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back to article D-Link DHP-303

Despite an early charge, powerline networking has suffered something of a stall over the past few years. The stuff is still shifting off the shelves, but we haven't seen much in the way of improvements in the technology. D-Link DHP-303 D-Link's DHP-303: no change over the years but the model number? Back in 2007, we were …

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Bronze badge

How? What?

How do they get away with advertising these things as 200Mb when they only have a 100Mb ethernet port?

What are these things like for radio interference? I know a lot of that depends on how good an antenna your domestic mains makes, but on any given wiring it seems that some of these adapters are a lot worse than others.

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Grenade

No point in buying them!

They will be banned when Ofcom are replaced by a regulator prepared to enforce EMC law.

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Silver badge
FAIL

But how (EM) noisy are they?

In the light of El Reg's recent article on the interference these devices can cause, should this not be mentioned in the review?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/04/power_line_networking/

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UPA or Homeplug?

Not having used these type of device before, I'm looking at buying a kit to provide network access out in the garage (to mount an IP security camera on the side).

Is there any preference to UPA or Homeplug or are they all pretty much the same? Likely to be any problems with the network signal reaching the garage? I don't know if it's even possible if it's on a different circuit or something?

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Advantage over Devolo?

Having just bought 2 Devolo units from Comet for <£80.00 which just worked when connected and have encryption at the press of a button coupled with a smaller footprint (or should that be plugprint) I'm wondering what the advantage of these is?

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Thumb Down

Trying to defend PLE's

Re: "How? What?" - "How do they get away with advertising these things as 200Mb when they only have a 100Mb ethernet port?"

Hmm, that's a point of contention for me. Turns out that it's 100Mb/s duplex, and in the three brain cells present in most marketing departments 100Mb (downstream) + 100Mb (upstream) = 200Mb (total). IMHO this is false advertising - like 802.11n systems that advertise themselves as 300Mb/s nets.

Re: "No point in buying them" - "They will be banned when Ofcom are replaced by a regulator prepared to enforce EMC law.".

Simple - just invite the Dark Lord (Mandelson not Valdemort) around for the weekend and job done. Or at least if past performance is any guide.

Re: "But how (EM) noisy are they" - "In the light of El Reg's recent article on the interference these devices can cause, should this not be mentioned in the review?".

Actually that article was mainly on the BT Vision boxes, not all PLE gear. As a very unscientific experiment I've had a radio next to my PowerLine Ethernet (PLE) units with no appreciable interference. But I appreciate YMMV.

That article also made mention that CB radio enthusiasts are getting bothered by PLE's. In which case my response is "haa-haa". I seem to remember a similar argument between CB radio and radio control modellers - and in that case the CB folks' response was "tough cheese" so nice to see the boot on the other foot now.

Re: "UPA or Homeplug" - depends what you want. There's a better choice of units for Homeplug (don't bother with normal Homeplug - go for the "AV" ones), but UPA offers the chance to upgrade without having to eBay your existing kit. I use Solwise Homeplug AV's to supplement my 802.11 WLAN and it works well (unlike the WLAN - something to do with the house fabric).

As to the D-Link units themselves - they get a good rating from Computer Shopper magazine. But I don't see UPA taking off until we start seeing UPA being offered in ADSL and Cable modems. Oh, and doing "piggyback" units (see the Solwise "Piggy" range) would be a darned good idea - not everyone has a spare mains socket that they can waste on one of these units.

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Paris Hilton

don't plan on getting anything close to the advertised speeds...

i got an 80mbps dlink starter kit to replace my aging 802.11g wifi bridge as all my neighbours have crowded 2.4ghz so much i can't hold a signal but i was getting a sustained throughput of around 5mbps which was slower than my broadband connection.

a combination of the signal passing to a different circuit in the house (downstairs to upstairs) and having cheap Ikea CFL bulbs all round the house is the most likely cause, but buyer beware.

in the end i did what i should have done to start with and just drilled a hole out of an external wall, ran an ethernet cable outside and then back in again where I needed it and i haven't looked back since. :o)

Paris, because you'll never be short of somewhere to plug yourself in.

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Coat

jusrt more noisem, but better than wifi, just....

the PLE's are knocking out most if not all HAM radio shortwave bands along with large parts of restricted military bandwidth. which means that yes they will be eventually banned along with all that obnoxious wifi, wimax and hopefully all them nasty mobile phone thingy's.

there are a number of petitions being raised by HAM operators to get the commercial PLE networks ripped out, especially down under, (NZ) etc...

the electrosmog will continue to get louder till people effectively start falling over dead! in the streets, till then all the Gov;'s are making a pretty penny on back handers and taxes riding the wave of all this magic new technology that they think will save the world.

(or more likely decimate large swaths of the human population, the second to go will be all those in government and their mandarins)

in the meantime im looking at options on moving to somewhere that has no electricity (the French or Swedish enclaves, or back end of Transylvania...

ah... heres my Bat-Cape.... now off to the BatMobile...

