User Experience / Conclusion
Powerline technology is not new to the market but for many it is an ideal solution, in theory… so what did we experience in day to day use? Overall the experience was good with multiple products allowing us to stream 1080p video over our existing wiring. Additionally the cost is coming down and the speeds are increasing meaning people have a real opportunity of achieving that home network they’ve always wanted but either couldn’t rip apart their house to lay Ethernet cables or lived in an environment which wasn’t beneficial to Wi-Fi setups.
Looking at the performance specifics the network we created achieved decent speeds. With the Nano500 adapters we were able to transfer an 8.3GB file in just under 15 minutes and using our media player we were able to stream 1080p flawlessly. The Powerline 200 Mini did suffer a few hiccups in our 1080p streaming test, but 720p was perfect which is ideal for those who wish to catch up on the latest HD TV shows. This also means that viewing of pictures and listening to music, two less demanding tasks, was flawless.
Here we have some network tests performed between adapters using PassMark software.
The Nano500 set was capable of providing the full internet bandwidth available from the router equivalent of being wired directly into the router, something that Wireless G is incapable of doing and Wireless N can’t always maintain, which was very impressive. The Powerline 200 set wasn’t quite able to provide the full bandwidth but it did outperform Wireless G while falling short of Wireless N.
What is nice about the Powerline technology is that when the network is extended with more than one adapter the router will see each device separately despite all being connected into a single port on the router and so internet access is flawless across all connected devices.
NETGEAR Powerline Nano500 Set (XAVB5101)
NETGEAR Powerline 200 MiniSet (XAVB1301)