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Best Powerline Network Adapters 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2019
Best Powerline Network Adapters of 2018
The above tidbits will bring you closer to selecting powerline network adapters that best serves your needs and as per your budget. The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more. I review the three best powerline network adapters on the market at the moment. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this powerline network adapters win the first place?
I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days.
Why did this powerline network adapters come in second place?
Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery.
Why did this powerline network adapters take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
Powerline Network Adapters Buyer’s Guide
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
The Good The Netgear Powerline 1200 kit is affordable and delivers the connection speed many times that of a regular Ethernet connection. The adapter has an indicator light that helps you find the best wall socket to plug it in.
The Bad The adapter is bulky and there’s no way it can deliver the mythical advertised speed of 1,200Mbps.
Who this is for
A powerline networking kit is a great way to extend your home network to the distant reaches of your house using your existing electrical wiring. A powerline kit contains two adapters, each with at least one Ethernet port and an electrical plug. One adapter plugs into an outlet near your router and connects to it with an included Ethernet cable. Plug in the other where you need an Internet connection and hook it up to your device with the other Ethernet cable. You can extend your powerline network by buying more adapters, either individually or in kits—it’s usually cheaper to buy a two-adapter kit, even if you need only one more. To add rooms to your powerline network, you just need adapters in those rooms; you can use the same router-side adapter for your entire network. All of the adapters we tested claim support for up to 1adapters on the same powerline network.
Although powerline is like Ethernet in that it uses actual wires to deliver its signal, its signal still degrades over distance like Wi-Fi, especially if the adapters are on different electrical circuits. Despite its limitations, powerline is a useful way to extend your network to areas where Wi-Fi doesn’t reach and running an Ethernet cord would be impractical (like a garage, attic, or faraway bedroom).
Wi-Fi extenders are another option for extending the range of your network. These let you bring signal to any device with Wi-Fi, and almost all extenders have at least one Ethernet port. However, they tend to be more expensive than powerline kits and can interfere with your existing Wi-Fi signal (causing slowness or signal drops). If your home has issues with powerline networking and you can’t run a physical Ethernet cable, extenders are a good option.
How we picked and tested
This year’s powerline kits are faster than last year’s, but much bulkier. Left to right: the TP-Link TL-PA9020 kit, Zyxel PLA5456KIT, D-Link DHP-701AV, and Zyxel PLA5405KIT. Photo: Nathan Edwards
Powerline networking adapters provide a network connection in places where it’s impractical to use Ethernet or Wi-Fi, so speed is the most important factor in deciding between them. The AV2000 kits we tested this year were twice as fast as last year’s fastest models. If you’re starting from scratch, we recommend getting the latest-generation kits because your network is only as fast as its slowest component.
Every kit we’ve tested in the last two years except for one has a claimed data rate above Gbps and complies with the latest HomePlug AVstandard. AVcompliance is important because it guarantees better speed, security, and reliability compared with older versions. The standard requires that every adapter have a Gigabit Ethernet port to avoid bottlenecking the connection, plus push-button AES 128-bit encryption to secure your network traffic from neighbors who might share your electrical wiring. AValso allows each adapter to act as a repeater. If the device you need to connect to your router is so far away (either in physical distance or in the number of electrical circuits the signal needs to traverse) that even your powerline signal is weak, you can put another powerline adapter midway between the two to extend the signal. For more on how we picked, see our full guide.
We tested two new AV2000 kits, the Zyxel PLA5456KIT and TP-Link TL-PA9020KIT, against two of the fastest adapters from last year, the Zyxel PLA5405KIT and the D-Link DHP-701AV.
We connected one adapter from each kit to an Asus RT-AC66U AC1750 dual-band wireless Gigabit router, and the other adapter to a Lenovo ThinkPad T460 laptop. A desktop PC with an Intel 82579V Gigabit NIC connected to the router was our iPerf server.
Many factors influence the speeds of powerline network adapters. Your mileage will vary for a number of reasons, covered in the Who this is for section of our full guide.
The TP-Link TL-PA9020P was the fastest kit we tested, and it has dual Ethernet ports and a handy management utility. Photo: Nathan Edwards
The TP-Link TL-PA9020P kit is the best powerline adapter kit for most people because it was the fastest in our tests and had the best software, too. Along with the runner-up Zyxel PLA5456KIT, it’s the fastest kit we’ve ever tested. It has a passthrough AC power outlet, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a two-year warranty, and it comes with two 78-inch Ethernet cables. It’s bulky enough to partially block the outlet above it, but all the smaller adapters we tested were much slower.
