NETGEAR Powerline Nano500 and Powerline 200 Mini Review
Each adapter is finished in a high-gloss white plastic with substantial venting around all four sides. On the front we have three status LED’s and the product branding with NETGEAR also etched into the front. These models do not provide pass-through capabilities so will require an dedicated/free wall socket in our setup and NETGEAR state they should not be used with an extension cord. (The adapters will work on extension cords that do not have surge protection though at greatly reduced speed.)
The status LEDs indicate power, an active Ethernet connection and the status of the powerline sync. The power and Ethernet LED’s show green, while the Powerline status can be one of three colours. Green indicates a connection speed above 80Mbps, amber indicates between 50 and 80Mbps, and red indicating a speed of less than 50Mbps. The multi-coloured status LED forms the basis of NETGEAR’s Pick-a-Plug feature, meaning the end-user can select the optimal sockets for creating the network. The optimal speed for the product is listed as 500Mbps but this will depend entirely on the electrical wiring.
When no active Ethernet connection is present the device can enter power-saving mode, this is indicated by the power light switching down to amber, power-saving will automatically end when activity is present.
The RJ45 Ethernet port is a Gigabit connection and is housed on the underneath of the device. The right hand side features a pin-hole factory reset, required to remove security protection and re-initialise the device. On the left is the security button which we utilise to secure our network of powerline plugs with a passphrase. On the rear of the adapter we have a label that details the modem number, mac address and a password for use if manually configuring security via the Powerline Utility.
Finally the XAVB5101 is a HomePlug AV certified product. The HomePlug Powerline Alliance is a consortium of industry leaders who provide the standards for which certified products adhere to. Certified devices are backwards compatible with previous HomePlug standards and also cross-compatible independent of brand, a full list of certified devices can be found here: www.homeplug.org/certified_products