Zyxel 500Mbps Micro Slimline Powerline Adapter (Twin Pack)
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The plug-and-play PLA4201 provides data transfer rates of up to 500 Mbps with 10/100Mbps Ethernet support over any home power lines. Without installing additional wires at home, users can easily enjoy multiple stable HD streams, multiplayer gaming and other network applications simultaneously in every room.
2x PLA-4201 Adapters
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Overall I am very pleased and would recommend them on my experience.
Having recieved an Internet TV decoder as a gift, I decided to install it in our spare bedroom. The decoder had no wireless device, and I had omittet to put a hardwired ethernet connection in this room!
I was reluctant to pull up carpets, floorboards etc to install one!
What to do?
The Zyxel 500Mbps Micro Slimline Powerline Adapters solved this perfectly.
Simpley plugged them in, and they worked!
(No need to follow the complicated "secure" set up, unless you really want to)
As for speed:
We have a 50M internet connection.
Provided the Powerline Adapter master and slaves are on the same mains ring I see full 50Mb connection.... Fantastic!
I did see, however, a large data rate loss if they are on separate ring mains, i.e. Connection has to route via the mains distribution board:
For example Downstairs Ring and Upstairs Ring... Up to 60% loss with my mains wiring (in my case worse than wireless), however still acceptable for streaming internet TV with our 50Mb internet.
Never the less:
Excellent little device, and a cheap way out if you don't wish to rewire your house!
Provided the above can be avoided, the Powerline Adapter is far better than a wireless connection!
This means that whilst the PowerLine interface might have a theoretical throughput of 500Mbs the practical throughput is limited to under 100Mbs. Still sufficient for video streaming, but not the maximum achievable for file transfers.
That said its certainly compact and powers down when no active equipment is connected.
As manufacturers discontinue 200Mbs PowerLine models this 500/100 combination becomes the new entry point with 500/1000 being the premium choice.
So the Zyxel's arrived. They're tiny little fellas, cute as a button. Anyway, popped them into the relevant sockets. Pressed the pair button at the router end, ran upstairs and did the same at the other. One minute later I tested my laptop hardwired and got a 40Mb speed test return. Success! Now I'm convinced the wiring in my house is somewhat questionable. Also, the upstairs adapter is on a multi-socket. So to get 40Mb was quite the surprise. Kind of makes me wish I'd upgraded earlier.
So a few weeks in and the Zyxel's are solid as a rock. No dropouts, no dramas. My daughter watches Netflix USA in her bedroom and the HD stream flows perfectly. No buffering, no stuttering. Smooth as you like. When my broadband goes up to 100Mb I'll edit this review and post my results. It may be of interest to anyone who has 200Mb powerlines and is wondering if the upgrade is worth it. I shall post my findings as soon as I can.
For anyone taking the plunge regardless I can wholeheartedly recommend these. Very impressed and well worth the money. Kudos Zyxel.
Update - Can't comment on my Virgin upgrade, they did my area but missed me. Despite many phone calls they still haven't bothered. Anyway, like a few others I had a plug die on me. Sent it away under warranty and received a brand new replacement. Fingers crossed they last beyond warranty!
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