The TP-Link offered the fastest performance in all the most important locations. In the two test locations farthest from the router, the TP-Link kit had average speeds between 80 and 90 Mbps. That’s not as fast as the Ethernet or the Wi-Fi—again, you should use those options if you can—but it was enough to beat the Zyxel PLA5456KIT, and more than twice as fast as the two fastest kits from last year (Zyxel’s PLA5405KIT and D-Link’s DHP-701AV). It’s more than fast enough to run several 4K video streams at the same time, and faster than the Internet connections most people in the US have.
In this article
D-Link DHP-701AV, gadgetry, gadgets, gear, partner, powerlinekit, powerlinenetworkingadapters, syndicated, thewirecutter, TP-Link TL-PA9020, wirecutter, Zyxel PLA5405KIT, Zyxel PLA5456KIT
Multiple Input/Multiple Output technology, much more commonly referred to as MIMO, will let you transfer more data so that you can do more of the stuff you love: play more online games and transfer more large files. MIMO Technology is available on the Powerline AV2000 Gigabit Starter Kit (DHP-701AV+). HomePlug AVTechnology
Homeplug AVtechnology allows you to get the best out of your Powerline products. Home Plug AVmakes any outlet in your home capable of gigabit-class speeds, supporting next-generation speeds it allows for smooth and lag free streaming on any platform, even HD and 4K. HomePlug also features power saving mode which can reduce its power consumption up to 85% compared to non AVadapters making Powerline an even more affordable way to improve your home’s network connection. HomePlug AVtechnology is available on the PowerLine AV1000 Gigabit Starter Kit (DHP-601AV) and Powerline AV2000 Gigabit Starter Kit (DHP-701AV+).
Find your perfect match
You want a wired connection for a computer, printer or storage device.
The PowerLine AV+ Network Kit (DHP-309AV) is all you need to provide a reliable connection to a device in a hard-to-connect area of your home. Just plug one adapter into your existing router and the other into the device you want to connect. Later on, if you need to add more devices, you can purchase additional adapters.
You want to extend reliable Wi-Fi coverage into a hard-to-reach area of your home.
If you are trying to provide Wi-Fi connectivity to a wireless dead zone in your home, the PowerLine AV+ Wireless Extender Kit (DHP-W311AV) is what you need. One of the adapters acts as a wireless extender, enabling you to simultaneously increase your wireless coverage and deliver wired connectivity to an Ethernet-enabled device. It’s the best of both worlds.
You want a fast wired connection for a media streaming device, like a TV or laptop.
If you need a faster wired connection for a computer, media player or TV that you’ll be using to stream media, look no further than the PowerLine AV1000 Gigabit Starter Kit (DHP-601AV) Whether it’s just watching Netflix or HD Gaming, this kit is the perfect solution for smooth streaming.
You want the fastest PowerLine connection possible for a gaming console or HDTV.
If you need a maximum speed solution toconnect multiple gaming consoles or TV’s that will be streaming lots of HD content, you need the Powerline AV2000 Gigabit Starter Kit (DHP-701AV+). This PowerLine kit is the ultimate solution for lag-free gaming and smooth 4K streaming and gaming.
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Most people have a wireless network in their home these days. So you might think that Powerline networking (aka HomePlug), which uses your home’s electrical wiring as a wired data network, is an outdated and redundant technology.
But you’d be wrong. Yes, Wi-Fi is convenient and fast − 802.11n technology is widespread and the newest 802.11ac-class routers, like the dual band TP-Link Archer CAC1750, promise even zippier connection speeds up to 1300Mbps.
However, there’s a simplicity and reliability that Powerline offers that wireless technology still can’t match. It’s not designed to replace a Wi-Fi network. It’s supposed to complement one.
BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit
Powerline adaptor buying advice: Which kind of Powerline adaptor should I buy?
So, you’ve set up a home office in the spare bedroom, or built yourself one in the garden. Or maybe you’ve moved to a new house with particularly thick walls. In any of those instances, Wi-Fi on its own probably won’t cut it. If your broadband router is in the living or dining room, or in the hall, getting a signal in an upstairs room or a cabin in the garden is going to be tricky. Even if you can get a signal, the chances are it will be weak and data transfer speeds will be reduced to a crawl.
