The adaptor uses chip company Gigle's Mediaxtream chippery, which, while equipped with HomePlug AV for compatibility, also runs its own faster channel over the mains. "Mediaxtream... delivers raw throughput data rates of up to 882Mb/s at the PHY," says Gigle. Ethernet will knock the actual data speed somewhat below that peak, with real world speeds further eroded by factors such as wiring quality and noise on the line.
To get the maximum speed, you'll need a Belkin adaptor at either end of the link. Each Gigabit Powerline HD unit measures 84mm side to side - it's 50mm deep and 116mm top to bottom - so you may well want to double-check the sockets you propose to stick the adaptors into to ensure there's room for them. The adaptors are large enough to potentially intrude on adjacent power sockets.
More than powerline: inside Gigle's Mediaxtream chippery
The power pins are at the top of the back panel, so it's not just a question of whether there's sufficient space either side of the socket, but that the adaptor isn't going to run up against a floor, desk or other surface placed below them. The Ethernet port is on the base on the unit, so you'll need to allow a further 30-40mm beyond the height of the device.
You can, of course, use a distribution board to get round this spacing problem but, as we'll see, that may not be such a good idea.
Like almost all of today's HomePlug offerings, Belkin's incorporates push-button encryption key sharing across the network. Plug two or more adaptors in, press the button on one for a second or so until the LED with a padlock icon blinks then go and press the buttons on the remaining adaptors. They'll all share a 128-bit key and encrypt all the data the flows between then from that moment on. Adaptors not involved in this process won't get the key and won't be able to decode the data.
There's no software supplied with the adaptors to allow you to set the key manually, which you might want to do if you have an existing HomePlug AV network that you want the new adaptors to talk to, though not at the speed of the new units, of course.
FWIW. If you add a directional folded yagi push on aerial to the average 2.4Ghz rx/tx system router aerial, the range can be considerably extended. I have one receiving from a wireless camera located inside a screened box(caravan), going through exterior and interior brick walls to a receiver inside a chipboard cupboard. The only interference comes from a local microwave. I recently provided one to a friend who lives in a centuries old house, and it worked there for wifi, even though some of the walls were three feet thick. Passive repeater aerials can work in some circumstances. Personally, I use cat5e wiring, but I have a reliability approach.
In the dim and distant past, as a product designer, I found that longer distance mains wiring data transmission was a very hit or miss affair. Blocks of flats were a total nightmare, with signals going off in all directions, or not going anywhere at all! The results also varied by the minute depending on the circuit appliance loadings. In addition, the potential for spurious harmonic RF generation is vast. For those of a masochistic engineering bent, I would suggest creating the spice model of house wiring and looking at the impedance/propagation patterns.
In the US, I would expect problems from the use of 2 phases of supply on different radial runs.
Works perfectly for me.
I bought one of these yesterday and it worked perfectly from the second it was plugged in.
The plugs show all three LEDs as Blue which indicates a fast connection speed, depsite the two plugs being installed on the Ground and Second Floors respectively.
So far I have used them to stream video and music with no artefacts or glitches whatsoever, despite multiple other electrical devices being used in the house - many of which were plugged into the same sockets as the Powerline HDs.
All in all I am more than happy with this product - it supplied a neat solution for my home LAN which avoided the need for unreliable wireless and / or drilling holes and laying Cat6 cabling and switches everywhere.
Understand bandwidth terminology
"Almost every 200Mb/s adaptor uses a 10/100 Ethernet port, capping the throughput at 100Mb/s."
100baseT and 1000baseT ethernet is full duplex. This means you get 100/1000 Mb/s in each direction, and thus double that in total. In contrast wireless and powerline figures are quoted as total bandwidth. Thus a 100Mb/s port can carry the 200 Mb/s of which such a powerline adaptor is capable.
I'll be sticking with my CAT6 cabling giving me 2000 Mb/s (in wireless / powerline) terminology. :-)