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The Devolo 1409 dLan 200 AV Wireless N starter kit is a great piece of gear which lets you set up a broadband network using the electrical wiring system in your house. It allows you to connect equipment wirelessly to this network or set up wired connections using ethernet cable.

In the box you will find two white plastic plugs which will fit into standard 13amp house sockets, a length of ethernet cable, a quick start guide and a CD which contains detailed set up instructions and a 54 page e-manual. Upgrading and adding to an existing Devolo network, I expected the set up to be a breeze. It turned out to be a bit of a nightmare of my own making. Perhaps I was too confident. I did, however, find the accompanying quick start guide rather ambiguous and confusing; and the manual very detailed, but intimidating, to begin with. Actually, the set up IS extremely SIMPLE. Let me try and help you not repeat my own experience.

If you look at the underside of the smaller of the two plugs, you will find only one ethernet socket. You connect one end of the ethernet cable provided to this socket. The other end you connect to an ethernet socket in your internet router. The larger of the two plugs has three ethernet sockets on the underside. Plug the large plug into another power socket and switch on the power at both sockets. For ease of set up, both sockets can be in the one room. You will observe green coloured lights beginning to flash on both plugs. It takes a little time, but you should eventually see a group of 3 green lights showing on each plug. On the smaller plug these will show horizontally across the bottom of the front plate. On the larger plug, the lights will show vertically. Once you have these displays, the network is configured and is up an running. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THESE DISPLAYS don't panic. On the underside of the smaller plug, next to the ethernet cable socket, you will find a little button. PRESS THIS! On the front plate of the larger plug you will find a vertical row of little buttons at the bottom right corner. PRESS THE BOTTOM BUTTON! After a moment or two, and some flashing green lights, the lights should settle down into the configuration display. If you cannot get configuration, check out the manual or 'phone the Devolo technical helpline. The technicians and very friendly and helpful, but you can experience communication problems. They are based in Germany.

Once you have configuration, you can then remove the larger of the two plugs from its socket and plug it into any other socket you want anywhere in your home. By using additional ethernet cable, (not supplied) you can then connect a wide range of devices which need a broadband connection. You simply plug one end of the cable into the device and the other into one of the three ethernet sockets on the underside of the big plug. You are now on line. This wired connection is known as a dLAN one.

If you want to connect wirelessy to your new network, by wLAN, you will have to go to the 'Settings' part of your device and seek out networks. Your Devolo network should then show. Selecting it, you will find that you require to submit a passwork before you can access the network. WHAT PASSWORD? The password you are looking for is the security ID which you will find on the back of the large plug! It consist of 4 groups of four letters. They are case sensitive and when you enter them you have to separate them using a - symbol. You only have to do this once. Previous Devolo kits came without a security set-up and relied on the buyer to set one up. This one comes with factory set security. Once up and running, this network provides a safe operating environment.

I purchased this pack hoping to ge improved WiFi capability for my iPad and to obtain a good quality TV picture via my BBC Freesat from BBC iPlayer. Both my hopes have been realised. I live in an old cottage with thick walls. My previous Devolo set up gave my a good WiFi in my bedroom signal provided the secondary unit was plugged in to a bedroom socket. I now get equally great WiFi reception on the iPad although the larger plug is now plugged into a socket in my sitting room, some distance away.

I am delighted with my recent purchase and would thoroughly recommend it.
99 comments|166 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 October 2010
I have a large, old house with thick walls and found that my excellent Netgear N router simply couldn't provide wireless connection to all of the rooms, especially upstairs. For various reasons, I couldn't relocate my router to a more central location in the house and I didn't want wires trailing about. The Devolo 1409 dLAN 200 AV Wireless-N Starter Kit has solved the problem in a very neat, unobtrusive way. I am not in any way knowledgeable about networks and was rather nervous about how easy I'd find the installation but there were no problems at all.

The instructions are really straightforward - just a sheet with a diagram and that's really all you need. You connect the smaller Devolo plug to your router using the Ethernet cable supplied and then you plug it in to a nearby electric socket. You then connect the second, larger Devolo plug to an electric socket somewhere else in your house. In my case, I sited the second Devolo plug in the hallway, as it seemed the most central point. You take the password (case sensitive) from the back of the second plug. Afterwards you can change that password to one of your choice, if you want to. There is a CD that has a manual etc. I had it all set up within a few minutes of opening the package and found that I had a good wireless Internet connection throughout the house.

You end up with a second wireless network. So I now have a choice of two wireless networks and the Devolo one is the one I choose if I want to get online when the signal from my Netgear router is simply too weak or non-existent.

