Computers, Networking, Reviews

Hands On: TP-LINK AV200 Mini Powerline Adapter Starter Kit

TP-LINK-AV200

TP-LINK AV200 Mini Powerline Adapter Starter Kit

Design7
Features7
Performance7
Ease of Use8
Value for Money8
7.4 out of 10
Summary If you are looking for a powerline Ethernet kit, the TP-LINK AV200 Powerline Adapter Kit works as well as similar kits at a lower price point.

Introduction

In this connected world, there are 3 basic methods of getting information from one computer to another. All 3 have their advantages. And disadvantages. These methods are:

Wired Ethernet networking provides the fastest and highest quality signal.  However, running cable can get quite expensive to run in homes that do not lend itself to running cable. It also severely limits the mobility of mobile computers such as notebooks and netbooks.

Wireless networking allows one to “cut the cable”.  While wireless has improved greatly over the years, particularly with wireless-N technology, limited range along with “cold” spots have hampered it’s success for streaming media.

Powerline networking is basically another form of Ethernet cable networking.  The difference is that powerline networking uses the electrical wiring in a home to duplicate the function of routing Ethernet cable to areas that would not be accessible otherwise.  It is there to provide Ethernet cable quality networking for steaming media.  It is not as fast as Ethernet cable, and it not as flexible as wireless networking; it is simply an alternative when the other options are not feasible.

The TP-LINK AV200 Mini Powerline Adapter Starter Kit is one product that falls into that last networking method.  I am always eager to check out powerline kits since running running Ethernet cable is not economically feasible in my home, and I have had issues trying to stream wirelessly.

If you are looking at powerline networking, here is your opportunity to see another kit in action.

What’s In The Box?

The AV200 adapter kit comes in a consumer oriented package with the typical white to yellow to green TP-LINK color scheme.  From a marketing perspective, it looks nice.  At least to a marketing impaired engineering type like myself.

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The packaging provides a potential customer a very good idea of what is inside and what it can do for him or her.

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Digging down into the inner packaging, you find the adapters well protected for the trip from the factory to your home or business.

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Once the contents have been removed, you will find a set of TL-PA211 adapters, Ethernet cables, Quick Installation Guide, a couple of product catalogs, and a Resource CD.

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A few close ups of the TL-PA211 adapters

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Hello. I’m from the heartland of the U.S. Lots of corn and beans, although Iowa is a lot more than just farmland. It also has a few computer enthusiasts (no, not me!). I’ve been around PCs since I got my 1st PC XT aloooong time ago. WGS is one of the first sites I found centered around WHS. And the best. Every once in awhile, I do get away from the KB and enjoy time with and my wife and our 4 kids. And I do have a day job.
  • Jason

    Nothing more disappointing than the performance of powerline. Have tried several. All equally poor. Can't say I'd expect this kit to perform much differently.

  • Jay

    I tried PL in the past. have now moved on to MoCA addition to my WiFi home network. Work great!

  • Markus

    Question about your article: I have the 500 Mbit PA511 version and am having trouble getting good speeds.   What is the reason that your FileCopy Transfer speeds were so slow compared to the PassMark and Utility speeds?  I’m trying to find my own bottlenecks and understanding yours would be helpful!
    Many thanks,
    Markus

    • FWIW – I’ve done some playing around at work on file transfer rates. I’ve copied a folder containing around 65MB of file from one machine to an SMB share on another machine through a 100mbps switch. It takes around 24s or  about 2.7MBytes per second which is comparable to the speeds the author is getting with the homeplugs.

    • ATX

      FileCopy Transfer SPEDD in MBps = Mega BYTES per sec
      Test SPEED in Mbps = Mega bits per sec
      1 Byte = 8 bits in communication = about 10 bits

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