on 30 March 2014
The broadband router I use from Virgin is at the back of the house and the signal at the front of the house has been flaky and subject to drop out which has been incredibly frustrating. The Devolo system uses the existing electrical wiring to transfer the broadband signal to the place you need it. The base unit is connected to a port on the router. The receiver unit (you can add additional receivers) is plugged into an electrical wall socket in the location you want an accessible broadband signal. You need to make a note of the wifi key which is in rather small letters on the back of the receiver. After that switch on the receiver and after the two lights come on you can then either connect wirelessly (you will need the wifi key) or with a cable. In my case this whole exercise took a couple of minutes. And the difference was fantastic, at last I had a usable signal in the place I needed it. Great product , simple to set up and does the job earns 5 stars from me.
on 13 February 2015
Having lived in a somewhat piecemeal and sprawling bungalow for years, which has had more than its fair share of extensions, conservatories, loft conversions and general alterations carried out over its time, I always had problems getting Wi-Fi into the far flung corners of the house. Electrical works on the property had been carried out by a multitude of individuals, some of them somewhat more "skilled" than others, and the wiring uncovered during the loft conversion literally had to be seen to be believed.
Therefore, it was with some trepidation that I forked out the necessary lolly in order to try the dLAN 500 Wi-Fi network kit, figuring that if a decent electrician couldn't work out where the wires came from and went to, it seemed unlikely that a little box from Germany could sort the wood from the trees. That was my mistake, you see. It's German. And, therefore, ruthlessly efficient. Instructions? Pah! Little pictures in what can only be described as a pamphlet were included in the box. They appeared, at first, to be woefully inadequate. But then, so did the "Deustcher Mannschaft" in the World Cup in 2014......and we can all ask Brazil how they feel about that now, can't we?
Anyway, I digress. My apologies. These instructions, if followed, slowly and to the letter, were more than a match for the haphazard cabling in my house. Having first set up the two remote plugs to talk to the default Devolo sub-network, as explained in the first half of the book (exactly half, by the way, it finished on the stapled centre page) and tested that this worked, I moved on to the second half. This section concerns "Wi-Fi cloning" and allows the plugs to share the ID and Security Key of your existing network so long as your router (mine's a Virgin Superhub 2) has a WPS function. This makes connection seamless, and devices simply think they are still talking with your router directly. Neat, huh? Now this is where, if I'm nit-picking, there is one error in the pamphlet thing. Brazil's solitary goal in the semi, so to speak. When you clone the Wi-Fi, you do the first adaptor, then unplug it once its happy (a light tells you this, you don't need to be in touch with the device in any spiritual way) and then, and only then, repeat the process with the second one. Otherwise, they get a bit confused, lights start flashing, and you have to do it all again.
So, here I sit. One hour and three minutes since I opened the box, typing this review in the previously darkest of the dark Wi-Fi zones in my house. "How many signal bars have you got?" I hear you all clamour. Well, not seven like "they" got in the semi, but in fairness that's only because it doesn't go up that far. Just the maximum five. And 30Mbps download speed. Impressive.
In conclusion, the moral of this is a well-worn commentators phrase. "You can never write off the Germans."
A superb product all around.
on 9 September 2014
Excellent product (I bought two), as I suspect there's a RSJ in the wall which is interfering with the signal from my router to where we normally sit & watch TV etc.
I have setup both units (1 upstairs & 1 downstairs), with the same SSID, now my wireless signal strength throughout the house is so strong & rock-steady, that I have turned-off wireless on my router (a Virgin SuperHub 2)
I've used Devolo products before, so I didn't bother with the paper setup guide or the stupid micro-dvd (also in the box)
I downloaded the easy-to-use Devolo Cockpit software, and also upgraded the firmware on both my units.
Just a word of advice - you'll probably need a magnifying-glass, as each Devolo unit has a 16-digit "Security Key" printed in small on the back of the unit (which you can't see once it's plugged-in to the wall), and you'll need to type this key into the Cockpit application to add the unit to your network - watch out for "O"'s, "Q"'s and "D"'s it's sometimes hard to see the difference.
