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4.5 out of 5 stars827
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 11 August 2012
While I have a Wi-Fi network set up at times the performance can drop especially when a lot of devices are being used. Bought these to connect my desk top PC. There is lots of information on Powerline devices available , but in outline they use your existing electrical wiring to transfer data. These units are better than other Powerline devises as they don't block a power socket.

Set up is really simple, plugged the one into the nearest wall socket to the router and connected with the cable supplied. The other one plugged in near the PC and connected to the Ethernet port. While they seemed to create a connection straight away I wanted to pair them properly. Simply press the button on the bottom of one for about five seconds and then press the button on the second one and the network is established. Since set up they have worked perfectly.

A couple of points ; the units supplied are with UK style plugs and sockets (the picture on Amazon is the European model). These should be plugged directly into the wall socket and any extension/multiway connector plugged into the pass-through socket.

The cables supplied are only about a metre long so may be worth getting extra ones if your sockets are a distance from the equipment. TP-Link recommend CAT 5 or better. The connection is at the base of the plug so you need some clearance below the socket.

A small CD is supplied that contains the documentation and a utility. I downloaded this from the TP-Link website and is useful to check speed etc and can be used to add another unit if necessary. However seems that to add a third unit you simply need to press the button on the bottom on one of the existing units and then press it on the new third unit and it will join the network.

At the time of writing TP-Link (see their website) are doing a special offer where if you send in a copy of your receipt and the barcode from the box you get a free unit.

Overall a really easy to set up and highly effective way of having a wired network but without needing any technical knowledge or having additional wiring installed.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 December 2013
I would have given this kit of two passthrough Powerline adapters a high rating as they just worked as advertised. Plug and play. Worked for exactly 14 months from first use. Never had to do a thing to make them work or keep them working. Then overnight one of them is just dead to the world. Pass through mains works but LEDs showing no power, no activity. Nothing. Expired. Like the guarantee I guess but cannot find my documents now. Its a brick. Tried other sockets, reset, zilch. The other unit looks OK. With an hour to closing had to do a high street dash to buy a same brand replacement for a single unit (which now look slightly different) but at least it paired with the remaining unit and crucial homework can continue.

This is the first networking item I have ever purchased with such a short life. Usually I replace tech because of obsolescence after 5 years. Well I just bought one more TP-link Powerline adapter to be sure of as fuss-free, get back online, asap. Time was short. Will try a different brand next time..

[update] After a search I see these types of devices failing for a simple well known reason. The electrolytic smoothing capacitors blow out with time. This is unforgivable as the industry went through this plague already many times. Using the cheapest electrolytic components is unforgivable for something plugged in 24/7/365. Just opened mine up and yep, a black 6.3V 1500μF has a bowed out top. Others look fine. for history of this, search 'capacitor plague'
UPDATE: fixed with one of these Capacitor Electrolytic 6.3v 1500uf Price for 5. Sprang back to life.TP-link corner screws will destroy their hidden fixing holes be careful. 5th screw in middle hidden under label so pierce through to access.
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on 24 April 2013
I plugged them in and managed to get them working once with the Sky + box and used On Demand. However, they have since stopped working and nothing I've tried has coaxed them into working again. The instructions with them are very basic and apart from pressing the reset button from between 3 - 10 seconds there doesn't seem much else I can do. I've searched various forums and tried plugging them on different sockets, using the same double sockets etc but whatever I attach to them can't see the internet.
The admin tool that comes on the CD is next to useless as it can't see the plugs either so I can't troubleshoot using that.
They are now lying on a shelf waiting for the next time I have a few hours to spend trying to sort them out. Which is a shame as I had high hopes
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on 12 December 2013
Having used a TP Link for quite a while to get the internet from my office to my home, using the electric wiring, some 50 yards away, after it gave up the ghost I immediately ordered two more of the same ilk. The service from Amazon, as many will know was exceptional - ordered around 4pm and received at 12.30 the following day. And with no post charges it's better that getting transport to the shops - and cheaper.

But back to the product. Try as I might pressing the buttons on the two parts, they just would not connect. The lights showed that all was well with the sender, but no internet would come through. I did as was suggested, using a short cable and pressed at varying times and in varying ways, but nothing. The things just would not work. And going back to the various reviews I realised this was an all too common fault, with many sending the product back.

But then I realised that the new sender would work with the former receiver, proving the it was that that was at fault. So rather than send it all back and be without internet, I left it as it was. I have to admit that at this time I have something going that I would not like to be without in the house in the evening, hence the decision.

But only two stars, as only half of it worked!

Certainly not recommended, as from other reviews it just is not a reliable product.

Tom Crossley
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on 22 April 2014
I bought these because previously I was running a 30m ethernet cable through my house. While these perform as described, giving you internet through your houses wiring they tend to drop the signal citing issues connecting to the DNS when troubleshot using Windows 7.
My computer is set up to use a local static IP with all the details correct yet from time to time these plugs cannot connect to my router. Would have expected a more reliable experience. This issue is normally resolved by disabling and re-enabling my adapter, yet I should not have to do this.
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on 28 March 2014
Don't be frightened if you have never used anything like this before. They are so easy to set up.
I just put the four that I bought into a six-way power strip and switched them on. Then go along pressing the 'pair' button on each and wait for the light to stop flashing.
That's it! Done.
Then take them out of the power strip and plug them into your sockets next to the equipment that you need to network.

