Extend your wireless signal and benefit from Homeplug in one fell swoop
Wireless routers don't achieve anywhere near their advertised 100m range.
Put two walls in the way and data transfer rates can slow to a trickle.
Devolo's Dlan Wireless Extender Starter Kit can extend your Wifi network using powerline technology - all you need to do is strategically place it in a dead spot or at the opposite point of your house from the router.
With one unit plugged into your router, data whizzes across the mains wiring to the wireless extender before being outputted via Wifi, the included Ethernet port or both. The second Wifi signal can mesh into your original Wifi network, or you can create a separate one.
Our favourite setup was to have the Wifi extender plugged into a media extender attached to the TV. Video data then transfers across the more reliable mains network and, at the same time, the wireless signal is boosted, so browsing the net via a wireless laptop is possible.
The Dlan Wireless Extender falls down by using 802.11g technology rather than Draft-N, the latter having superior speeds, especially when walls get in the way. This kit also relies on 85Mbits/sec rated Homeplug chips, rather than new 200Mbits/sec AV.
In a relatively noise-free home environment, we recorded speeds of 21.6Mbits/sec over a short distance and 16.6Mbits/sec when the plugs were split one floor apart. Panasonic's powerline plug achieved faster results in the same environment.
The units are small and plug directly into the mains with the Ethernet port pointing downwards, which is a tidy design. Itís simple to set up and, if you don't deal with large amounts of data such as multiple video streams or large files, itís a good kit to have. Otherwise, weíd recommend holding off until a faster version arrives.
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Pros: Easy to use; multiple ways of extending your network Cons: No Draft-N; doesn't use the faster Homeplug AV chip Overall: A useful kit, but it doesnít use the latest powerline or wireless technology
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