Powerline adapter review

I recently decided to buy a pair of “Powerline Adapters” to use at home. These, essentially, let you use the power cabling in your house as an Ethernet cable. My existing setup of a Linksys WRT54GL running as a wireless bridge, was starting to annoy me with its constant need to be restarted. I did buy a PCI Wireless N adapter a few weeks ago, but it was barely capable of maintaining a connection at all. At any rate I’ve always been curious to play with Ethernet over power as many of the houses I’ve lived in, have done a good job blocking WiFi signals. For some reason, despite their cheapness, I’ve never got around to actually getting some… until now!

Nice and small form factor.

Nice and small form factor.

I bought a pair of “ZyXEL HD Powerline Adapters” for the princely sum of about £17 from Scan UK. I honestly expected them to be a pain to set up, goodness knows why. When they turned up, the instructions, all three lines of them, told me to:

  1. Plug them in,
  2. Check that it works,
  3. (Optionally) Press the button on the side.

Pretty simple! Well actually the last bit couldn’t decide whether I had to press the button on each device within 2 seconds or 2 minutes. Given the fair attempt at instructions in English, I let that slide. Regardless, I followed the instructions and with some trepidation turned on my PC.

It worked. Yup. No problems, no need to install drivers and 100’s of bits of poorly written software. It just worked and there, really, the story ends. I haven’t had a chance to test the claim that they are capable of 500Mbps. Since my previous solution was only capable of 802.11b/g and therefore 54Mbps, I’ll take what I can get.

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