Linksys Powerline Kit

By on February 18, 2009
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Plug and Play. We’ve heard that many times before but Linksys’ Powerline Networking Kit really works by doing just that- plugging it in and start playing. Packaged neatly in a small blue box, this kit contains two units along with their stands and two Ethernet cables plus the quint-essential DVD and Quickstart guide. Let me [...]

Plug and Play. We’ve heard that many times before but Linksys’ Powerline Networking Kit really works by doing just that- plugging it in and start playing. Packaged neatly in a small blue box, this kit contains two units along with their stands and two Ethernet cables plus the quint-essential DVD and Quickstart guide.

pl85_package

Let me explain the need for this kit first. We recently moved to a new office in a somewhat older building which didn’t have any Networking laid out. The ADSL connection is in one room and I sit in another (with one more room in the middle) and the very thick concrete walls prevent me from getting a continuous Wi-Fi connection. So instead of getting incredibly long networking cables and drilling holes, I decided to pick one of these kits to see if it could help me with the issue.

The issue comes with two small network adapters- certainly smaller than what I expected. One of them has a single network connection while the other has four. The single connection box went into the ADSL room where I plugged the supplied Ethernet cable into the router and the power to the wall-socket directly. Power and Ethernet LEDs came on that unit with the Home LED occasionally blinking.

pl85_routers1

Next, I connected the four port router to my iMac with an Ethernet cable and plugged it into the extension cord powering my Mac and a few other devices. The recommended setup is plugging the unit directly into the wall however the lack of a multi-plug made me take my chances. On this end, the LED for socket 1 of the Ethernet port lighted up along with the power light and the home icon as well.

pl85_routers2

I made sure I turned Airport off and started the browser. Lo and behold. The web pages started loading much faster than my WiFi connection. I checked the latency on both the connections which was almost similar- 170ms to tbreak.com so it must be the weak signal that made WiFi come and go. The 4MB connection in the office was being fully used when I downloaded a file from Etisalat’s Speed Test site getting a continuous 400k+ speed. I played a bit of WoW as well without any lags or issues

Internally, the 4-port hub has a 100Mbps connection speed which was verified using Sandra to measure bandwidth between two computers both connected to the 4-point adapters. While this internal connection will offer consistent rates for everybody, the Power Line performance will obviously differ from case to case depending on how the wiring in your home/office is setup.

Overall, the Linksys Powerline Networking Kit worked really well for me in the office scenario. I’m not sure how well it would do streaming Hi-Def movies from your Media Center in a two floored house but for general SOHO requirement, this kit works really well. Linksys has also priced it to sell at AED 499 (US$ 135). I like it.


About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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