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Saturday | December 10, 2016
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TP-LINK AV1200 Review

TP-LINK AV1200 Review

Since its introduction a few years ago we have seen a number of advances in powerline networking, each bringing new levels of speed and stability to the platform. Recently one of the market leaders launched their next generation kit noting speeds up to 1200 Mbps, today we take a look at that hardware in our TP-LINK AV1200 Review

TP-LINK AV1200 Review – Packaging and Bundle

tp-link-av1200-review-box tp-link-av1200-review-bundle

TP-LINK go with their standard box styling on the new AV1200 powerline kit. We get a nice clear image of the products along with plenty of specification and feature information and then we find the adapters inside, covered in a protective plastic which is always nice to see. Bundled with the TL-PA8010P plugs we get two 2meter RJ-45 cables, a software disc and product documentation.

TP-LINK AV1200 Review – The TL-PA8010P Kit

tp-link-av1200-review-tl-pa8010p-bjpg

The AV1200 adapters are shown above and the first thing which will be noticeable to those who have used TP-LINKs previous powerline kits is that this edition is significantly larger at 5.2×2.8×1.7 in. (131×72×42 mm). They use an all white, plastic casing and feature perforated sides to allow in air for cooling purposes. Plug design will of course vary depending on your region but the layout on the device will be the same. So we get TP-LINK logo and speed details, logos for the status LEDs (side mounted LEDs) and on the back an information sticker. The ports are located on the top of the device and are GB spec (10/100/1000). The final point of note is a pairing button on the left of the device, beside those Power, Powerline and Ethernet LEDs.

In terms of powerline features we have support for HomePlug AV2, HomePlug AV, IEEE1901, IEEE802.3, IEEE802.3u, IEEE802.3ab as well as 128-bit AES encryption and our modulation technology is OFDM (PLC). The range for the kit is 300m and it draws around 6w when in use (with active power saving to reduce draw to 0.5w when not in use). This is also a 2x2MIMO kit with beamforming. Multiple Input Multiple Output functionality is part of HomePlug AV2. It improves data transfer rates by using any two electrical wire lines within a 3 wire network. Ideal with multiple users on the network.

TP-LINK AV1200 Review – Setup and Software

How do we set-up the AV1200? Unbox, plug in and done! Ok, so it requires a touch more thought than that but not much. Basically we plug in each unit, one near the router and one near the PC, console, whatever that we are connecting on. One RJ-45 cable runs from the router to the first plug, the other cable from the 2nd plug to our PC/Device. Turn them on and they search, sync and connect.

tl-pa8010p-kit-software1 tl-pa8010p-kit-software2 tl-pa8010p-kit-software3 tl-pa8010p-kit-software4

Once up and running we can view the status of the powerline network by installing a small utility from TP-LINK. This allows us to view aspects such as speed or upgrade the firmware. We can also tweak the profile to prioritise certain traffic types such as gaming or chat.

TP-LINK AV1200 Review – Conclusion

Starting with the build quality and design of the TP-LINK AV1200 powerline kit we have a product which offers a good standard on both fronts. These new generation powerline adapters are larger than the previous models however they are still easy enough to hide away somewhere and overall the new curved design is nicer than the older models. These are also much more white which could please some users. The location of the gigabit port on top of the devices is good, it is certainly preferable to the sides or base but we would like the status LEDs to be located differently. On the side it can make them hard to see from certain angles so maybe having them on the front/side corner would enhance the visibility.

In terms of value, the retail price of around £85 is decent, after all we are getting two plugs, two cables and the latest specification parts. An alternate version with 3x GB ports will also be available for those who need the extra flexibility that offers. Setup too is impressive, essentially plug them in and they work. Nothing more is required, unless we want to take more control and TP-LINK’s application is simple enough to use and understand. These plugs are also backwards compatible, so anyone with the older AV500 kit will find that those automatically connect to the network created by AV1200, without reducing the speed of the new kit.

As far as performance goes, the minor frustration with AV500 was that any internet connection over 90-100mb was limited by the 10/100 port on the older  models. Now with AV1200 we can get he full benefit of most home internet speeds (we tested up to 200mb with no issue) and our internal network speed more than doubled. Speeds will of course vary depending on your own  router, server, drives however like for like, we would say you should assume the AV1200 will be a little over 2x faster than (as an example) AV500.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

4 Comments

  1. johnharrislite

    That is an awesome device i use it it is very easy to use only thing is that you should by quality Ethernet cables for good speed and i buy it from ” westcables ” website there cables are very solid actually i buy these cables for my company use then the cable which is left i used it in this way and i told every body to buy from this site.

  2. Stuart Garrett

    When will tplink introduce a 1200 powerline wireless adaptor?

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