Fine-tuning my setup was a bit more complicated as I allow/block access to my network by MAC address, and each of these units has three (Yes, 3) MAC addresses - 1 for Wireless, 1 for Wired (Lan), and 1 for "Internal communication" (even the 1st-line Devolo Support didn't know that!)
n.b This product does not extend your router's existing wireless signal, You must already have another Devolo unit feeding your (wired) internet signal into your mains wiring, which this unit then extracts (at a convenient location), and turns into a wireless signal
I hope this helps
on 2 November 2014
This kit is excellent and does just what you expect of it. As other users have found, the graphical setup instructions leave a little to be desired. I couldn't get the devices to work correctly at first so eventually I had to phone the helpline - and it was just that.... very helpful! A few tips for people trying to set these things up: Firstly, ensure you have the Cockpit software downloaded and running on your computer. Secondly, ensure that when you first set them up and configure them, you have them all in the same room - preferably with your computer. Despite the indications on the instructions, it doesn't matter if you use a multi-way adaptor for this. Thirdly, when pressing the 'house' button on the devices (for network security and encryption), ensure that you use only a very brief press - less than a second. When I followed these instructions given by the lady on the helpdesk, everything worked perfectly. All three devices showed up on the Cockpit software, together with their relevant download speeds. Once this is done, you can then move the slave devices to wherever you wish to use them - ensure that you don't press any of the buttons at this point. Pressing the wifi button will disable/enable the wifi. I don't get full fibre-optic speed on the slaves but I do get full wifi signal for my tablets/phones etc. The signal will still be less than at the router - depending on how far the wifi unit is from the router, but certainly no more dropped wifi signals. Also, a point to note - this might not happen to anyone else, but my units are showing incorrectly on the Cockpit software. My main unit indicated as Local Device and which shows up as a wifi (slave) and one of the wifi units shows up as the 'duo' unit (or main unit). I did query this with the helpdesk and was just told that it didn't matter.
on 28 July 2013
Bought this to extend the wifi strongly throughout both floors of the house and also out to the garage, so having two adapters was perfect. Plugging the base unit in beside my broadband connection and connecting the broadband box to it via the network cable was very easy. I then used the install disc in my laptop to open the cockpit and add the two adapters that way, which was very straightforward. Didn't have to have the laptop hardwire connected to the base unit for this.
Finding the wifi signals of each adapter was also easy, although it wasn't immediately clear to me that the password for each unit when then connecting to it was actually written on the plug and was the same as the adapter ID number. So write down these numbers before plugging them in. Wifi then worked immediately without having to do anything else, and at good speed.
I wanted to use the second network port on the base unit to attach an external hard drive and access that on my ipad via the wifi adapters as well. This was more difficult, I am not highly technical and the instructions were pretty much useless for this bit. Did my own research and short version is that I simply needed to download a free file browsing app on the iPad, use it to connect/network to the hard drive which it did pick up through the wifi signal from the adapter, and it now works brilliantly. I've also worked out how to use the cockpit software to change the names of the adapter wifi signals to something more intuitive.
Does exactly what I wanted, can now use internet and play movie/ music/ photo files from the hard drive anywhere in house or garden.
on 30 August 2013
Bought to extend existing Devolo 200 network, which has been running for over a year. Set-up simple and straightforward. Works as promised - good performance and reliability. Highly recommended.
on 17 August 2015
Very pleased with this product, but I did not find it straight forward to install. However through trial and error, and reading other helpful reviews on Amazon, I managed to get the three devices supplied in the kit (a non-wifi "master" adapter and two "slave" wi-fi adapters) working delivering c100mbps each, all using my BT Homehub settings, and curing wi-fi black spots in an old Victorian farmhouse which has thick walls.
I followed the instructions in section one of the installation guide which got all the adapters working, which took me about 30 minutes. However, the slaves each had their own name and password on the wifi network,and not that of my BT Homehub which was not what I was after because it would be too much hassle re-typing passwords for the many devices used in our household in different rooms.
