One of the most interesting areas of networking over the past few years has been powerline kit. Initial models were pretty limited as far as speed and setup was concerned however recent models are now starting to compete with high end Wi-Fi. Our product today is one such item, this is our Netgear Powerline 1200 Review.
Netgear Powerline 1200 Review – Packaging and Bundle
Netgear go with fairly standard packaging for the PL1200 kit, their usual branding is present, we get a clear view of the product and many of the features are listed. Inside the plugs are protected by plastic bags and suspended in cardboard. As far as extra items go, we have product documentation and two network cables.
Netgear Powerline 1200 Review – The PL1200 kit
Netgear go with a white design for the PL1200 and opt for minimal branding on the front surface. This particular kit does not offer plug pass through and so other than the branding there are only thee LEDs/logos on the front which let us know the status of our powerline network.The sides of the kit are perforated to allow airflow and the dimensions are 100x56x30mm with a weight of 112.5g.
On the base of the plug we have a single 10/100/1000 Gigabit ethernet port and a sync button. As far as specifications go we have a rating of 1200Mbps, homeplug AV2 compliant (as well as AV and Green PHY support), IEEE 802.3 compliance and a typical range of 500m². MIMO/beamforming is supported also and power saving is built in, powering down the adapter when not in use.
Available as an optional download is Netgears Genie application (Windows, Mac, smartphone) which allows us to monitor our network and manage other Netgear devices such as routers.
Netgear Powerline 1200 Review – Setup
Setting up the Powerline 1200 kit couldn’t be easier.
Step 2: Plug in.
Step 3: Connect one plug to existing router via bundled cable.
Step 4: Connect other plug to device (console, PC, Smart TV etc) via second bundled cable.
Step 5: Power on.
If we want to add extra Powerline plugs in the future we can factory reset and then use the security/sync button on the side to connect again but the two here connected and sync’d without any user input out of the box which was great.
Netgear Powerline 1200 Review – Conclusion
Netgear have created a plug design which is compact and feels solid. The finish is good and the branding minimal which ensures it isn’t a distraction. Additionally the LEDs are fairly well positioned to make sure they are easily visible when on. Locating the GB LAN port on the base is a reasonable solution. It makes things a little more difficult if you will regularly be changing cables for some reason however for those who dont it makes for the most discrete way to run cables.
Setup couldn’t be more simple. Plug in, connect wires, turn on. That really is it. The two plugs sync within seconds and we get full speed instantly. Speaking of performance, the PL1200 kit gave us excellent figures. For those who care most about external connections to the internet, the kit was easily able to handle our 200/20 connection. Internal performance will only be limited by your network storage, for example the kit is able to stream data to a standard hard drive at its maximum write speed. HD and 4K video played without issue and our ping for online gaming was in the single digits.
Summary: A compact 1200 spec powerline kit with good design and build quality. The speed and stability are at the high end of the powerline market.