D-Link has designed the adaptor with the Ethernet adaptor on the side rather than the bottom. The downside: it'll have to be placed in the right-most socket of multi-port boards and wall-sockets or the Ethernet cable may get in the way of other devices - though not ordinary plugs, I found.
Having the Ethernet port on the base of the adaptor can be a problem too if your wall-sockets are mounted close to the ground. If that's your situation, D-Link's port positioning will be welcome.
The bundled utility makes managing your LAN easy
And anyone will appreciate its power-conservation abilities. The Devolo adaptor - now a year or so old - consumes around 0.02W when it's plugged in, rising to 0.04W when data is flowing, according to the Reg Hardware power meter. The D-Link, however, generally stays at 0.02W. Occasionally, it'll peak at 0.04W, but quickly drops back down, even when, say, you're copying a file.
Leave the DHP-306AV plugged in but not connected to a local device and after a minute or so, it drops down to less than 0.01W, popping back up to 0.02W every five seconds or so to keep the powerline link alive.
D-Link sells two DHP-306AVs together as the DHP-307AV "starter kit" for which the company wants £100 though you can find it online for as little as £70. That's par for course, which is handy because the D-Link delivers the same performance as competing products too. It seems like whoever's adaptor you choose you'll get the same bandwidth for the same money.
Reg Hardware likes powerline Ethernet as a way of reaching those parts wireless networks cannot reach, and the D-Link adaptor reaches as well as any other product of its kind does - but uses less energy into the bargain. ®
More Powerline Reviews
D-Link DHP-306AV powerline Ethernet adaptor
Radio 4 FM isn't going to be affected by these
But Ambulance services, the Police, Military etc etc all use shortwave radios, and these devices defecate all over that spectrum.
Let me repeat that, the interference these devices cause you probably won't see, which is one of the problems. "Hey, it works for me, so why should I care?"
"The D-Link adaptor has push-button encryption: press the key on each adaptor and they'll jointly agree on and share a 128-bit AES encryption key. "
Oh, I wonder why they would need to use encryption? Oh, that's right, it's because the house wiring acts as a broadcast antenna (mains wiring isn't shielded) so any Tom, Dick or Harry can sniff your network from down the road.
It's just a shame that the group fighting against these devices seemed to have hired a web designer from 1997:
I think a far more interesting story for the Reg to print would be about how these devices have been certified for use when they clearly and plainly cause problems to other SW band users. They are not fit for the purpose they are sold for.
Split phases or transformers can be a hassle
Some (many?) people have split or two phases (two hot wires plus neutral) power line supplies and should these adapters be on different phases loss of signal can affect operation.
I solved this by using 0.1 ceramic capacitors between the phases to improve signal transmission.
Often power suppliers will equip street side transformers with similar devices on request if you want to connect across therm to, say, a neighbour.
If in doubt find an electronics technician - there should be a fuse or breaker protection between where the capacitor is attached and the meter - even it is on a shared circuit (i.e. doesn't have to be dedicated).
Switched power supplies in equipment can play heck with these devices, as can fluorescent lights.
If Gbps PLT adaptors *don't* harm Radio 4....
Can you explain this, as well as interference to DAB?
Gbps PLT based on the Gigle chipset operate from about 2-30MHz and 50-320MHz. The HF spectrum is notched in the Amateur bands, but the VHF spectrum in current products are not notched at all. The can lead to interference FM (whole band), CAA VHF and DAB to name a few services.
Gbps products have been tested in a UKAS laboratory and consistently fail EMC test specs that they claim conformance to. I can back up my argument; can you?
Also, I'd be interested in seeing a Reg Hardware test of these Gbps devices and actually demonstrate under real-world domestic conditions that the devices actually achieve anywhere near the throughput that they claim.
What is interesting is that domestic wiring and spurs become of resonant lengths at VHF, which means that a given Gbit PLT in the real world produces a non-deterministic RF transmitted spectrum from the wiring.
@TeeCee re cost
TeeCee, I use Netgear XEB1004 85Mbps adapters that cost £75 the pair and have four Ethernet ports on each unit to connect my AV kit at the back of my telly to the Internet. The Nintendo Wii has Wi-Fi and no Ethernet so I leave it to its own devices but both the Xbox 360 and PS3 are connected over Ethernet. No doubt in time I will have a TV that uses Ethernet and if I update my superb WD TV to the new WD TV Live Plus that will also sprout Ethernet.
Why don't I just use wireless? I find it easier to use Ethernet for static devices as it is rock solid reliable and I have never noticed any problems as a result of using HomePlug. Also it beats the arse out of attempting to enter WEP/WPA security keys using a virtual keyboard to make a wireless connection with your games console.
In time I expect every device in my living room will demand an Interrnet Connection and I shall continue to use Ethernet rather than wireless wherever possible and I have no intention of stringing Ethernet cable around the house. HomePlug for me thanks.
Re: More info please
The UK edition has a standard UK three-pin plug.
Oh, and buy us a broad-spectrum analyser and we'll do the test.
FWIW, I've tested lots of these devices and had Radio 4 FM on in the background entirely without interference.