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Flame

Too hot

In my experience the burn out rate for the 200 Mb/s D-link kit is pretty high - they really don't like being plugged in and left on (and so are rubbish for NAS servers hidden away under the stairs etc.). After going through a couple of sets I had to switch to 85 Mb/s - maybe this is what's limiting the 300+ Mb/s kit.

PS Flame for all the wrong reasons - these things run HOT!

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FAIL

That's SOOOOO last centrury!

the world is mid way to being Giganet and these jokers come out with a falsly advertised 10/100 device.! How forward thinking of them! How competetive! How will the rest of the market ever compete against such advanced tech?

I presume this is the solid fuel version. Will they be upgrading to steam in the next few centruries, or perhaps go green with donkey power?

It's astonishing to think that D-Link actually thought that this was an 'idea'. I wonder if it's compatable with my D-Link Giganet Switch.

D-Link have are also rumoured to be coming out with some other 'future' technologies. The 'Portable Power Unit' (a new fangled device which can provide electricity anywhere) that runs off lemon juice,... it's a Lemon with two copper pins, one in either end. Apparently with just 250 of these wired in series you can power a light bulb for as long as 10 seconds. Also, the 'Solid Fuel Hairdryer',.. an ingenious device for drying ones hair and,... phhht, you get the idea!!

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Its good tech for some

If you live in an old solidly buildt house say with 3 floors then PLE is ideal, as wireless can be unreliable and you may want to go from your basement to your attic office etc. You dont want to put in CAT5 and wireless repeaters can be a pain. Also true for tempoary offices, extending to outbuildigns etc.

I used one to go from my house to the office in the bottom of my garden and it worked amazingly well despite having to jump over 2 consumer units/fuse boards (whatever).

Its a d-link one BTW

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Flame

@SynnerCal

The article was not on BT Vision boxes, but BT knowingly supplying Comtrend PLAs which have failed every EMC test going. It does not matter if you purchase UPA or HPA devices, they all fail BS EN:55022:1998 and spew crap all over the HF radio spectrum.

Everyone from Radio Amateurs to CB users to the military and aviation are suffering from the interference caused by PLA devices and Ofcom's stance sends a clear message to all radio operators - do what you like, we don't care! So I'm sure you'll be saying "haa-haa" when a local CB user running 500 Watts of illegal power causes all of the electronics in your house to go nuts!

Do yourselves a favour - fit UTP wiring and a Gigabit switch. It will be less hassle, less power and you'll not incur the ire of the HF radio users!

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@SynnerCal

Which frequencies and mode were you listening to in your tests?

The Comtrend PLT junk are UPA. UPA are on-air 24/7 even when they have no data to transfer. Remember - One DS2 equipped piece of UPA junk is just as bad as the another. You can spray a turd a myriad of colours, but it's still a turd and still stinks. HPA are junk, but at least they only poll each other when not transferring data. They still make a racket when transferring.

Did you know that there were bleats on the BT support pages from PLT users who were having problems with their 27MHz keyboards and mice being interfered with by their Comtrend UPA junk? No?

Regarding testing - I have had very scientific tests done in a real UKAS accredited test lab and UPA products fail conducted emissions specs that they claim compliance to by a massive margin; approximately 30dB or 1000x over most spectrum to 30MHz.

If you are on ADSL, also do a quick check and see if there is any difference in line speed with or without your PLT's running.

BT seems to be quite keen on interfering with itself.

Also have a look at: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/15/bt_vision_interference/

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FAIL

CB radio and Amateur Radio are not the same

@SynnerCal:

CB and Amateur Radio are completely different. Amateur Radio enthusiasts (aka Hams) must pass a technical exam before they can get a licence to transmit. One would hope that OFCOM would provide the same amount of protection against radio interference to Radio Amateurs as vice versa. OFCOM would probably act quickly if a Radio Amateur was suspected of causing interference to others. To be fair to D-Link this comment is a little off-topic as it refers to Red Bren's link above.

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i found the 85mb/s to be reliable

I set up 2 85mb/s plugs in a modern office environment with ring mains being fed from different phases etc. I was pleased to discover these plugs still managed to work in any position and I've found the network to be completely reliable for 2 years now. In another 3 storey house I installed the same system but found the cheap brands were failing periodically. My advice is to go for the more expensive type and they will do nicely for ordinary networking where other technologies aren't suitable.

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HD Streaming

What's the issue with HD streaming over wifi? Isn't the throughput on 802.11g about 20Mbps, surely enough for a decent HD stream, or am I being a berk?!

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Anonymous Coward

PLA & Reduced BRoadband Speed

Don't forget - adding noise to your house wiring will also likely lower your ADSL connection speeds due to a lower signal to noise ratio, not to mention likely interfere with a number of other wireless products (keyboards, mice, etc). This isn't just about the amateur radio lot.

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Silver badge
Heart

@Red Bren

Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that the D-Link device generated similar EM pollution to the BT/Comtrend devices, only that a measure of EM pollution levels could be included as part of the review of these devices.

<-- Obviously I'm in love with myself to be responding to my own comment!

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