Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Not bad, could be better
on 4 April 2014
I bought these (not from Amazon) recently to improve the iPlayer function on my Samsung smart TV - wifi connections that constantly dropped were driving me crazy. The setup is simple. Inside the box you'll find two adapters, two network cables, and that's pretty much it. Plug one of the adapters into the wall socket somewhere near your router, connect the plug to your router with one of the cables, then plug the other adapter in where you need it (by the TV in my case) and the network cable from the adapter to the device, and that's that - it works. The connection can be encrypted if you wish and that's a simple task - press the button on one of the adapters for one second, then go to the other adapter within two minutes and press its button, and that's all.
The adapters have two network sockets on each, so if you wish to connect two devices - say a smart TV and a games console - you can. These aren't the models that extend your wireless network though - these are just for wired connections. Each plug also has a pass-through power socket, so when you plug this into your wall you can plug something into the adapter rather than having extension leads all over the place. The adapters are large but as they're likely to be hidden behind a computer or a TV they're not intrusive, and they just have a single green LED on the front indicating if all is well. When the devices go into power save mode the lights flash slowly.
As for the issues...
The adapters claim that they offer speeds of up to 500mbps, but according to the downloadable Cockpit application (available from the Devolo website) my speed is typically between 170 and 195mbps. My house isn't huge, it's a 1920s 3-bed semi, and the adapters are upstairs and downstairs and more or less above & below each other, but maybe the speed depends on the quality of cabling etc. The speed does seem a little low but the TV works fine when streaming, so it's not too much of an issue.
Secondly the first set of adapters I bought whistled. It wasn't extremely loud (my girlfriend couldn't hear it) but reminded me of if you had a CRT monitor and walked into the room where it was switched on, and there was a quiet whistle you could just about hear. These adapters had a similar sound, and if I was in the room reading and it was quiet it was extremely distracting. I contacted Devolo and asked if the whistling was normal and they advised me that it wasn't and that the adapters should be returned, as there was a manufacturing fault. They gave me the option of returning them to Devolo or to the place of purchase, so I chose the latter and the replacements are a lot better. There's still a slight whistle or hiss which I can just about hear if the room is quiet but it's nowhere near as bad as the original ones. I asked if the fault was dangerous and I was told it wasn't, so if you have one of these and it whistles it's just annoying, not a hazard. Incidentally, if you install the Cockpit application onto a computer it gives the option of turning off the LEDs on the adapters, and I've found on mine that if the LEDs are off they seem to be a little quieter.
All in all they're a decent solution if you need to extend your wired network, but be aware that they're not as fast as advertised in my experience, and they may not be silent if you've bought one of the faulty ones, but the whistle isn't dangerous.