Feeds
75%
Netgear XAV5101

Netgear Powerline Nano 500 Ethernet-over-mains adaptor

Mains-line networking

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Wire oh wire

Like all powerline adaptors, the Netgear Nano gets warm in use, but not excessively so. They're cooler than my regular-size Devolo 200Mbps adaptors. The XAV5101 also consumes the oligatory half a Watt or less when it's not actively transmitting or receiving data.

My real-world testing of the XAV5101 involved pulling files down from a Nas box over the powerline link - the kind of thing most folk installing this kind of kit will do - and observing the measured throughput.

Netgear XAV5101 Powerline Nano 500

Doesn't run hot

Downloading from a WD MyBook Live network hard drive, connected by AFP, to my 15in MacBook Pro yielded a speed of 11.8MBps - 94.4Mbps. Of course this doesn't give the raw throughput - different data transfer protocols have higher or lower overheads; the same file copied over the same system but this time using SMB saw the time fall to 52Mbps, for instance. Moral: pick your protocols carefully.

The state of your home's wiring will have an effect too, so your mileage is going to vary. Here's how the new Netgear adaptors compare with the previous generation, to give you a guide to relative performance. Note that the Devolo product is a 200Mbps and so comes with a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port.

Netgear XAV5101 Powerline Nano 500

Download throughput in Megabits per Second (Mbps)
Longer lines are better

Using the iperf 2.0.5 bandwidth measure on the Vulture Central lab bench to fill the powerline pipe to capacity, I got a ten-run average one-way bandwidth of 182.1Mbps. These adaptors are clearly capable of getting much better performance than I got at home.

Netgear XAV5101 Powerline Nano 500

iperf average max bandwidth in Megabits per Second (Mbps)
Longer lines are better

Try as I might, I couldn't get the Netgear kit to interfere with either my DAB radio or the FM tranny I have in the kitchen. Well-behaving powerline adaptors are 'notched' to prevent them transmitting on used frequencies, and in all instances I've seen of powerline kit causing noise, the receivers have been placed near the adaptor.

Noisy adaptors there are, but I'm sceptical even these bad-behaved adaptors - notching does reduce performance - will be filling the ether with high-frequency noise will be sending police cars up the wrong street and causing aircraft to fall from the sky.

Verdict

Netgear's latest powerline adaptors deliver a decent performance, but it's their reduced size that's the real selling point here, ensuring they take up far less wall space than powerline Ethernet boxes of yore. They're clearly much faster than 200Mbps adaptors, though perhaps not sufficiently so to warrant replacing existing HomePlug AV kit. ®

More Networking Gear Reviews

Lantronix
xPrintServer
Netgear
ReadyNas Duo
Lindy
wireless
extender
LaCie
LaPlug
Solwise
Net-3G-A10

Build a business case: developing custom apps

75%
Netgear XAV5101

Netgear Powerline Nano 500 Ethernet-over-mains adaptor

Compact powerline adaptor with IEEE 1901 and HomePlug AV support.
Price: XAVB5101 two-adaptor starter pack: £100. RRP

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?