So, I moved on to the section about cloning the slaves with the aim of getting each to have the same settings as the BT Homehub so that I could move from room to room with any of my devices, Macbook, Ipad, Iphone etc; picking up the wi-fi network, without needing to re-type passwords.
After a bit of trial and error this was how I got it to do what I wanted:
Step 1 - I unplugged both "slave" wi-fi adaptors from the mains leaving the "master" non-wifi adapter plugged into the mains and still connected by ethernet cable to the BT Homehub from the initial installation in section one.
Step 2 - I plugged only "slave" wifi adapter number one into a mains socket close to my BT Homehub.
Step 3 - I followed the instructions for cloning, waiting for the 2 buttons ("wi-fi" and "home") on the front of adapter one to turn solid green.
Step 4 - I pressed the green lit "home" button on adapter one as instructed, followed by the WPS button on the BT Homehub within two minutes. The green lights on adapter one flashed for 30 seconds or so, and then turned solid.
Step 5 - I unplugged adapter one from the mains, and plugged in adapter two and repeated steps 2 to 4.
Step 6 - I plugged each slave adapter into the mains in each of the rooms where I wanted them and waited for the "wi-fi" and "home" buttons on each to turn solid green. I then tested each room with various devices and, bingo, I had a full strength wi-fi signal in rooms where I previously could only get one bar at best.
As an added bonus my Sonos system, Apple TV and Chromecast all pick up a strong wi-fi signal now, where previously they were flaky.
To test the speeds I downloaded the Cockpit software from the Devolo website to my Macbook which allowed me to see the newly created Devolo Network. I also updated the firmware on each adapter, which was very easy to do using Cockpit on my Macbook.
I plan on adding more slave adapters in the future which appears to be something that can be done via Cockpit.
UPDATE - I've added a third "slave" wi-fi adapter. It was very easy to install:
Step 1 - make a written note of the 16 digit security code (it is on the back of the adapter)
Step 2 - plug the adapter into the mains & wait 60 seconds or so for the green lights to settle down.
Step 3 - open Cockpit on a PC and when the dashboard appears click on "add adapter" and choose "enter security code"
Step 4 - type in the security code, including the hyphens, and after 60 seconds or so the green lights turn solid and the adapter is now part of the home wi-fi network with the same settings.
on 24 September 2013
I have a number of Devolo dLan devices but this is th first one to have wi fi. It works really well and utilising BT Infinity I can get much further coverage than with just the Home Hub wi fi.
Theres also a good guarantee on Devolo products - they have just replaced a standard unit for me without any argument.
on 12 June 2013
Does exactly what it says - plug it in, press the button, joins existing Devolo secure network. Config thru the Cockpit is easy of you give the device an IP address and configure it directly - either way very easy.
on 23 June 2014
Whereas I am happy to state that this Powerline Adaptor easily distributes network and internet access around my home with a minimum of fuss, I am both shocked and annoyed to find out that the adaptor is crippled by an ethernet adaptor which is only 10/100mbps.
To explain, the DLAN 500 Powerline system creates a network within your electricity supply which is *theoretically capable* of transmitting data at 500mbps, but since the ethernet adaptor is only 10/100mbps, the maximum speed which the device will ever transmit data is only 100mbps. This is a bottleneck which can never be overcome.
The main reason I bought these devices was to backup to a NAS (network) drive. When the NAS is connected directly to my computer (gigabit connection), I easily reached transfer speeds of 36MB/sec. When connecting the NAS via the DLAN500 Powerline, I struggled to get 6MB/sec. That's about 1/6th of the speed.
6MB/sec is fine for downloading from the internet or streaming video to any of your devices around the home, but it is completely inadequate for backing up to a NAS!! A 1TB backup would take more than 2 days at this speed, rather than just 7 hours at the faster speed.
Why did Devolo create a device which was so crippled from the offset?
I now see that there are DLAN 650 devices starting to come out which have true gigabit connections, so these should correct the deficiencies of these DLAN 500 devices. It looks like I will have to spend more £££ to upgrade my network, but I should never have had to do this !!