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Netgear Powerline 500 Review (featuring Aircard 785 Mobile Hotspot)

Netgear Powerline 500 Review (featuring Aircard 785 Mobile Hotspot)

For a long time this reviewer was sceptical about powerline networking, it seemed very much like a concept which would be filled with issues whether they be stability (due to varied quality of wiring) or performance. Over a number of reviews though I have been won over with various kits working great. Today we get to see a product designed to offer a nice simple way to expand our network through a powerline, in our Netgear Powerline 500 Review. We’ll also take this opportunity to look at an interesting little device in the form of their Aircard 785 mobile hotspot.

Netgear Powerline 500 Review – Packaging and Bundle

Netgear Powerline 500 Review – The Kit – XAVB5421

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Netgear Powerline 500 Review – Setup

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Step 3: Connect one plug to existing router via RJ45.
Step 4: Connect other plug to device (console, PC,  Smart TV etc) via RJ45 cable.
Step 5: Power on.

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Netgear Powerline 500 Review – A quick look at the Aircard 785 Mobile Hotspot (4G)

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Netgear Powerline 500 Review – Conclusion

Starting with the build quality and design of the Powerline 500 kit we have a set of plugs which feel solid. The plastic casing is well manufactured and has no noticeable flex with the glossy finish adding some extra style. Having the port on the top always makes sense to use as plugs are often low down and the LEDs can clearly be seen from a distance. We also appreciate the presence of power pass through as few people want to lose a plug socket to a device such as this.

Setup couldn’t be easier. Essentially we plug in, connect the RJ45 cable and then turn on. The devices then sync automatically and extend our network. Should anything go wrong, or if we want to add additional powerline plugs in the future we just hit the reset button and then the security button to get going again but we had no issues with stability during our testing. Those who want a little more info on the network status can of course install Netgear Genie to access that.

As far as performance goes, we had no complaints. The network was responsive and transferring files to our network storage device (single mechanical drive) saw speeds in excess of 100mb/s which is ideal (most HD peak at a little over 110-120mb/s). HD movies also streamed without issue and when playing games on our consoles there was no noticeable lag or quality issues.

Summary: Super easy to set up, stable and well made. Priced competitively too.

Value Award

Available from Amazon.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.