Wifi is one the best inventions in recent times. It has simplified connecting to the internet and allows us to be far more flexible in where we can use computers. Unfortunately my house, it seems, has a wireless blackspot exactly where we want our desktop computer to sit. Moving our router proved ineffective to solving the problem and we were considering purchasing a more powerful router, or even a second router, when we came across these Netgear homeplugs. These ingenious devices go back to the dark ages of using wires to connect but in a very unique way that gives the reliability of wired connections without the... well... wires.
They come in a pack of two along with a manual which while reading I thought "It cannot be this simple?". The first of the two devices you plug into a power socket next to your router, and connect an ethernet cable between the homeplug plug and router. My power cables are now connected the internet - whatever next?!
The second homeplug is plugged in next to your computer with an ethernet cable connecting the two, as before. The result is your internet signal goes through the power lines in your walls until it gets to your computer. The connection is fast and will never drop, unlike a Wifi signal. It is essentially the same experience as if you had connected a long cable from your router to your computer. There are lights on the homeplugs that indicate whether they are connected to each other, and whether and internet connection is flowing between them.
I was pleased that there was zero setup involved on any of the devices - simply plug them in and they work. There is a CD in the box which contains user guides and some encryption software, but it is not needed to connect to the internet.
These homeplugs were a great buy, and have done nothing except do the job perfectly! At the time of my writing this they can be purchased for £40-£60 both online or at a shop such as PC World - not shockingly cheap, but a good price for something that works so well.
So here's the problem, you have wireless or wired internet around the house but from your main comptuer or gaming console you get a slow connection or have a ugly cable trailing all over the place. Solution...Powerline adaptor!!
~~What is it?~~
Basically the concept is your house or flat etc runs off a ring main. The adaptors work by carrying the signal around the mains anywhere in the house and you simply plug an adaptor in a mains socket in the room you want a connection in. Also acording to Netgear (havn't tested this out) it can some how jump ring mains?? As long as the connection is going to be in the same household the signal can jump from one to the other.
~~how to connect~~
When I unpacked this item I was baffled as to why there is only two adaptors and two ethernet cables. I was expecting some software to install, a thick manual but NO! Couldn't be simpler, all I had to do was plug one adaptor next to my router and run an ethernet cable from the adaptor to the router followed by placing the second adaptor (this case in my room) and run an ethernet cable into my X-box. Once turned on they automatically pick up the network settings, even if they have encryption on, simply wait for the lights to start flashing (indicates data being transfered) and away you go.
I got a pack of two for £99.95 from John Lewis but looking around there are some cheaper deals online, I just like the hastle free service.
The reason I went for this model and not the 1001 is because of the speed. In my opinion if you only want to use it mainly for browsing the internet in a room you can't normally get a signal then you want the cheaper model. If however you're into media streaming, gaming or transfering data then having speeds of up to 200mbps is what you want.
You can run these from a mains adaptor, just put the Netgear adaptor closest to the plug and it works fine. e.g. I have a four way adaptor connecting my TV, Blu-ray system, Router and Netgear adaptor, just plug the adaptor closest to the plug.
You can buy more individually if you need to and also ethernet switches which I won't go into but they work with those as well.
When it comes to networking I've always chosen Netgear products, they are a bit more pricey than some other brands but they never fail me. For reliability and ease of use I recommend this product, you'll be amazed at how little work there is in setting it up.
I always had problems getting my broadband connection to work from anything other than the engineer's port on my BT master socket, so ripped out all the spurious DIY phone cabling in the house and went wireless ... this was OK in some rooms but not in my office where the wireless connection on my desktop was intermittent ... after contemplating putting in a local ethernet network, I read about these Powerline adaptors and thought I'd give them a go. Now, at first they seem pretty expensive but having used them for over a year now, I'm really impressed and think they are great value. I bought a twin pack of these HDX101 200Mbps ones and, honestly, ten minutes after opening the box was in business and haven't looked back (most of that 10 mins was getting into a socket behind my desk !). Plug one into a normal plug socket near your router, pop an ethernet cable (supplied in the box) into it and connect to the router ... go off and plug the other one in near your PC and connect it to your PC with an ethernet cable, turn the plugs on and that's it. Yes, its that simple ! Networked straight away. I get 100Mbps on these over my old wires. and they bridge a couple of ring circuits no problem and even cope with the sparking of my mains electric fence energiser (I'm on a farm not a survivalist compound by the way !), so if they cope with that should be fine in any domestic situation.
One thing to note is that the manual says they dont work if plugged into a surge protector, so I've not done that which could leave them vulnerable to getting fried if there's a power surge.
Theoretically should be able to add other plug units at a later date if required, but if these are not "HD" I think the connection may drop back to the non-HD max speed 85Mbps (?). If doing this, check for compatibility of new ones.
Overall superb ... if you are struggling at all with wireless, I'd recommend these very highly. I'm not saying wireless is bad - I've still got it for other things e.g. laptop, music, radios etc., but for me in one room this really was a great solution after years of struggling with dropped connections etc.
This is a fantastic product, it basically allows you to convert any power socket in your house in to a 200mb/s network connection, without any extra wiring.
I live in a large block of flats and most of flats have a wireless router, which has been interfering with my wireless access, after changing the setting on the router like the wireless channel and others with no success, I decided to invest in a set of these of these, and have not regretted it. The network speeds are more than i could have ever has with my wireless connection and it has not dropped out even once since I installed it, and is plenty for streaming files from my PC to my XBOX.
The only problems are that you can not use it with a surge protector extension cable, as this interferes with the signals it sends, but a normal extension is fine. The plug is also rather large, and on my extension it takes up so much room that the socket on either side are blocked.
The instillation of this could not be simpler, just plug in a network cable (supplied) in to the back of your router, and the other end in to the adapter and plug it in to the wall, and then get another adapter and plug it in to any socket in the house and then connect the cable to your PC, and you are good to go.
Over all the benefits of this product far out weigh the size of the unit, and I would 100% recommend this product.