The Powerline plugs work out of the box and require no software, they will also operate without security enabled so it's possible to simply plug them in and connect the leads. However it's recommended to secure the network.
To secure the network we simply plug both adapters in to wall outlets and then once both are powered on, press and hold the security button on a single adapter for between 2 and 5 seconds and release, the power LED will begin to flash. Within 2 minutes we must then repeat this on the next adapter. The adapters will then sync passphrases and become secured. Once secured the adapters remember their security even after losing power, so once the network is up and running this shouldn't need to be repeated. If there is an issue the factory reset button can be depressed which returns the adapter to its default unsecured state. Adding a third or more adapters requires the security button to be pressed on a single existing adapter and then new one.
The Powerline Utility can be downloaded from NETGEAR's support site and it allows us to view the network, manually apply security passphrases - for which the password on the rear of each device is needed, name each device individually, turn off LED lights to save power, configure Quality of Service options and perform a factory reset.
The padlock denotes the security status of the network and when hovering over a particular device we are shown colour coded lines, the connection rate then information about the adapter.
NETGEAR also supply firmware update software via their website. We simply run the .exe file and it will indicate which devices on the network have an older firmware; again we need to enter the devices password if it is not the local device connected to the PC and the software will update the firmware.