TP-LINK AV2000 Powerline Kit Review - HardwareHeaven.comHardwareHeaven.com
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Saturday | December 10, 2016
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TP-LINK AV2000 Powerline Kit Review

TP-LINK AV2000 Powerline Kit Review

It seems pretty crazy that the wires running around our house which supply power to the sockets can be used to transfer data too. That is exactly what powerline network hardware enables though and from some pretty decent first generation products we have seen it evolve into a technology which rivals even the best Wi-Fi. Now TP-LINK has delivered the fastest kit we have seen to date, so let’s take a look at it in our TP-LINK AV2000 Powerline Kit Review.

TP-LINK AV2000 Powerline Kit Review – Packaging and Bundle

tp-link-AV2000-powerline-review tp-link-AV2000-powerline-review-bundle

For this generation of powerline product, TP-LINK are sticking with their familiar packaging so we get a white and green design along with plenty of info on the product features. Inside the plugs are suspended in cardboard and beneath them, we find our bundled items. These items are product documentation and a couple of network cables.

TP-LINK AV2000 Powerline Kit Review – The TL-PA9020P Kit

tp-link-AV2000-powerline-review-plug

The two AV2000 adapters included in the TL-PA9020P kit use the same design as the AV1200 spec units and measure 5.2×2.8×1.7 in. (131×72×42 mm). As before they use an all white, plastic casing and provide passthrough with plug design varying depending on your region. Printed on the front we get TP-LINK logo and speed details, logos for the status LEDs and on the back an information sticker. This model features two network ports on the top of the device and both are GB spec (10/100/1000). The final point of note is a pairing button on the left of the device, though that generally isn’t needed as we will discuss later.

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 5.8w 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 when there are multiple users on the network.

TP-LINK AV2000 Powerline Kit Review – Software and Setup

How do we set-up a powerline network? 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.

If for some reason that doesn’t happen, the pair buttons on the side can be used to sync everything up.

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 AV2000 Powerline Kit Review – Conclusion

We have been big fans of powerline networking for a while now. We do love Wi-Fi… who doesn’t? However, there is no denying that there are issues when trying to create a home network which is stable, fast and capable of supporting the massive amount of devices and data flow that we all use nowadays. The root cause of this is often less than spectacular wireless hardware in devices. Take a 2-3-year-old TV as an example, yes it will have Wi-Fi but try to stream some HD or 4K content to it and you can often find that the manufacturer didn’t exactly kit the device out for optimal speed. If it has a network socket, plug in a cable to one of these powerline devices and watch your content fly across the network at vastly improved speeds.

Having a powerline network running for some of our devices also reduces the Wi-Fi load a little and with the ability to prioritise traffic it can enhance aspects such as gaming performance from our home consoles.

As far as these TP-LINK adapters go, the plug design is good. Easy access to the ports, nice curvy design, pretty discrete too. The presence of pass-through for the power socket is always welcome on this type of hardware and as always with TP-LINK setup was a breeze. Just plug in, turn on and the network was good to go.

On the performance front, flawless. The TL-PA9010P kit offered the best powerline performance we have seen to date. It easily provided an experience which made it indistinguishable from “normal” wired network hardware and regardless of the devices we used, speeds were stable and class leading.

Whether you are transferring large amounts of data between systems in a building, gaming or streaming content up to 4K this kit from TP-LINK should be top of your shopping list.

Performance Award

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
TP-Link AV2000
Author Rating
5

About Author

Stuart Davidson

1 Comment

  1. Jove Belic

    No speed tests? What about heat? I’ve used some EoP stuff that was too hot to touch.

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