wall sockets – we found they partially covered the on/off switch on ours.
The Dlan Cockpit software is provided for viewing the adapters' performance, changing security details (to prevent unauthorised adapters being connected) and upgrading firmware. However, the software isn't needed for everyday use – just plug the adapters in, and the three status lights should illuminate in a couple of seconds to show a successful connection. The bright lights are distracting though, so we wish we could turn them off. Each adapter has a single network port, and one adapter needs to be connected to the router, while the other can be used with any Ethernet-equpped device.
In our tests we achieved consistent file copying speeds of around 80Mbits/sec, which is good but not quite as fast as Netgear's Powerline AV 500 adapters. For comparison, Homeplug 200Mbits/sec devices tend to have transfer speeds of around 40-50Mbits/sec.
As with any powerline device, actual performance depends very much on wiring layout and quality, plus the presence of any interference from devices such as fluorescent lights and the power adapters of other devices.
The Dlan 500 AV Plus adapters work well, and the mains socket is a useful bonus. They are quite large, however, so if they need to fit in a tight space it is worth checking the dimensions beforehand.
Read more reviews
Handy software and a courtesy mains socket makes these adapters attractive, although they are quite bulky.
No setup needed; good monitoring software; mains socket; decent performance
Quite large and bulky; status lights can't be turned off
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