Netgear Powerline 500 Review – The Kit – XAVB5421
The Powerline 500 kit shown above is the 500Mbps rated XAVB5421 and Netgear offer alternate versions without the plug passthrough or with Wi-Fi. This particular version gives us one 10/100 port and measures 100x56x41mm with a weight of 144g. On the top we find the network port as well as factory reset button. On one side, a quick setup button to sync our plugs and then on the front as well as a filtered power outlet is a set of LEDs which let us know about the status of the kit.
Netgear Powerline 500 Review – Bundle
The Powerline 500 kit arrives in a box which follows the standard Netgear styling, giving us a good view of the product and outlines its key features. Inside the box the main components are suspended in cardboard with various protective layers applied. Bundled with the main items we get some documentation and two 6.5foot RJ-45 network cables.
Netgear Powerline 500 Review – Setup
Setting up the Powerline 500 kit couldn’t be easier.
Step 2: Plug in.
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.
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.
We can also install the Netgear Genie app to view data rates and Wi-Fi (if appropriate) details.
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.
Once up and running the network was responsive and transferring files to our network storage device saw speeds in excess of 100mb/s which is ideal (most storage drives peak at a little over 110-120mb/s). HD movies also streamed without issue and when playing on our consoles there was no noticeable lag or problems with gaming quality.