The simplest solution is Powerline, also known as HomePlug – a standard which allows data to be transferred over the mains electricity circuit in your house or office. It works like this: you plug one Powerline adaptor into a power socket near your broadband modem router and connect an Ethernet cable between the Powerline adaptor and a LAN socket on your modem router. You then plug another Powerline adaptor into a plug socket near where you want to use your Mac.
From there you have three options. You can connect the Powerline adaptor directly to your Mac, if the Mac has an Ethernet port. But that’s rather inflexible and in any case, Macs with Ethernet ports are almost an endangered species. Another option is to buy a Powerline adaptor with a built-in wifi access point. That way you can connect to the local adaptor wirelessly, while data from the adaptor to your modem router travels over the power cable. The third option, which is both the most expensive and the most flexible, is to connect the Powerline adaptor by Ethernet to another wireless router and create a bridged wireless network in your office. By doing that you have more control over the bridged network, either by using AirPort Utility if the router is an Apple model, or from its web-based configuration page. You can also use the other LAN sockets on the router to hook up a NAS box, IP camera, or other network device that doesn’t have a wireless option.
The way you choose to set up your Powerline network will dictate which adaptors suit you best. If you go for options one or three, for example, you don’t need an adaptor with built-in Wi-Fi.
You don’t want to connect a powerline adapter to a surge protector, power strip, or outlets that are behind AFCI circuit breakers.
All of the adapters tested have three prongs (and work only with three-prong outlets, since they use the grounding prong for transmission) and support MIMO.
Most powerline networking adapters have one Gigabit Ethernet port, though both of our top picks have two each. If you have more than two devices to connect in a single room—for example, if your TV, game console, DVR, and Blu-ray player all need Ethernet connections—you should connect your powerline adapter to a network switch. It’s cheaper and better than using multiple powerline adapters in the same room.
How we tested
We connected one adapter from each kit to an Asus RT-AC66U AC1750 dual-band wireless Gigabit router, and the other adapter to a Lenovo ThinkPad T460. A desktop PC with an Intel 82579V Gigabit NIC connected to the router was our iPerf server.
One of the adapter pairs was connected to the router; the other end was connected to a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop at each test location. Photo: Nathan Edwards
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The adapters are somewhat bulky, measuring 5.by 2.by 1.inches (HWD). They stick up enough to partially block the top socket in a duplex outlet—you can still fit a two-prong plug in, but forget about a grounded one. At least they have AC passthrough, so you can still fit one three-prong plug in the outlet. Also, the Zyxel runner-up had the same issue.
Starter Kits Come in Packs of Two
Think of powerline adapters as a way to extend your network from Point A to Point B, wherein each point is an electrical outlet around your house. Because of this, powerline ethernet devices typically come in starter kits of two, as a single device is useless on its own.
You can purchase more to extend your network around your house – just make sure all of your devices are compatible (more on that later).
Generally you’ll be plugging one of these into the walls near devices that need a connection, and one near your router.
TP-Link AV600 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, up to 600Mbps (TL-PA4010KIT)
TP-Link AV600 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, up to 600Mbps (TL-PA4010KIT)
FASTER SPEEDS – Wired connection with high-speed data transfer rate of up to 600Mbps, ideal for HD video or 3D video streaming and online gaming
Connections Are Limited to Your House
Worried about security? Most powerline ethernet devices offer some form of encryption, so make sure you use that. But in most cases, the signal won’t make it outside your home.
If you own your own house and pay your own electrical bill, know that your neighbors can’t use your connection even if they buy a compatible device. This is because the signal from powerline adapters is scrambled by transformers, and there is almost certainly one between your house and the outside world.
If you live in an apartment, however, there’s a chance your neighbors could pick up a signal, so make sure your adapter supports encryption — and that you turn that functionality on.
How does it work
First of all, this is not a new technology; it has been in use since the early 1920s. The main reason why using electrical wires for data transmission is possible; is due to the frequency that power is transmitted. The electricity that is consumed at home has a frequency of 50/60 Hz, meaning that extra data can be sent along with the electricity without causing any interferences.
The transmission is made using a powerline networking adapter. For a complete connection, you will need at least two adapters. The adapters are set in separate rooms then an ethernet cable supplying an internet signal is connected to one of them. Once this is done, the internet signal can be received from the other wall outlet via an ethernet cable from the second adapter. Here is a diagram demonstrating how it all works.
