I was recently sent some TPLink Powerline Adapter model TL-PA211 to review. I personally call them internet plugs as it nicely summarises what they do and sounds much nicer. These are basically plugs that use your home electrical wires to transfer data at the same time as electrical power. They are used when you need to connect something to the internet which is not near enough to your router to connect via wires and you do not have a wireless connection. They are also used if you have network wireless black spots in your house.
When you open the box you see the following:
There are two plugs, two network cables, an instruction booklet and the manual and software on a disc. The plugs are really easy to set up and use. The first step is to plug one into a wall socket and then plug the network cable into it. The network cable then has to go into a spare socket on your router. This magically sends the internet into your electrical cables. You then take the other plug and plug it into a wall socket near the device you want to connect to the internet and plug the network cable into the plug and the device. To get it working all you need to do is to press the pair buttons on each of the plugs and your device will be connected to the internet. The other good thing about the plugs is that they have a power saving mode, when they see data is not being sent though the network they automatically change to this mode which reduces energy consumption by 65%.
There is software provided which allows you to identify powerline devices on the powerline network, measures the data rate performance and ensure privacy and performs diagnostics but you do not really need to install this to get the plugs working. If you love analytics then you may enjoy playing with this.
The main features of these plugs are:
- HomePlug AV standard compliant, high-speed data transfer rates of up to 200Mbps
- Super small design with a new exterior, blends in completely in front of any power outlet
- Up to 300 meters range over the household power circuit for better performance through walls or across floors
- Easy Plug and Play operations, No configuration required
The only negatives I have to say about these plugs is that the supplied network cables are a bit short. If your device is situated a bit far from the plug you will need to invest in a longer cable. Secondly the plugs have to be installed directly into the mains socket, if you use an extension cable you can not plug them into this. Ideally you need to have a pair of mains sockets on the wall, one for the powerline adapter and one for your extension cable to plug your devices into. It would be great if the powerline adapter also had a socket in it so you could plug the extension cable directly into it.
All in all these plugs work very well and are a great solution for getting the internet to a device that is not near your router.
You can find more information at: http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/?model=TL-PA211
You will be able to find this product in electrical stores or on amazon.