D-Link Australia DHP-300
- Better than 802.11g performance, relatively easy to install
- The adapters are physically large and will impede adjacent outlets, configuration utility doesn't report the network speed, QoS settings are not clearly explained
If wireless coverage is poor in your dwelling, these Ethernet-over-power-line adapters might just do the trick. They're a relatively neat wired networking solution, which takes advantage of electrical wires to deliver networking connectivity anywhere an outlet is available.
Price$ 179.95 (AUD)
Sharing large files or a high-speed ADSL2+ connection over a wireless network can sometimes be a frustrating experience if the signal is too slow from the access point to the client devices. But while wireless has been touted as the best solution against messy cable installations, a better option might be an Ethernet-over-power-line adapter, especially for large dwellings. Note: we said 'might'.
D-Link's DHP-300 adapter performs the task that its name implies: it moves Ethernet data across power cables to any outlet in the house or office that's on the same power circuit. At least two adapters are required (or you can buy the DHP-301 kit, which comes with two adapters): one local adapter, which needs to be plugged into your router, and at least one remote adapter, which needs to be attached to the device you wish to connect to -- it can be another computer or a streaming device for music and video.
The DHP-300 can enable encryption for data that travels across the electrical network, while an administrator password can also be implemented to ensure that encryption can't be changed by unauthorised persons. However, the setup process is not helped by the cryptic labelling of the adapters in the configuration utility.
The remote adapter is called PLC and the local adapter is called ETH. When applying encryption and password settings, the remote adapter needs to be configured first, then the local one; there's really no way to tell which adapter is which unless you read the manual. D-Link needs to apply clearer labels to this utility to make it more user-friendly. Another quibble with the utility is that it doesn't report back on line speed.
A speed of 200Mbps is quoted for the DHP-300, but this is a theoretical figure that doesn't take into account factors such as encryption, line quality and length, as well as any other high-power devices on the electrical circuit, such as fridges and air-conditioners. Dwellings with poor wiring installations might not realise fast speeds when DHP-300 adapters are installed, and other devices that can cause the adapters to not work properly are power strips and surge protectors. However, the adapters aren't designed in a way that makes them easy to plug into a wall outlet, so a large power strip is a necessity.
We tested two DHP-300 adapters using a power strip with surge protection, and we didn't experience any problems. Using electrical outlets on the same physical circuit, we were able to transfer data from our local device to our remote one at a rate of 2.67MBps. A best-case scenario test, with both adapters plugged into the same power board, merely centimetres from each other, recorded a rate of 3.53MBps.
The rates we achieved in our test environment aren't as good as what we've achieved with a draft-n based wireless router (such as D-Link's DIR-615), but they're better than what we'd get with an 802.11g-based router. Furthermore, the results are slightly better than what we achieved with Netgear's Powerline HD Ethernet Adapters (HDXB101).
There is potential for users in dwellings with perfect wiring and line conditions to attain higher-than-wireless transfer speeds over a comparable distance, but there's no guarantee. Nevertheless, if your wireless installation is giving you grief, a couple of DHP-300 adapters might solve your problems, but won't give you the ubiquitous multi-device coverage of a wireless network. You'll have to purchase an adapter for every device that you want to connect to your network; up to 16 DHP-300 adapters can be installed on one network. Each one will consume about 39W of electricity.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Chips coming by June will herald the next generation of Wi-Fi
- Plume's 'routerless' mesh network blankets your home in Wi-Fi with an army of tiny pods
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
- Can Wi-Fi and LTE-U live together? The tests are ready
- New wireless tech from MIT promises password-free Wi-Fi
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- FTSenior Functional Consultant - Data Analytics - TelcoVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- CCSOA Oracle DeveloperNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- TPTechnical Support Resource-Skype for BusinessVIC
- TPProject ManagerOther
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)QLD
- TPData AnalystWA
- CCSenior Solution ArchitectQLD
- TPFront End DeveloperWA
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- CCProject ManagerSA
- FTPerformance TesterACT
- TPSCCM SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Information Security ConsultantQLD
- TPIT Project Officer - TMRQLD
- FTEnterprise Architect l Practice Manager - Archimate 3.0, eTOMNSW
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectVIC
- TPAgile CoachNSW
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- CCContract - System Access Administrator - major Telco in MelbourneVIC
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- TPDigital Strategist - Newcastle BasedNSW