Powerline network adaptors enable you to extender your network via power lines to devices like PCs and game consoles and are handy if your wifi network can’t reach to where you want it or the device don’t have a wifi connection.
I use a pair to connect my Windows Home Server to the network, so jumped at the change to review a NETGEAR Powerline AV500 Adapter kit. The kit consists of two AV500 Adapter devices and two Ethernet cables. You don’t need any drivers or special software for it to work, just plug one device into your router and the other one to the device you want to connect to your network and your all set.
The way I tested the kit was by connected one adapter to my router and the other to a Notebook running Windows 8 and then coping a file from my Media Center machine to the Notebook.
First I tested copying a file to the Notebook using wifi and as you can see from the screen shot the transfer speed was about 2.49MB/S
Next I tried copying a file using the AV500 where the speed was about 1 mb/s which was slower than the wifi connection.
Just to make sure I setup a small test network with just a server and a Notebook and then found the connection speed much better at around 4.90 mb/s. So with no other devices on the network the transfer rate greatly improved.
Netgear claim a transfer rate of 500Mbs which I couldn’t reproduce but if can’t get wifi to an area in your home then this could be a good solution. You could plug a wifi access point into the adapter and extend the reach of your wireless network and the transfer speeds are just about good enough for video streaming. The kit costs £113 on Amazon UK
Linksys have a similar product on the way for me to review so I should be able to do the same test on their device and then we can see the differences.
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.