Although it's not cheap, this has been just the perfect way to extend my wireless network and I couldn't be more delighted with my purchase. It has a three year warranty, too, so you really can't go wrong. I am happy to recommend this product - it's really fantastic.
1919 comments|157 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 November 2010
Although I did not buy this set but the single unit (I had already 4 200AV Plus units) this is the way forward. In our house with 4 different fuse boxes and odd wiring due to that it works where ever I put the unit in the house. After some initial teething problems with the software (possibly a faulty installation of the new software with the older still present) up on reinstalling the software it works all like a dream. Fast, more then I need with our slow broadband. I've also got a server attached to it for my storage needs and I get decent speeds out of it. It's really worth the money unless you want to invest in wiring your whole house up. I replaced my wireless Linksys router with it, the most fancy and expensive dual band etc. unit available, as that simply did not do the job.
Althought it's stated you can mix other lower grade units (I had a 85 mb/s system running as well) I would not recommend doing this, keep it all to one system, I do think it slows down your operation (at least it did in my house).
33 comments|17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 February 2011
Got this as an alternative to WiFi since our walls are very thick and some parts of the house have poor reception.
Easy and fast to set up and add to!
Use the free software from the DEVOLO website to add a control panel to your main PC to monitor everything.

WARNING: the Devolo BLUE plugs are NOT compatible with the WHITE Devolo plugs so you cannot mix them. Go for BLUE if you ONLY EVER want to move files around from one computer to another and share a printer etc. Use WHITE if you are going to stream media, films, games and music either now or in the future.

An excellent purchase 100% satisfied
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on 2 April 2012
It works - and it's a blessing when it does. However, installation was most definitely not as easy as the 'instructions' lead one to believe when the box is opened: apart from the CD (which does hold the full technical manual thankfully - although it's fairly inscrutable) there's only a short series of cartoon-like drawings conveying the implied message that 'installation is simplicity itself'. The diagrams are a long, long way from what is needed - which is a step-by-step set of detailed instructions - since they really only bring one to the point of having plugged things in and switched them on. Thereafter comes the attempt to use the supplied software to activate the receiving unit, sort out router/Devolo passwords and access settings, etc. There are no helpful guides to this outside of the detailed manual and the process is not particularly intuitive - although eventually, after much trial-and-error, I got to the point of being able to detect a wireless signal at the at the other end - it's just that nothing would connect to it! I'm no slouch when it comes to IT, but I ended up sending an SOS to my IT-expert son (who has designed, built/installed and run entire systems within the education sector) in order to sort it out: he did it in less than 30 minutes, whereas I'd already spent hours and would probably have had hours still to go. Having said all that, it has seemed to work fine for the one day that it's now been in operation. You'll also want to download and install updated software from the Devolo web site; I probably ought to do this for the firmware as well, but am currently too nervous to try ... . My only additional suggestion is that you re-start your original router after installing the Devolo system as it may need to re-sync - mine ran very slowly indeed until I did this.
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on 22 March 2011
Can't believe how impressed I am with what should be just a bog standard boring piece of kit.
It's easy to set up as other reviews have said. What I have managed to do though is get it all playing well with my existing router. What I did was set the wireless SSID on the homeplug to the same SSID as my router also the same encryption key.
Now set the wireless channel to be well away from the channel on the router. I chose channels 1(Router) and 13(Homeplug)
Hey presto you now have an integrated wireless network so you can roam between the homeplug and the router wireless and it should switch without problems
33 comments|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 October 2011
Like many purchasers of the Devolo dLAN I bought the product to hook my new Humax Freeview (and other TV components that are Internet enabled) into my home network/internet so that I can access BBC iPlayer and download/view photos and other content from my Mac. I am indebted to previous reviewers (Missus, G Wylie and Aristocrat)who took the trouble of explaining their experience, where they had gone right or wrong and how they had set up the system. I ordered the product at 8pm, it arrived at 1.30 the next day and literally 10 minutes later my Humax box was screening iPlayer! My experience was there was no set up - it connects straight away. We live in an old Victorian house with thick walls and a stretched layout - BT Broadband comes in at the front of the house and the BT Modem is in my office. The BT modem is wired by Ethernet to a Apple Extreme WiFi. Because this only sends a signal only so far I use an Airport Express as a wireless repeater. I wired the Devolo base station into the Ethernet port of the Express, sited the second unit with three Ethernet ports by the TV - plugged it in and it found the signal immediately. Like others I now have a second Wireless network that stretches into the garden. The only challenge I've yet to tackle is renaming the network and assigning a simpler password - and thanks to earlier reviewrs for suggesting that you write down the factory supplied password that is on the inside of the plug before plugging it in! A truly great product that does work straight out of the box.
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on 26 September 2011
OK...so I read all the reviews and bought this looking forward to an easy set up. We have rubbish wi-fi in our bedroom, so needed something to boost the signal.

