- Speed, ease of installation and use
- Size of the adapters means that adjacent power outlets might not be usable
For a no-hassle Ethernet network, this kit is ideal. It's very fast and easy to setup. We'd recommended it for anyone who currently has trouble with wireless networking speed and range.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
Using Ethernet networking to set-up entertainment devices or lounge room PCs can be so much simpler than using a wireless network, but running cables to all areas of the home isn't usually convenient. That's where Ethernet over power line adapters come into the equation, as they use your existing electrical wiring and outlets to send Ethernet data from one device to another.
NetComm's NP200AV Ethernet over power line kit is probably the best on the market for ease of use and speed, and it won't cost you a lot to implement. At $229, it's a neat solution for wiring up a computer system, a home theatre device or a gaming console to your network. Sure, you will need to use one adapter per device on your network, which will end up being much more expensive than implementing a wireless network, but you'll have less problems with signal strength and range and you won't have to struggle with security settings.
Setting up these adapters is a breeze: plug them in, attach one adapter to your router and the other to your client device, and if they can see each other (i.e if they are not plugged into a filtered power board or on separate power circuits), then all the adapters' lights will illuminate while the supplied software interface will show their network speed. The 128-bit AES encryption security setting is transparent to the user, so there's no need to enter passwords or keys; they talk to each other using a private network name, which you can change for all the plugs on your network if you want to. Even the quality of service (QoS) feature is easy to use; just click the icon that relates to the type of data you want the adapters to prioritise.
The adapters have a rated speed of 200Mbps, which translates to 25MBps, but this is a theoretical, rather than practical speed. In reality, you'll get much less, but that's the case with every kit on the market, not just this one. (Don't forget, you'll also be limited to 100Mbps unless you plug the adapters into gigabit-capable devices.) However, the speed of this particular kit was fast: running it from a server to a Netgear Digital Entertainer HD EVA8000, the adapters provided greater than 20Mbps throughput, which is excellent (we usually get reports between 17 and 18Mbps when using a wireless connection). Moreover, in file transfer tests from the server to a notebook computer, the adapters transported data consistently at a rate of 4.6MBps, which is approximately 2MB quicker than we were expecting. With the adapters plugged into the same power board, at a distance of less than 10cm away from each other, the transfer rate was 4.7MBps, which implies that distance didn't bother them too much (at least not over our wiring).
Of course, the way they perform in your environment will differ depending on the quality of your wiring, as well as the distance the signals have to travel, but from our experience, these are much faster than the previous adapter (D-Link's DHP-300) we've seen. They'll rival any good 802.11g-based wireless network for speed, and have further reach, too.
Physically, the adapters are the size of a typical transformer, so you might not be able to plug them into an outlet if there's already an adjacent plug in use. They get noticeably warm while in use, too, so it's probably best to switch them off when you know you won't be using them.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google's Espresso networking tech takes SD-WAN to internet scale
- Netgear expands its Orbi Wi-Fi system into a product family, adding two less-expensive models
- 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
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSplunk Software Developer | 6mth ContractVIC
- FTDatacentre Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCMid-level Business Process Analyst (Automation) - Contract - ParramattaNSW
- FTSenior Solution Designer/ ConsultantVIC
- CCImplementation Manager - DeliveryVIC
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTP3O SpecialistACT
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- CCData AnalystNSW
- TPAgile Projet AdministratorVIC
- TPPrincipal Data Analyst | ArcGIS | Power BI | QlikQLD
- TPSQL Database AdministratorNSW
- FTIT ManagerNSW
- CCJunior Security System AnalystQLD
- FTTechnical WriterVIC
- CCState-wide Business Transition Lead - BrisbaneVIC
- FTJunior .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- TPICT Customer Support OfficerNSW
- TPMS Access/SQL DBAQLD
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerNSW