So Netgear have just launched their new set of powerline adapters, the PL1200. Capable of speeds of up to 1200Mbps, we were sent a pair to put to the test. My guess, it will never hit speeds that quick, but we’ll see.

The PL200 comes as two powerline adapters, one for your internet enabled device and one for your router. It also comes with the cables to get both ends hooked up to the kit. Unfortunately the adapter doesn’t come as a plug socket adapter, so if you do use it, you’ll have to sacrifice one wall plug to use it. Other designs on the market allow you to plug devices into the adapter and still receive power. The adapters are relatively small. Smaller than some we’ve seen on the market, but there still poses a slight issue with fit. I found it hard to fit the adapter as well as another plug into a double wall socket, something that could cause some issue.

There is another model on the market however that includes a pass-through on the adapter itself making it easier to plug different devices into the wall power. Setup is absolutely simple, and only needs to be plugged into each device. From here, both devices talk to each other and you’re online. Simple as that. It’s the same as plugging a networking cable from your router and internet enabled device. Once you’ve set up the original pair, you can buy extra adapters for other areas of the house. Netgear enables up to 16 devices all running through the powerline network simultaneously.

netgear plo1200 2

There is a gigabit network port on the underside of the adapter where your networking cable will plug into. However, there isn’t any internet service providers in the UK that are cable of that kind of speed, so it’s hard to tell if they live up to their claimed speed. However. file transfers between devices on the powerline network was extremely quick.

There are several colour changing indicators on the front of the adapters giving you an easy read of the status of the network.  The light shines green when powered, amber when it’s saving energy. It also blinks green when the security settings are being updated. There is a dedicated security button to enable this on each adapter. Note that once security is turned on, you can only use Netgear powerline adapters. You can’t get more from other manufacturers, they just won’t work.

During our tests we saw a sustained speed of around 380Mbps. This is by far one of the fastest powerline networking adapters on the market at the moment, and a way off from its claimed speed of 1200Mbps. But that could do with the ISPs not providing fast enough broadband to homes.

One thing I did notice is that Netgear are claiming a 1200Mbps transfer speed yet the only port avail;able is a gigabit networking port. This doesn’t add up  to their claimed networking speeds which I thought was a bit bizarre. Why did they need to bend the truth? SAying that, for around £70, this is by far the best purchase on the market to date for your networking needs.



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Stef Murphy