Solwise PL-200AV Push Homeplug AV Powerline Ethernet Adaptor – Review

Homeplug AV utilises the existing electrical wiring in a house to create a secure (128-bit AES encryption) network with a maximum data rate of up to 200 Mbps. The Solwise PL-200AV Push replaces the popular PL-200AV, which was awarded Editor’s Choice in Personal Computer World magazine in October 2007 due to its good performance in noisy environments and price. The main difference in the new model is the addition of a push button which allows new devices to be added to the network without the need for any setup software, or even a PC – handy for linux or mac users, or anyone just wanting to connect a games console to the internet. The good news is that the PL-200AV Push works straight out of the box without having to do anything except plug it in. The powerline activity LED colour gives an indication of the connection rate, red means below 40 Mbps, amber means 40 to 105 Mbps, and green means more than 105 Mbps.

We tested the PL-200AV Push by connecting a pair of units to provide internet access from a router in the study to a PC in the living room of a self-contained cottage built onto the end of the house. A direct route would send the signal through a total of 7 rooms including the study and the living room, over a distance of 23m (75ft), although following the electrical wiring system the signal path may be longer. The signal path also goes through a total of two RCD fuseboxes to exit the house and enter the cottage. DECT cordless phones and WiFi have been tried over this route, but no signal was received in the living room. On plugging in the two Homeplug units, the powerline activity LED illuminated amber, indicating a connection rate of between 40 and 105 Mbps. The full ADSL speed from the router (around 5 Mbps here) was instantly available, and latency across the connection was in the region of 2ms, which should please gamers. An ftp file transfer across the connection went at an average speed of 25Mbps, not bad for a situation where WiFi doesn’t work at all. The connection has been in use for several days now and has been completely stable and reliable. The PL-200AV Push is available from Amazon UK.

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