Edit - after using these for a week now I have noticed that the connection keeps 'dropping' between units. The lack of connection lasts for around 30 seconds, then is re-established.
A check on the internet reveals that this is a common problem with these units. My anticipated improvement in speed and reliability are not present.

Edit 2. A firmware update has been released to cure this problem which is suspected to be an issue with the power saving feature of these power plugs. I have updated all four of my units and will report on whether it was a success. On day one all seems good
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on 3 July 2013
This product has been returned. It is very neat and the Ethernet connection plugs into the bottom, but when the product goes into its sleep / standby mode it whistles a high pitched electrical tone. I thought it was just me but when my family came to stay they asked what it was, so clearly quite noticeable. I tried it in lots of different sockets and it was always the same. It was fine whilst active, but as soon as it went to sleep the whistling started.

Would not recommend this product on that basis.
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on 9 June 2012
This product worked first time. Plug in at both locations, press the button on the underside of each unit, bingo. Thats it. Could not be simpler. You do not even lose the plug socket as each unit has a pass through connection. Highly recommended. I even got an improvement in my broadband speed at the remote location. Win, win, win.
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on 6 February 2013
Having read the reviews and star rating it was a "no brainier" not to buy these for our new Internet tv. Not as easy to set up as people have stated in previous reviews tho' Did everything the instructions told us to and they just wouldn't "pair". Nearly ended up sending them back as thought they were faulty, then decided to try thru the computer which worked. HELPLINE is utterly USELESS unless you have an ear for Cantonese. They now work perfectly but a lot of stress beforehand.
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on 13 April 2013
I bought these to solve a specific problem: My wireless router is located downstairs and I needed an Internet connection for a device located in my bedroom, where the wifi signal isn't great. This TP Link TL-PA251 kit solved the problem brilliantly!

The pass-through power sockets were a must, as I couldn't afford to lose access to a single power socket in my bedroom, or downstairs, next to my router. In this gadget-riddled age, they're always at a premium, aren't they?! Note that the instructions specify that the adaptors should be plugged directly into wall sockets, and not into power extension lead sockets.

Some not-so-good observations (AKA nitpicking):
- The supplied RJ45/Ethernet cables aren't very long. They're about a metre in length, so if your router and/or device are further away from a power socket, you'll need to get longer cables.
- I found it difficult to plug things into the pass-through power sockets on both adaptors, specifically, inserting the earth (top) pin. It may just be down to the plugs but I had to use some force to insert them into the pass-through sockets. Also, the power lead from the plugged-in device hangs down and obscures the middle LED , which indicates a connection between the two adpators.

Considerations for bedroom users (oo-er, missus):
If, like me, you want the TP Link TL-PA251 kit in order to get Internet access in the room you sleep in, there are a couple of things to consider. Firstly, as others have said, the LED indicator lights are pretty bright, but they sort of need to be so that they can be seen even in bright daylight. After a few minutes of network inactivity, the adaptor goes to sleep in a power saving mode which is indicated by the power LED slowly blinking on and off. Personally, I didn't find this distracting enough to prevent me getting to sleep. However, both the Ethernet and adaptor connection LEDs flash furiously with network activity, so, if you're into downloading stuff while you sleep, I suspect it could be a bit like trying to get to sleep in the middle of a Disco lightshow. Of course, if the LEDs do bother you that much, you can always stick a Post It note, or something, over them.

The other consideration for bedroom users only applies if you’re like me and have sensitive hearing – you can hear faint sounds that others can’t seem to hear. The adaptors make a barely audible sound which I actually didn’t notice until I’d had them installed for a couple of days. In the dead quiet of night when going to sleep, I can hear a faint, high-pitched beeping which is basically in sync with the blinking of the power LED, when the adaptor’s asleep in power saving mode. I do find this a bit annoying but it hasn’t really affected me getting off to sleep, I don’t think. Hopefully, I’ll just get used to it after a while.

After all my nitpicking, I did consider deducting a star from my rating, but decided this would be unfair as the TP Link TL-PA251 kit does do the job I got it for, and does it really well, i.e. I now have a rock-solid, full speed, wired Internet connection in my bedroom.
Before ordering, I did wonder whether the 30+ year old wiring in my house would be a problem, but thankfully, my worries proved unfounded.

I should also mention that a Windows app that lets you configure the TP Link TL-PA251 kit is also supplied, although I doubt most people will ever need to use it as everything works great, right out of the box. There are several preset configurations offered to optimize the adaptors for Internet access, online gaming, audio/video streaming etc., as well as some fine-tune settings to keep the geeks happy. Note that the configuration app is supplied on mini CD (possibly for cost/packaging reasons), so you won’t be able you use it with a slot CD/DVD ROM drive.

So, the TP Link TL251 kit: 5 stars and highly recommended, especially when considering the modest price tag compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers. Job’s a good ‘un! 
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