Top positive review
25 people found this helpful
Can only work on one ring main circuit, but great other wise and far superior to WiFi
on 7 July 2012
I get the these HomePlug P501 pass-through mains plug network units rather than the standard Homeplug 501 version, as the loss of a mains socket is a pain and the 500 series is currently the fastest of the HomePlug network devices (avoid the slower 300 series). The pass-through mains socket gives the full 13A. Fitting is easy, literally just plug and go, although the unit is quite large at 15cm x 7cm x 5cm deep for some situations such as behind furniture, particularly if you plug a mains plug into it as well. There's a little utility you load onto your laptop/PC and that looks for all the Powerline units on the mains and gives their network speed. Granted the '500 Mbps' network speed value is fiction, true network speeds will be far lower - but we still find connection speed is three to five times faster than our D-Link pre-n 300 Mbps wireless system and also far more reliable - I checked transfer speeds using the Totusoft's accurate 'Lan Speed Test' app. The claimed Pre-n 300 Mbps wireless value is a lie anyway, with real WiFi speeds rarely going above 35 Mbps with our new DIR-655 WiFi router (although the D-Link '300Mbps' pre-n WiFi is still far better than old Wireless-g). Now using the D-Link P501 PowerLine mains network units we get real file transfer connection speeds that are typically a rock steady 100 Mbps, dropping to 80 Mbps at distance, surpassing even a dedicated 100/10BaseT wired network cable at some locations.
Our TV/media streamers in the front room of our bungalow are at the limit of wireless range and although the units said good connection, drop-outs were always a problem. Using the Powerline adaptor and a Dlink DGS-1005D five Port Gigabit Desktop Switch, I have linked the Powerlink Homeplug to the TV, Blu-ray player, Sky+ unit, and a WD TV live so all the TV units share the single network Homeplug. If one mains socket seems to give a slow connection try another in the room nearer to the router and use a longer network cable. The Homeplug comes with the install DVD for the HomePlug check utility, an instruction leaflet, two DHP-P501AV Homeplug units, and two very blue internet cables (to look neater we bought a few Belkin white & grey Cat6 cables rated for 1Gbps, although our old Cat5e ones worked fine as well).
Setting up was very easy using the Windows 7 PCs or media devices standard wired internet connection menus. You need one Homeplug network cable attached to a port on your main modem/router to pass the network and internet connection on. After that, buying a second set of twin HomePlug 500 AVs gives two more PCs/media devices a connection. The routers Pre-n wireless signal is now free to serve the laptops, netbook, iPod Touches, mobile phones, Airstream 10 Internet radios, and the Wii/Ps3 gaming units more efficiently, with all our media streamers and desktop PCs on the faster more reliable wired HomePlug system. The PC utility allows you to rename HomePlug units (e.g. 'TV Lounge', 'Study PC') and to change the security password. Linking two HomePlug units is a simply matter of pushing the button on both units.
Unfortunately the HomePlug can't pass the internet/network onto our second ring main for the left side of the bungalow (zero signal), so I had to feed a 15m standard wired 1Gbps 1000BaseT cat6 network cable to my son's bedroom through the attic and pass the network connection to the right side of the house, and via another DGS-1005D five Port switch, that splits the wired superfast 1Gbps Cat6 connection feed direct to his PC and on to a HomePlug AV for distribution via the 2nd ring mains. His direct PC 1Gbps wired network connection is now running a massive ten times faster than the old '300Mbps' Pre-n wireless connect he was using, as measured by Totusofts Lan Speed Test app. The nearby HomePlug AV passes on this network connection to all the PCs/media units in rooms on that side of the house that share the same ring main. Now these wired mains PowerLine network connections are all running very reliably and significantly faster at around 80 to 100 bps, so we are very pleased, and 5*. We ordered our Powerlink Starter Kit (two 501AV/B Homeplug adaptors) direct from Kikatek for £71 including delivery, and 18 months on the D-Link units are still working fine.