And it almost didn't disappoint...until I tried to connect my iPad. The below explains what was wrong and the process I went through to resolve it all. It's important to read this as the instructions provided are so basic and apparently what I went through has been experienced by others.

I entered the Sec. ID code as shown in the picture instructions in the Wi-Fi config in the iPad but it wasn't recognised. So after trying different ways of entering the code, I rang the helpdesk (which is very helpful by the way) and after admitting that people have had mixed results with iPads, they sent me a link to an application called Devolo Cockpit. This app is on the CD that comes with the device but the one online is more up to date. However, for some reason it wouldn't open on my Mac, a window opened asking me to confirm acceptance of T&C's for Adobe Air...this is the platform they use for the app and when I clicked on it nothing happened. I rang back the Help Desk and it became clear that they hadn't tried it out with OS10.7 yet, hence the problem opening the app. Admittedly I did become a bit frustrated but they were very nice about it on the phone, so I calmed down and continued...

I was recommended to try and open the app on a PC. Luckily my wife has one, so after downloading the app onto it, it opened as it should have done on the Mac and this took me to a configuration system. All I needed to do was change the WEP code which I did and hey presto...the iPad now works.

The other thing to note and this is REALLY important! Once all set up you need to click on the devolo wi-fi network...not your previous network. The device creates a new network and doesn't extend your current one. This is not evident any where and only became so because the Help Desk told me.

So what was a simple process on the laptop was a drawn out and slightly more complicated process on the iPad with a few twists and turns on the way!!

At the end of the day we now have a strong wi-fi signal in the bedroom and I've sighed with relief.
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on 14 February 2011
Home mains networking has arrived and it is both reliable and affordable! For years I have been fiddling about with Ethernet cables and wireless, trying to network our home computers. Cables are troublesome, and I have never been able to get satisfactory results from wireless networking in our fairly typical southern English house - even from as short a distance as 30 feet through a couple of interior walls. (While researching this problem I discovered, to my surprise, that metal and water stop wireless dead; brick, stone, and breeze blocks attenuate it by 90-95 percent; and even double glazed windows are bad news. So most British houses are wireless-unfriendly zones - unlike many in the USA which are built of wood, drywall, etc.)

About six months ago (September 2010) I ordered a top-of-the-range Devolo dLAN 200 Avsmart and Starter UK Kit (Pass-Thru, Filter + LCD) (2x Plugs) from Amazon. The next day but one the postman brought it round, and within half an hour I had permanently replaced my old Ethernet cabling and pathetic wireless link. This stuff just works. It's so simple and foolproof you can hardly get it wrong, even if you ignore the brief and clearly diagrammed instructions. Be very clear about this: apart from the wireless access point setup, you don't actually need any software at all, so it doesn't matter which operating system(s) (or mixture of them) you're using. The Devolo networking hardware is, to all intents and purposes, a black box - a plug-compatible replacement for a length of Ethernet cable.

The Devolo mains networking kit replaced all my Ethernet cabling - a big relief - but it didn't solve my wireless problem. I wanted to connect to the Internet (and my other computers and printers) from a laptop anywhere in the house or garden. And I had bought an HP Photosmart Plus multifunction device (printer/scanner/copier) with a wireless interface - probably a dumb move, in retrospect, as a wired Ethernet interface would have made much more sense. Anyway, my existing Linksys WRT54GL wireless router was not cutting the mustard: I could connect to it from anywhere on the same side of the house, but once the signal had to pass through walls it became weak and unreliable. So I moved on to Phase 2 of my "Devolotion" project by buying a Devolo 1409 dLAN 200 AV Wireless-N Starter Kit.

This is how it works. The starter kit consists of two special adapters, which plug into power sockets just like ordinary mains plugs. One of these - the dLAN 200 AVmini - has a single Ethernet socket through which it can be connected to any other device by a length of Ethernet LAN cable. The other - the dLAN 200 AV Wireless N - is similar but somewhat larger, with three Ethernet sockets and a built-in wireless access point. I disconnected the Ethernet cable that ran from my Netgear DG834 ADSL router to my study, plugged in the AVmini next to the Netgear, and connected them with the short Ethernet cable that comes in the kit. In 30 seconds, I had just turned my household mains cabling into an Internet-connected LAN! Next, I plugged in the Wireless N to a socket next to the HP Photosmart Plus, and connected one of its Ethernet sockets to an adjacent PC. (Leaving two spare sockets for future expansion, if needed). Now for the real fun! I loaded the CD supplied with the kit, and brought up the comprehensive and well-written PDF manual on screen. Following its clear, well-illustrated guidance, I pressed the little buttons on both the new adapters for a second or two, thus telling them to talk to one another using encryption. Then I installed Devolo's foolproof dLAN Cockpit software from the CD, and ran it. Right away I saw a picture of my three Devolo adapters: the AVmini, the Wireless N, and a dLAN 200 AVsmart+ that came with the original Devolo dLAN 200 Avsmart and Starter Kit. I selected the Wireless N, clicked on the option "Configuration page of the adapter", and up came my Web browser with a convenient and intuitive user interface for the few finishing touches that remained to be added. (For those interested in the technical details, the Wireless N had automatically found my ADSL router, made a DHCP request, obtained an IP address, and generally made itself at home). I chose the WLAN Configuration option, and told the Wireless N to use my preferred SSID and WPA2 encryption with a nice strong key. Right away the HP Photosmart connected, now with maximum signal strength, and we found it was far more responsive than ever before. And I was able to connect with my laptops from anywhere on that side of the house - upstairs or down. Instead of getting a maximum 54 Mbps or some fraction of that as in the past (down to 1 Mbps sometimes when the Moon was in the wrong phase or whatever), I saw that the WLAN was weighing in at 130 Mbps, or 100 or at worst 54. Actually faster than cabled 100 Mbps Ethernet! As for the direct mains networking, it was operating at around 160-180 Mbps. At that speed, you can backup very efficiently across the network, or stream media files.

