Devolo dLAN 500Mb/s powerline network adaptor review
Fast Ethernet through a three-pin plug
Devolo's dLan 500 AVmini adaptors score highly for me for two reasons: they operate at powerline's highest speed grade, 500Mb/s, and they're compact.
Powerline adaptors used to be fairly small, but that was back in the 14Mb/s days of HomePlug 1.0, one of two original competing powerline standards of the early 2000s. Upping the peak speed first to 85Mb/s and then to 200Mb/s fattened up the adaptors as well as the data pipe they maintained.
AVmini: the smallest - yet fastest - Devolo powerline adaptors
Miniaturisation has finally caught up, and Devolo's AVmini is smaller than the company's 85Mb/s units I found that I still had in a shoebox somewhere. The two units have the same height and width, but the new model isn't as thick.
There's a catch, of course: the block on which the three UK mains power pins are mounted means the AVmini still juts out from a wall socket by a fair margin, but then so do all UK-centric powerline adaptors.
That includes Devolo's other 500Mb/s adaptor, the considerably more bulky AVplus, but this one has been beefed up to give it a pass-through three-pin power socket. Its face stands only slightly further from from the wall as the AVmini does, but there's less of a gap behind.
AVplus: bulky but with a very handy power passthrough
It also extends downward much further - the powerline internals are mounted below the pass-through rig - so the Ethernet port is potentially much less readily accessible. You might even find it inaccessible, if your power sockets are mounted very low on the wall. If the plate is too low down, the floor could stop the AVplus fitting into the socket at all.
Still, I can personally attest that the AVplus - and pass-through adaptors like it from other manufacturers - can be darn useful if your house or flat was wired up in an era before today's profusion of gadgets and, like me, you need plenty of socket gangs to keep everything plugged in at once.
Powerline vendors caution you not to plug their adaptors into gangs, but doing so has never caused me any bother. Still, it's good to known that a shortage of wall-mounted sockets need not impede you from setting up a powerline link.
Fine here, but if your power socket's close to the floor, the AVplus may not fit
Powerline for me forms a solid bridge between my wireless router and a number of net-connectable devices, including my TV and Blu-ray player, and the nipper's games console.
I've been using both the AVmini and the AVplus for a while now as the two ends of a busy link that's hosted frequent movie streams and Xbox Live gaming sessions. The adaptors get warm, but have yet to get hot to the touch. They feel cooler than the 200Mb/s adaptors I've been using up until giving these ones a try.
Next page: Powerline performance
Comparative tests with 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz a/b/g/n?
Comparison with wired Cat5e via 1Gbps Switch?
Effect of all the light sockets with cheap CFL lamps?
Spectrum analyser measuring EMC?
Effect of 5 x PC / Laptop cheap PSUs
Effect of cheap lightweight phone charger and flat phone on same socket
Effect of Filtered extension strip/non-filtered to connect it to a skirting board
Effect of plugging both ends and gear at both ends into 2 x UPS
Or is this just Shiny Gadget Advertising?
Cue radio hams in 1, 2, 3......INCOMING!!!!!!!!
Re: Cat5 and Gigabit
you want at least Cat6 for a stable gigabit network. Just like I have here at home, in fact.
Overkill. Gigabit was specified for cat-5. Experience with cat-5 in the field suggested insufficient margin to tolerate all the kinks and scrapes that the cable plant got subjected to in the field, and cat-5e was born. I doubt you can still purchase non-e plain cat-5. Cat-5e is extremely widely used for Gbit ethernet (such as everywhere in my workplace) and has no stability issues at all provided you respect the distance limits (max 94m of fixed wiring with max 6m total of patch cable at the ends, no joins in the middle. If the cable run in the middle is considerably shorter, as it usually is, you can take some liberties with longer patch cables at the ends).