Bringing VR out of office and study spaces will serve to help it attract the new audiences it needs to continue growing
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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- D-Link launches range extenders with whole home Wi-Fi
- Telstra looks to extend wireless coverage in the home with new Smart Wi-Fi Booster
- Telstra upgrade existing customers and introduce Smart Modem with 4G Mobile Backup
- D-Link Gets Smart at Mobile World Congress 2018
- Netgear announces local availability for Nighthawk X4S Wi-Fi extender
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Netgear Arlo Go review: An expensive but comprehensive home security solution
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus M review: Leaner and meaner
- Frostpunk review: A richly conceived and vividly realised city sim
- 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