HOME­PLUG GROWS UP

Si­neoji PL1800EP

HWM (Singapore) - - TEST - by ZacharyChan

The premise of power line net­work­ing is sim­ple. You have a pair of Home­Plug adapters; one goes into a socket next to your router and the other into the socket of the room that you wish to ex­tend your net­work to. It is cost ef­fec­tive and doesn’t re­quire ad­di­tional setup or ca­bling. The prob­lem with power line net­work­ing is that ev­ery home is wired dif­fer­ently, which can greatly af­fect net­work per­for­mance. Also, sig­nal noise gen­er­ated by other elec­tri­cal equip­ment, from phone charger to TV to wash­ing ma­chine will also in­ter­fere with speeds.

This is the rea­son that the num­ber you see on a Home­Plug prod­uct and the ac­tual speed you get in your home can wildly vary from room to room and user to user. This is also why Home­Plug has never been a vi­able so­lu­tion if you need sus­tained data rates for high band­width tasks like gam­ing or me­dia stream­ing.

Si­neoji’s new­est PL1800EP aims to change that. In­stead of the more com­mon Qual­comm/Atheros chipsets, the PL1800EP uses a Broad­com BCM60500 chipset, which sup­ports the Home­Plug AV2 stan­dard and MIMO beam­form­ing tech­nol­ogy. This sup­pos­edly al­lows the PL1800EP to uti­lize all three elec­tri­cal wires (Live, Neu­tral, Ground) in your home to trans­mit data as op­posed to just a sin­gle wire of past-gen prod­ucts. The­o­ret­i­cally, you should ex­pe­ri­ence higher data through­put and a more sta­ble con­nec­tion.

As its name im­plies, the PL1800EP car­ries a max data rate of 1800Mbps. Now, re­mem­ber that the num­ber on the box is the ideal rate ca­pa­ble of the chipset with zero in­ter­fer­ence in a con­trolled lab set­ting. Once you plug it into a live socket, all the en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors men­tioned above comes into play. When asked, Si­neoji them­selves put real world speeds at an av­er­age of 200Mbps. Dur­ing testing, I was able to achieve an av­er­age of 115Mbps when rout­ing my net­work from the fiber point in the hall to my router in the study. Si­neoji is work­ing on a new firmware to im­prove speeds to meet their claims. I tested this new firmware, and got up to 150Mbps. I also tested the same adapters on an­other home, and achieved 190Mbps on av­er­age.

So, while the new firmware should im­prove per­for­mance, how much you gain will still de­pend on your home wiring.

Still, com­pared to the 45Mbps to 60Mbps achieved on past gen Home­Plugs, the PL1800EP proves that the 100Mbps bar­rier is not just achiev­able, but also sus­tain­able.

TESTED & RATED

8.0 /10

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.