* Prices may differ from that shown
Rather than use cat 5 cables, why not use the existing mains electrical cabling around your house to send internet data instead? You simply connect one to your router, and then the other unit receives the data and broadcasts as wifi instead. The data throughput is far better than I got with wifi. I used it to connect my media equipment in the lounge (Slingbox,Freesat box, VuBox, etc) to the router, which was in the front room.
The data speeds seemed as good as if I had used a cat 5 cable.
Beware though, these 'homeplug' solutions have come in for some stick from listeners to short wave radio, who complain that these cause interference. If you do listen to SW, or have a neighbour who does, might be worth bearing in mind before buying this product.
So as an AV200, the data throughput on this makes it ideal for streaming high bandwidth data around the house without the use of cables.
Get rid of network cables around your house and out building with the use of a home plug kit.
------- Suggested reasons for buying this kit -------
Perfect for media streaming from your main PC or Media box to your Laptop, media player (hooked up to your TV); with streaming speed well above the suggested 20Mbs you will be able to experience HD movies on your TV. Who knows once you have experienced HD quality movies you may never go back! It's great for games consoles, as you don't need the expensive wireless adaptors that actually slow your gaming connections.
Extend your network and or improve your networking speeds, to another part of the house, or external building that shares the same power connections without having to install networking cable through walls and underground. Not to mention the ability to move locations from time to time. Wireless G has a maximum of 54Mbs and actual average speed of around 8Mbs while this Wireless N has a maximum of 200Mbs, actual average speed of 40Mbs. My average speed tests for the 2073N was 48Mbs wireless and 90Mbs wired. You don't need to replace your existing router / modem to support new devices with Wireless N capabilities.
The wireless home plug continues to support your existing wireless devices as it supports Wireless b, g and n, however when you are trying to stream video it will generally go as fast / slow as the slowest connected device. My advice is if you have other wireless devices on an existing router / modem, keep them on that, save your Wireless N network for media streaming and extending wireless access as mentioned above. Wireless N is rated as having less dead zones in the home!
------- The important information HOW GOOD IS IT REALLY -------
* Wired home plug Ethernet to Ethernet (200Mbs) we got average of 12MBs which equates to 96Mbs which is fabulous!
* Wireless N (200Mbs) we got an average of 6MBs which equates to 46Mbs
* Wireless G (54Mbs) we got an average of 2.1MBs equating to 16.8Mbs
To give you an idea of how the figures add up, I carried out a few further tests transferring files without the home plug kit:
* 1Gb network transferred files at an average of 26MBs equating to 208Mbs
* 100Mb network transferred files at an average of just 8MBs equating to 64Mbs
I hear you saying "Why are these speeds nowhere near as fast as the connection states"? In fact there are many different things to take into consideration with regard to transferring information over a network, firstly the transferring of a file is similar to someone providing instructions over a telephone, which is a two way conversation, information and then confirmation of the information. With regard to the Wireless networks, they are reduced further as each packet of data contains additional information and because the transmission undergoes conversion from Ethernet to wireless, the conversion takes small amounts of time and because data is passed both ways the conversation is slower.
------- Box contents & Packaging -------
The Billion BiPac P106N is supplied in a well contained box, with excellent product pictures and information, the text size of the information is a little on the small size but readable; the package is bursting with goodies: including two, one meter Ethernet cables, Quick guide instructions for both devices (who reads the full manual anyway, well actually a lot of customers do especially when things go wrong!). One of the most clever ancillaries I have ever seen with a device that is plugged into a power outlet is the ability to alter the position of the device, this kit comes with two sets of 3 pin mains adaptors, the first positions the home plug in its upright position while the second allows it to be plugged in upside down the main advantage here is where you want to plug the home plug in and there is not enough space below the power outlet to fit it (were the space between the outlet and the skirting board are two close). You also get two disks containing full user guides and a networking utility program.
------- Advantages -------
Both devices have Ethernet connections, allowing for direct connected devices without using the wireless connection, by doing this it minimises lost data packets, interference from other networks in your area - four in a 50 meters area of my location.
Wired network is secured at the push of a button! The home plug kit uses preconfigured security for the wired part of the network, ensuring that your network is secured using similar technology to wireless security. The only difference is that it you don't need to configure it, just press the button and away you go!
Although the current speed of the Wireless N is up to 300Mbs, billion have used the 200Mbs for the wireless N in this kit primarily because the speed is dependent on the speed of the network, the home plug is a 200Mbs network device and therefore it makes sense that the wireless cannot be any faster than 200Mbs.
Intelligent power saving features, when the network is not in use it goes to sleep, and as soon as network traffic is detected it will awaken.
------- Disadvantages --------
The only real downside to this kit is the lack of a unique preset password for web management interface and no wireless security set as default.
-------- Items that affected testing -------
* External wireless networks using the same channel, it was necessary to try different channels in order to obtain the best results. This is common with all wireless devices both in cases of multiple networks and also to gain the greatest transmission distance. It is always advisable to try different wireless channels when you think your network is slow, by using different frequencies you can get around objects differently and also stop other wireless network from cancelling out some of your signal.
* Wireless networks are affected by a whole host of external factors with this in mind I would rather use the Home Plug Ethernet cables to connect my media streamer to my TV because it provided fabulous HD results without any picture stuttering (freezing). So I am not sure if this is really a disadvantage, but worth mentioning anyway.
------ Initial setup of the kit -------
We all expect computer products to be plug and play in today's world and the P106N is no different. When reading the quick setup guide it takes you through the basics including how to secure the wired network with just one button press. Further configuration of the device is through your typical web interface, accessing the web interface is as simple as typing in a network address (192.168.1.253) into your web browser, and entering the default username and password (admin).
NOTE: please change your password as soon as you access the web interface, the reason is that anyone can access your wireless network using the default credentials. Many of you reading this will know that some modems / routers are now shipped with a unique password (normally on the bottom of the device) for this reason. If you make a mistake or forget the password you can always reset the device back to the manufacturer's defaults using the Reset Button, located on the bottom of the device.
------- Advanced setup -------
Once you are up and running, the disks contain detailed user guides, one for the wireless N and the other for the home plug. The user guides are comprehensive, with simple explanations of many of the network acronyms.
------- Conclusion --------
Overall the BiPac P106N is a great addition to any network that requires media streaming and wireless N capability. Not to mention that you can separate wireless networks that will allow the speed hungry of you to have the speed you need and still allow others to connect to the internet. If you are going to stream media and you buy this kit I would still recommend that you connect your devices using the Ethernet connections because of the major increase in throughput and no interference from wireless networks.
For anyone looking for a none wireless version of the Home Plug Kit Billion do a P104 BiPac 2071 which contains two Ethernet connected Home Plugs 200AV, take a look at http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/ShopDetail.asp?ProductID=7236
Note for all users, if you have ever had problems access another PC in your home, just remember your firewall is designed to stop a lot of access and you may need to read your firewall instructions to allow another PC to access yours.