TP-Link AV500 Powerline Adapter Starter Kit

6/7/2012 11:21:53 AM

TP-Link boasts AV500

Powerline kits keep evolving. The latest performance level is now being adopted by all, and so TP-Link claims the 500Mbps speeds that come with the latest developments. Of course, such speeds need the standard Mbps to MB/s rationalisation. There are eight bits to a byte, so dividing 500Mbps by eight gives us 62.5MB/s. That's the upper limit of what this TP-Link kit is capable of, and in real terms is fast enough for all but the most speed needy home users, if fulfilled.

Description: TP-Link AV500 Powerline adapter Starter Kit

As is the case with all Powerline kits, setup is a cinch. One plug goes into the wall by your router and connects via an Ethernet cable. The other goes into the device you'd like connected and another spare plug socket in close proximity. The TP-Link set features a 'pair' button on each unit, and once paired they're good for use.

But what of that maximum 62.5MB/S speed? Is it achievable? Well, not for me. Testing the kit in what I consider a fair home-use scenario, I replaced my Devolo dLAN 500 AVMini kit and loaded up the Powerline Utility included on a mini CD. I live in a two-floor semi-detached house, and the router is in the front room. My computer is a floor up. This seems a fairly usual setup to me, and in regular monitoring the best speeds I achieved with the TP-Link kit were around 35MB/s. That's 280Mbps - just over half the quoted 500MBps speeds.

On average, though, speeds were more mid to late 20s. Granted, the house is what I would consider 'busy' in terms of electrical interference, but the alternative is to test at night... when I don't use the internet.

However, as we know by now, any fault is with the speed claims and not with a manufacturer seeking to be honest and lose potential sales. Indeed, as tests proved, the speeds achieved are more than adequate for gaming, streaming multiple HD videos, general media streaming from NAS devices, and most general use networking. Of course, with Virgin raising the baseline speeds of its broadband to 30Mbps, you might experience a slight loss, but that's assuming you get 30Mbps to begin with; reports suggest not every customer will.

None of this is the TL-PA511 KIT's fault, though. For its price the kit does a sterling job and is in fine company. If I'm being picky, its units are larger than the Devolo units I currently use, but that's a purely aesthetic point. The performance is near identical, and the kit shares a fondness for power-saving when not in use and passwords for added security. Essentially, it should be welcome in aiding most home-use networking setups, and comes recommended.


Price: $92.99

Manufacturer: TP-Link


Model number: TL-PA511KIT

Required spec: Plug sockets, router, internet connection

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