A Wi-Fi repeater works by repeating the signal it receives from a source router. By carefully locating the Wi-Fi repeater you could double the range of Wi-Fi in your home. The key point to stress is carefully located. There is no point in placing the Wi-Fi repeater in the same room as your router when your Wi-Fi dead spot is in the attic. However if you place the Wi-Fi repeater on the second floor of a three storey house then it should reduce dead spots on the third floor. Wi-Fi repeaters are notoriously picking about the quality of the source signal. The repeated signal will definitely be unsatisfactory if the source signal is poor,
One way of reducing dropouts is to connect the Wi-Fi repeater to the router via Ethernet cable thus alleviating and signal issues from source to Wi-Fi repeater. This solution is more like a wireless access point solution but it still involves cabling so may not be appropriate for everyone.
Source signal dependent
Home plug adapters are designed to have the reliability of wired connections with the convenience of Wi-Fi. The adapters utilise mains electrical powerlines to send and receive network data. A home plug adapter kit comprises of two adapters. Plug one into a plug socket connect to your router. Plug the other home plug adapter into any other plug socket in your home. After a few seconds a network using your homes pre-existing electrical wiring will be created.
There are some things to be aware to get the best performance from home plug powerline adapters.
The ease of moving adapters is a great feature of home plug / powerline technology. A network can be created in any room that contains a main power socket.
Design and Features
At 3.by 2.by 1.inches (HWD), the DHP-701AV adapter is about the same size as a deck of playing cards and is small enough that it won’t block access to an adjacent wall outlet. The face contains LED indicators for Power, Ethernet, and powerline signal strength. As with most powerline adapters the signal strength LED glows red when the link rate is good, amber when it is better, and green when it is best. There’s a three-pronged plug on the back and a gigabit Ethernet port, a reset button, and a Simple Connect button on the bottom. The Simple Connect button makes it easy to configure a secure network; simply press the button on one adapter and hold it for seconds. Once the power LED begins blinking, you have minutes to press the button on any other adapter. When the power LED glows solid green, all adapters are securely connected. The kit comes with two adapters, two Ethernet cables, and a Quick Install Guide.
Installation and Performance
One of the best reasons for creating a powerline network is ease of use, and the DHP-70AV is no different. All you have to do is plug one adapter into a wall outlet near your router and connect it to the router using an Ethernet cable. Then plug the second adapter into a wall outlet in any room in the house (you can have up to 1adapters on a single powerline network). Use the Simple Connect button to secure your network, and you’re done.
I test powerline adapters using an outlet in my living room that is in close proximity to my HDTV and Sony PSgaming console. The adapter is plugged directly into the outlet and is the only appliance that uses that outlet. I use the JPerf network measurement tool to create and send four data streams and measure throughput from point to point. The DHP-701AV delivered the best performance of the three next-generation powerline adapters I’ve tested. Its throughput speed of 92.5Mbps beat the Comtrend G.hn PG-917Powerline Adapter Kit (62.3Mbps) by more than 30Mbps and was nearly three times faster than the Netgear Powerline 1200 (PLP1200) (34.5Mbps).
Plug and Play with no configuration required
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Set up a Netgear XAVB540Powerline Extender
Powerline Extenders boost your Wi-Fi so you can connect to the internet in more places around your home.
To get the best network performance from your Powerline adapter:
To start using your Powerline Extender follow the instructions below. 1. Plug the Powerline Extender into a 240 volt power outlet, like the below.
With the first Ethernet cable, plug one end into your Powerline Extender and plug the other end into a spare Ethernet (LAN) port on the back or bottom of your Wi-Fi gateway (you can plug your gateway into the front of the adaptor so you still have a spare outlet).
Plug the second Powerline Extender into a power outlet in the required place in your home where you need an Ethernet port. Using the second Ethernet cable, plug one end into the Powerline Extender and the other end into your device. Ensure both power outlets are switched on.
You’re all done. When set-up is complete all status lights will turn green. If any of your lights are not green, please refer to the included set-up guide for further information.
So, does each phase come in on a separate bus? And yes, we are on 120v (+/-) split phase, so there are 240v difference between the two hot wires at peak. Not sure what you mean by 57.5v, unless you are averaging. At peak, there would be 120v difference between one side and earth ground.
Edit: Nevermind, I see from reading another post that each house only gets one of the three phases. ———- ———-
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Powerline Network Adapters wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Powerline Network Adapters
- №1 — Tenda AV1000 1-Port Gigabit Powerline Adapter
- №2 — 7inova™ AV500 Nano powerline ethernet adapter Kit/Mains Network Bridge Extender
- №3 — TP-Link AV2000 Powerline Adapter Kit