Devolo provides several pieces of software - all simple, intuitive, and a doddle to use - which make it laughably easy to manage your network. (The software, manuals, and firmware are also freely available on the Devolo Web site). You can check the firmware level of any adapter connected directly to the PC, and if necessary update it. You can configure security - Devolo implements 128-bit AES encryption between its adapters - although you can use the simple push-button technique instead. (Strictly speaking, encryption is always done - but until you set it up, all adapters use the same default password, which means that anyone who knows that openly published password can easily decrypt your data). And you can list or display all adapters on the local network, with their MAC addresses, firmware versions, and the send/receive data rates they are currently achieving. The need for encryption isn't immediately obvious (we don't normally use it over Ethernet cables), but Devolo's FAQ warns that the networking signals can be propagated to other houses that share your mains power supply, and might be intercepted by neighbours with similar kit, so it is recommended - just as in the case of wireless. The procedure is painless and unbelievably simple. For each adapter on your network, press the little button on the underside for about a second. Then do the same for all the other adapters, within a couple of minutes. They take it from there: synchronising, choosing a random full-strength pass phrase and implementing it, and then encrypting and decrypting your data on the fly. You can change these arrangements at any time, by equally simple means.

The naive approach to wiring your house with Devolo kit is to attach one adapter to your router (ADSL, cable, wireless, or whatever) and put another one underneath the mains plug for every other computer or device (printer, etc.) you want to network. The beauty of it is that, if you ever move a computer or other device, it's networked as soon as you plug it in to the mains! Or, as I did, you can add a wireless adapter and use wireless anywhere within that access point's effective range. Be aware that the two adapters supplied with this kit do not have mains sockets, so each of them takes up a mains socket and prevents it being used for its original purpose. They are fine, as long as you have enough sockets! However Devolo also provides similar adapters that do have the mains pass-through feature (at a small extra cost, of course). Just check out their product line, and decide carefully which selection of adapters make the best sense for you. It's perhaps best to start with a single kit, as I did, and gain some experience with it before extending your setup.

The cost of these products may be a deterrent (although I imagine it will drop sharply as sales volume builds up), but you can reduce it by settling for the 85 Mbps version. (I wouldn't really recommend the 14 Mbps one, as that is too slow for most purposes - although it's still a good deal faster than the average UK broadband performance of about 2.5 Mbps). You should also consider all the time you save, the wasted Ethernet and wireless kit that you can never quite get to work, and the need to dig under carpets and furniture to extract defunct or dodgy cables. Once you have gone over to mains networking, it's as if a skilled crew of cable layers had run Ethernet inside the walls to every single part of your house where there's a mains socket. And all the Devolo products comply with the HomePlug industry standards, so they should mix and match with compliant products from other manufacturers.
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on 15 January 2011
I don't often write reviews, but I'm in love with this homeplug - if that's possible. The reason is, I currently have their blue 85 or 100Mbs homeplugs and whilst it was good and served it's purpose for many years, there were certain parts of the house that the plugs couldn't reach. For example, whilst the plug was located downstairs at the front of the house, I struggled to get wifi upstairs in the back part of the house on my iPhone. This wasn't a problem as such as the back of the house is where my router is. It was a minor inconvenience, as when I was upstairs I had to switch all wifi reception to point to my router and when downstairs I switched it to point to my Homeplug.

Having had the plugs for many years, I recently debated whether to upgrade to the Wireless N Kit and I'm really glad I did. Firstly, these plugs are much faster than my old ones, and secondly the reach is greater - it covers everywhere in my house and with good performance too.

They're not cheap, but I still think they're worth every penny and would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Hope this helps

F
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