TP-Link AV2000 2-Port Gi­ga­bit Pass-through Pow­er­line Starter Kit

Tech Advisor - - Contents - Si­mon Jary

The TP-Link AV2000 2-Port Gi­ga­bit Pass-through Pow­er­line Starter Kit (TL-PA9020P KIT) is one of the fastest set of adap­tors we’ve tested. At £99, we think it rep­re­sents ex­cel­lent value. There are cheaper op­tions out there, but none of these match it for speed and features.

How it works

Pow­er­line is a plug-and-play tech­nol­ogy that trans­forms your home net­work, so you can near-repli­cate in­ter­net router speeds in more than one room of your house. Plug one adap­tor into a wall power socket near your router, and con­nect the AV2000 and router us­ing the sup­plied Eth­er­net ca­ble. In the sec­ond room where you re­quire fast, wired in­ter­net ac­cess – say for your smart TV, set-top box PVR, PC or laptop – you plug the sec­ond adap­tor into a wall socket, and then con­nect the de­vices via the Eth­er­net ca­ble.

Speed myths

Pow­er­line adap­tors come with the­o­ret­i­cal max­i­mum speeds of be­tween 200- and 2000Mb/s. There are, of course, en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors that slow this. That doesn’t mean they are use­less, just that you shouldn’t ex­pect the stated speeds. In gen­eral, the 500Mb/s Pow­er­lines are faster than the 200Mb/s, and the 2000Mb/s adap­tors are faster than the 430Mb/s, so use the speeds as a gauge of speed be­tween mod­els.

Speed

We thought Pow­er­line speeds had reached a plateau for a while with the re­lease of 1200Mb/s adap­tors, but now TP-Link is claim­ing a 2000Mb/s max­i­mum. On top of the speed boost, the AV2000 has more ports than the AV1200, as well as a pass-through socket.

It uses the same 2x2 MIMO with beam­form­ing tech­nol­ogy as the 1200Mb/s Pow­er­lines, so the faster speed must be due to the wider data band­width (86MHz) it en­joys over the 1200Mb/s adap­tor’s 67MHz. AV2 MIMO utilises all three wires in an elec­tri­cal ca­ble, trans­mit­ting data on any two pairs. It im­proves speed and longer dis­tances be­tween adap­tors.

At PC Ad­vi­sor we use re­al­world tests to de­ter­mine Pow­er­line speeds. Much is de­pen­dent on the build­ing it is tested in, and we sus­pect our house slightly plays down pos­si­ble speeds, but hav­ing one test en­vi­ron­ment means we can com­pare dif­fer­ent makes and mod­els of Pow­er­line adap­tor.

Per­for­mance

In our first test, we check speeds when both adap­tors are in the same room. We use this to check its top speed and the AV2000 did very well, scor­ing 432Mb/s by trans­fer­ring a 1GB file in 19 sec­onds.

When we po­si­tioned the sec­ond adap­tor in a room two floors down and about 30m apart speeds dropped. This time, the AV2000 scored 117Mb/s – way be­low the 2000Mb/s on the box, but still the fastest we’ve seen from a Pow­er­line.

Re­mem­ber that you might see faster (or slower) speeds in your home, but the AV2000 stands as the fastest we’ve tested so far.

Features

The AV2000 comes with a passthrough socket on each adap­tor, which is great for not clog­ging valu­able wall power sock­ets. Each adap­tor also boasts two Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net ports – older 500Mb/s Pow­er­lines used slower-grade 10/100 Eth­er­net ports that limited any trans­fer speed to 100Mb/s.

Hav­ing two ports is great if you have more than one smart de­vice that re­quires a wired con­nec­tion for top speed. Many of us have three or more such gadgets, and there are adap­tors that in­clude up to three ports. Al­ter­na­tively, you can buy an Eth­er­net Switch that will in­clude five or more ports that you can at­tach to the de­vice.

The AV2000 seats its ports at the top, which is use­ful if your power sock­ets are close to the floor, as it gives the ca­bles more space.

Some Pow­er­lines can also cre­ate an ex­tra Wi-Fi hotspot in the sec­ond room – handy if the Wi-Fi in your house is par­tic­u­larly weak. The AV2000, how­ever, doesn’t have this wire­less booster func­tion.

Ver­dict

We were im­pressed by the re­al­world per­for­mance of the TP-Link AV2000, which is our top scorer in our tests. The in­clu­sion of passthrough sock­ets and two Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net ports per adap­tor are also wel­comed. There’s no ex­tra Wi-Fi hotspot func­tion, but if your house Wi-Fi is ac­cept­able this isn’t the worst omis­sion. If you want a fast Pow­er­line starter kit with more than one Eth­er­net port plus pass-through, then this is highly rec­om­mended.

Pow­er­line trans­forms your home net­work, so you can near-repli­cate in­ter­net router speeds in more than one room of your house

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.