Over the past few years, we’ve all become accustomed to using wireless technology wherever we can. Plugging an Ethernet cable into a laptop may even seem completely alien to some people who are less ‘techy’ than most. However, as good as wireless technology is though, it has its weaknesses. If I’m sat in a certain room in my house, I simply don’t get wireless signal, and have to keep the door open for reliable reception, which isn’t exactly convenient.
For people having wireless problems, there’s the choice of using a new networking product called the D-Link DHP-307AV/B 200Mbps Powerline Homeplug Network Starter Kit. This will allow you to access the internet anywhere in your house that you have power in, so you don’t have to rely on one wireless router to get the job done for you. The clever part about this? It uses the cables already in your walls, you know, the ones that deliver power to the place!
Given that we’ve previously looked at the TP-Link TL-PA201 Powerline Networking Adapter Starter Kit on Zath, it’s good to have the chance to check out the D-Link Powerline Homeplug Network Starter Kit for myself, I couldn’t wait to see how effective it was, and what kind of speeds it delivered, so let’s take a look at how it performed.
We were sent the Powerline AV Network Starter Kit to review from D-Link, which consists of two Powerline plug adaptors, and a CD containing the manual and quick install guide. You are also provided with an Ethernet cable for good measure, just in case you don’t have one lying around.
When I saw the words “Plug and play” on the box, I didn’t quite believe it would be as simple as plugging one plug in with the Ethernet cable, and connecting with another plug to my computer in another room. Oh how wrong was I? I was up and running with Powerline sending data across the cables in my house in less than two minutes, from start to finish. It is seriously that simple. I didn’t even touch the included CD-ROM, the three green lights on the D-Link plug told me everything I needed to know, and made me very impressed in a very short period of time.
Considering that anyone can set this thing up and get up and running very quickly, I wondered how fast it was. I simply plugged it in and started browsing the web, so I didn’t tweak the settings of this thing in any way whatsoever. I ran three internet speed tests. The first was with my computer connected directly to my 802.11n router via Ethernet. The second was using a wireless connection with the same router, and the third was with the Powerline in use, from one side of my house to the other.
Testing my internet connection with the Ethernet cable, I had a 47ms ping, with a download speed of (don’t laugh) 5.09mb/s. The upload speed was 0.76mb/s.
The second, wireless test, resulted in a 49ms ping, so it was 2ms slower than the wired test. I achieved a slightly slower download speed of 5.05mb/s, but again it’s a matter of kb/s and hardly noticeable. My upload speed was 0.76mb/s.
Finally, I tested the Powerline’s internet speed. This resulted in the same ping as my wireless test, 49ms. The download speed, however, matched my Ethernet tests exactly, with 5.09mb/s, and the upload speed hit 0.75mb/s.
All things considered, the D-Link Powerline Homeplug Kit shows absolutely no noticeable difference from being connected directly via Ethernet from your router, and certainly gives wireless a run for its money. If you wanted a second, strong wireless signal in your house, you could always utilise the Powerline and pair it with Apple’s AirPort Express.
If you want to try out the D-Link DHP-307AV/B 200Mbps Powerline Homeplug Network Starter Kit for yourself, you can purchase it now from Amazon, at just £59.99 – worth every penny to avoid internet frustrations in a large, or wirelessly unsuitable home.