back to article Netgear HDX101 200Mbps powerline Ethernet adaptor

It's a neat trick being able to transmit data around your home or office via the mains power wiring. You get a more stable, less interference-prone connection than Wi-Fi and a potentially faster link too. The downside is that there's no roaming, at least not beyond the reach of an RJ-45 cable and however many powerline adaptors …

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Performance not as good as hoped

I had high hopes for these devices, but I don't think the average household will support HD streaming over them. I set it up for some testing at a friend's house, and while the device at the other end of the connection immediately was available on the network, it was 'flaky' for lack of a better word. Connection was intermittent, ping results were inconsistent, my ssh connection was slow. Is it dependent on distance? The house's wiring infrastructure? I don't know. Another friend using the same hardware reported the same type of results and said for surfing the web, it'd be fine, but for any intensive streaming/LAN traffic, look elsewhere or run some cable. I'm in a situation that doesn't allow me to run wire myself, and I'd rather not make the jump to pre-802.11n hardware.

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Anonymous Coward

Beware Skirting boards!

I was bought the NetGear recently and had rather a bizarre problem in that I couldn't actually plug them into any of the sockets in my house. This was because the power sockets we have are fitted just above the skirting board but are sunk below the depth of the skirting boards. The netgear is a single unit which plugs directly into the socket and because the skirting is proud of the power socket I couldnt actully plug it in!

I bought the Panasonic equivalent (HD-PLC something or other). However this has the downside that it has both a power lead and network cable so is a bit less neat than the NetGear with only its network cable. I've got to say I've been very impressed with the Panasonic though albeit with it's reduced (190Mbs) speed.

On the topic of roaming, I had wireless signal problems, so I've plugged the panasonic into a wireless router in 'access point' mode so managed to get an excellent signal downstairs now (first wireless router is upstairs) and wired in a Pinnacle showcenter too for good measure.

All in all very happy with the Panasonic!

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Good throughput - annoying design

I bought 4 in order to connect all 3 floors and the output from my ADSL router into a network without having to drill holes everywhere. I have pretty much given up on wireless due to old thick stone walls, lots of neighbours with wireless (crowding the bandwidth) and even at full speed it's just too slow to transfer significant data for backups.

At first, like the reviewer, I had to plug them into extension strips and got a decent enough bandwidth but after sorting out the wiring and plugging them directly into the sockets I got a much better throughput. I can't remember the exact figures, but certainly good enough for backing up.

Downsides though:

Perhaps like Brian Green commented above, it really depends on your electrical wiring and also anything generating electrical noise on the circuit. For instance I get a great connection from my ground floor to my middle floor but the top floor connection can be pretty flakey sometimes.

Also the design of the adapter when plugged directly into the socket means that the socket power switches can cause the Powerline to not sit flush. I assume it depends on the design of your sockets but these seem fairly standard. It doesn't seem to affect anything, but was a bit annoying. The blue connection light can be a bit bright if you have one in your bedroom too.

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Better than Wi-FI

I purchased the "kit" to replace my current 802.11b network. It does not "drop" my connection and the latency is much more acceptable. It is around 2-4 ms during a ping test. This is compared to my 15 - 400 ms time with Wi-Fi. Unfortunately I do not have a Gigabyte switch so I can not test the full 200MB bandwidth. There is one CON to this technology right now. Multi Panel support does not exist. I have two circuit breakers in my home. Unfortunately the devices will not communicate if they are connected to different panels.

Over all, I am very pleased with this new product. I think that it has a lot of potential for home and business. Power companies may have a new revenue source.

Chris

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Anonymous Coward

Beware DS2 products with any electrical noise

With the DS2 based products such as the Netgear 200Mbps adapters, you can forget seeing anywhere near the throughput if there is any electrical noise - such as from a hairdryer / washing machine / etc. on your mains circuit. The Intellon based products such as the Solwise and Devolo are much, much, better...

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