Netgear recalls 82,000 powerline Ethernet adaptors
Netgear UK has asked anyone who owns and uses its XE103 85Mb/s powerline Ethernet adaptor to send them back - all 82,000 of the ones that it's sold here and elsewhere in Europe.
The XE103 adaptor allows you to connect networked devices over mains power wiring rather than standard Ethernet cables. They're based on the HomePlug Turbo powerline standard.
Netgear's XE103: 240V version recalled
All well and good, but Netgear this month admitted there's a possibility that one of the adaptor's chips can break down. That would not only stop the unit from working, which is bad enough, but could also cause it to overheat and, potentially, cause a fire.
That said, Netgear hasn't come across any instance where this has happened, and it described the recall as a precautionary measure.
The problem only affects versions of the XE103 that operate 220-240V power lines. Countries that use 100-120V power, such as the US, are not affected by the recall.
If you have a 240V XE103, Netgear recommends that you stop using it. It's posted a web page on which you can check your units' serial numbers to see if they're covered by the recall. If they are, you'll find details on how to get them replaced.
Could the WGXB102 be affected to?
One of my friends has just phoned me saying his netgear powerline 'WGXB102' just went bang (he said a loud bang and bright blue flash, unit is now dead); this appears to be a different model than the one covered by the recall. He's going to report it to netgear tomorrow.
I have one in my bag
I have a pair of these and I thought that did run a little warm. But this morning I saw that one was dead and its in the bag waiting to go back to PC world.
Still not as hot as Paris...
50% failure rate on XE103 and NetComm NP210
I've outright given up on this technology.
First I bought a pair of NP210s, and for a while they worked nicely. A month later, one of them died. Disassembled it carefully to find out why - a dodgy capacitor.
Took them back to where I got 'em, and asked him to send them away under warranty. NetComm said they were too old and wouldn't warrant them. (So if they were new to start with, they must've been sitting on the shelf for a long time) Indeed, he had another two on a bench nearby, one of which was also faulty, so I took the two good ones, replaced the failing (but not yet failed) capacitors in those two (which were so poorly made that the screws no longer had plastic bits to screw into) and they sort of worked - transmission range had taken a hit.
Figured best bet was to try a new brand - NetGear. After all, I've had a NetGear hub for 10 years and it has never let me down. No such luck - after one week, one of them XE103 units died. Contacted online supplier, who said contact NetComm. Got an RA number. Posted it back - that was at least 4 months ago. It's never come back, and they've not answered my emailed query about what happened to it.
So, my opinion of this branch of technology is that it is useless, overpriced. Far better off to buy two or three TP-Link Wireless Access Points (or some other brand) for about the same money, and run them in WDS mode. Not as fast but far more robust!