TP-Link 300Mb/s AV500 Wi-Fi Pow­er­line Ex­ten­der

Tech Advisor - - REVIEWS - Si­mon Jary

The TP-Link 300Mb/s AV500 Wi-Fi Pow­er­line Ex­ten­der is a neat starter kit of Pow­er­line adap­tors that both give you near-eth­er­net speeds in rooms away from your in­ter­net router and cre­ate a sec­ond Wi-Fi hotspot in your home.

It con­sists of two adap­tors. The base unit is one of the small­est we’ve seen. This is the one you plug into a power socket near your router and con­nect to the router with one of the two supplied eth­er­net ca­bles.

The sec­ond adap­tor is a lit­tle larger, but by no means chunky. It’s lo­cated in the sec­ond room where you want to con­nect de­vices such as smart TVs, games con­soles, Sky+, Tivo, Ap­ple TV and other set-top boxes. These can be con­nected us­ing the other eth­er­net ca­ble or via the new Wi-Fi hotspot it cre­ates in the room – handy for lap­top, smart­phone and tablet users.

The sec­ond eth­er­net port on the Wi-Fi adap­tor is welcome as many homes now have more than one de­vice that re­quires fast in­ter­net ac­cess. The eth­er­net ports and ca­bles are rated 10/100, so like most Pow­er­line adap­tors, the AV500 was never go­ing to beat 100Mb/s in the first place. TP-Link isn’t alone in over-claim­ing net­work speeds, and much de­pends on your home set up.

We tested the AV500 in a Vic­to­rian house with old wiring and the usual ar­ray of elec­tronic de­vices (TV, Sky+, hi-fi, lamps, com­put­ers, and so on) plugged into the power lines. The in­ter­net router was si­t­u­ated in the of­fice on the sec­ond floor, and we used Pow­er­line to test data speed on the ground floor.

First, we must em­pha­sise that de­spite TP-Link’s claims of speeds of 300Mb/s these are the­o­ret­i­cal max­i­mums, and you will never see such speeds via Pow­er­line. In­deed, you’ll be lucky to get 100Mb/s. But don’t fret as this is fine for most needs, such as watch­ing catch-up TV or down­load­ing large files.

We recorded speeds of up to 92Mb/s, though the house av­er­age was 68Mb/s us­ing Pow­er­line and eth­er­net. This was one of the faster av­er­age speeds we’ve achieved from a pow­er­line adap­tor, and is suf­fi­cient for most users, and we down­loaded HD TV with few pauses.

When we tested the sec­ond Wi-Fi hotspot we got speeds of 57Mb/s, which again were above av­er­age.


The TP-Link AV500 is one of the fastest sets of Pow­er­line adap­tors we tested. It’s not too big but of­fers both Wi-Fi and more than one eth­er­net port.

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