Netgear Powerline AV+ 200 powerline adapter kit (preview)
Netgear's Powerline AV+ 200 powerline networking adapter kit is a wi-fi alternative
- Built-in noise-filtering
- Minimal printed instructions
If your building can accommodate a high-speed powerline network, the Netgear AV 200 and AV+ 200 can help you fill in dead spots without having to run new cables.
Price$ 209.00 (AUD)
Netgear's AV+ 200 and AV 200 powerline networking adapters might be just what you need to fill the gaps in your home network access without spending too much time or money. As with any powerline product, however, you should try before you buy: Your network performance depends on your house's wiring more than on any other factor.
Powerline networking adapters let you use your building's electrical wiring as a network, transforming any power outlet into a potential Ethernet port. They're typically used as a complement to a wireless network (see "Better Together: Wi-Fi And Powerline Networking" for more information) because they can be placed in spots that experience wireless radio problems; and they're good for networking devices that don't support Wi-Fi (many TVs, set-top boxes, and game consoles, for example) without requiring the user to lay down a lot of ethernet cable.
Both the AV 200 and the AV+ 200 report a maximum transfer rate of 200 megabits per second. The main difference between the two is that the AV+ has a noise-filtering outlet built into the unit, so you can use the power outlet for another device without interfering with your network performance, while the AV 200 lacks this feature. Also unlike the AV 200, the AV+ 200 has a grounding prong, which means that you can't use the AV+200 with older electrical wiring.
A single powerline networking kit contains two powerline adapters, a CD with drivers, and a pair of Ethernet cables. Each powerline adapter only has one Ethernet port, however, and you'll likely need one of the adapters to connect to your modem or router to link your powerline network to the Internet, so if you have multiple rooms that you want to add to the powerline network, you'll need more adapters. Though the CD includes an "Online Manual," it's a broken link to an older Netgear support site; the newer support site doesn't seem to have documentation for either adapter model.
The setup process is fairly simple. The only printed instructions are minimal--a pamphlet with a pair of diagrams explaining how to plug one adapter into a power outlet, how to plug an Ethernet cable from your router/modem into that adapter's Ethernet port, and how to plug the second adapter into a different outlet and connect that adapter to your PC with the other Ethernet cable. If you succeeded in setting up your home broadband connection, you can probably set up the AV 200 or AV+ 200 as well.
Once you've plugged everything in, your PC should automatically detect the new hardware as a normal Local Area Network connection. If you don't want just anyone to be able to plug a powerline adapter into your outlets and be able to access your network (or if you're in a building where you share electric circuits with your neighbours), you can set the adapters to encrypt their traffic by pressing a button on their side--just press each unit's button within 2 minutes, and they should automatically detect each other and be good to go.
We'll have more performance testing in for our full-scale review of these products, but keep in mind that the limiting factor for most powerline adapters is your building's electrical wiring, not the adapter's theoretical maximum. PCWorld reviewer Becky Waring managed to get 59 mbps out of an earlier Netgear XAVB101 powerline adapter, which had an advertised maximum of 85 mbps.
By way of comparison, I only managed to obtain about 12 mbps with the AV 200 and AV+ 200 in my (fairly old) apartment building, and up to 25 mbps in my PCWorld office. This isn't to say that the new adapters are slower than the old ones; rather, it underscores the fact that powerline network speeds depend on your wiring, first and foremost.
The drop in bandwidth between the two buildings was fairly noticeable when I surfed the Web and streamed YouTube videos. In the office, there wasn't much difference between the powerline network and standard wired Ethernet; but in the apartment, the powerline network felt like it had more latency than my 802.11g network did. Web pages seemed slower to start loading than usual, and YouTube videos stuttered a bit initially.
Though both speeds are sufficient for most Internet uses (albeit definitely a step down from Gigabit Ethernet) and though Netgear has announced 500-mbps powerline adapters (the AV 500 and the AV+ 500), they may not be any faster on houses with older wiring than the AV+ 200. pu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Netgear expands its Orbi Wi-Fi system into a product family, adding two less-expensive models
- Chips coming by June will herald the next generation of Wi-Fi
- Plume's 'routerless' mesh network blankets your home in Wi-Fi with an army of tiny pods
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
- New Skype Preview lets Windows 10 Insiders manage phone texts on PCs
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCPerformance TesterQLD
- TPBI Report Developer - SSRS SSIS SSASNSW
- FTAutomation Test AnalystSA
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- TPGIS Officer | Map InfoQLD
- TPFrontend Developer (React)NSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTL&D Manager, Transformation Program in Finance ServicesNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - ApplicationsSA
- FTData and Insights AnalystNSW
- CCMigration EngineerACT
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectVIC
- FTBusiness Solution Architect, Supply ChainNSW
- TPSystems ManagerQLD
- CCSenior C++ .Net DeveloperWA
- FTDevOps - Web AdministratorQLD
- CCLead SAP SRM DeveloperACT
- FTAEM Architect - Blue Chip organisationNSW
- TPGIS Developer - 6 month ContractQLD
- TPSAP BA - Source to PayQLD
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- TPTechnical ManagerNSW
- CCExecutive SupportWA