Powerline Adapter Shootout – The Contestants
Belkin Powerline AV500 Network Adapter (F5D4085)
First up is the Belkin Powerline AV500 (Model F5D4085) which is a pretty sleek-looking box that is designed to connect your home network with speeds of up to 500 Mbps. Like every device we tested for this review, the Belkin is specifically designed to connect your HDTV, Blu-ray player, or gaming console to your network at speeds to allow fast file sharing, gaming, and streaming of HD video.
You will notice the Ethernet port on the bottom of the unit. Many times users don’t really notice the orientation of their electrical socket or plug and are surprised when they can’t actually use both plugs and the adapter they are trying to use.
Our Belkin package contained 2 Powerline AV500 Network Adapters, 2 Ethernet cables, a User Manual on CD and a Quick installation Guide. The AV500 also features 128-bit AES link encryption to ensure a secure connection so that your neighbors don’t leech speeds off your network. The unit isn’t that small and measures almost 4-inches in height so consider this if space is at a minimum. With a list price of $129.99, Belkin says you can connect up to 8 Powerline devices and comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
D-Link Powerline AV 500 Adapter (DHP-500AV)
D-Link, like every other Powerline adapter manufacturer, designed their adapter to work with your existing house electrical wiring for a theoretical maximum network speed of up to 500Mbps. The D-Link DHP-500AV adapter also supports 128-bit AES Encryption for network security and QoS Support that helps to prioritize internet traffic.
The D-Link unit measures 3” x 4” x 1.5” and has one of the smallest footprints of any of the Powerline adapters that we tested. The Ethernet port is located on the side which we found a bit more versatile when it comes to placement in the home. With the port on the side you really don’t have to worry about the orientation of your electrical plug or any devices that might be sharing the outlet.
At $159.99 the D-Link Powerline adapter is one of the most expensive adapters that we tested, but hopefully this will translate into good data throughput performance. The D-Link adapter comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
TRENDnet 500Mbps Powerline Adapter Kit (TPL-401E2K)
The TRENDnet TPL-401E2K Powerline Adapter is yet another Ethernet adaptor that is designed to work at 500Mpbs (with up to 2 Gbps with Full Duplex mode). At $179, it is the most expensive adapter in our shootout, but you can find the TPL-401 for much less on the street. Measuring just under 4-inches tall, and 3-inches wide, the TRENDnet is also one of the smallest adapters in our catalog…it’s also the most plain looking adapter in our shootout – a small white box with three small LEDs on the front. The Ethernet port and encryption button is located at the bottom of the unit.
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, however. Based on the specifications alone, this adapter is packed with
Netgear Powerline AV 500 Adapter Kit with 4-Port Adapter (XAVB5004-100NAS)
capability including being Gigabit Ethernet capable, 128-bit AES
encryption and QoS support, and the ability to connect up to 16 adapters
to a network device. TRENDnet delivers their Powerline with a 3 year
Unlike the other Powerline adapters we looked at the Netgear XAVB5004-100NAS AV 500 Adapter kit not only extends your internet access to any electrical outlet, but is designed for specifically for home theater use allowing up to 4 Ethernet devices to be connected at the same time. The 4-Port Powerline AV 500 adapter that was packaged was model XAV5004 – a small glossy box that with “Push-and-Secure” AES protection and support for HD streaming. The 4-port adapter also contains a power switch which was unique for the contestants in this lineup.
The $149 Netgear adapter was also designed to work with Gigabit-fast wired connections and minimal set up. For those who are interested in setting up more than one device in the room on to the internet, a mulit-port adapter such as the Netgear Powerline might be the perfect accessory for your game room or home theater. We look forward to seeing if there is a speed difference between this 4-port design and the other Powerline adapters in our shootout.
Now that we have taken a quick look at the Powerline adapters let’s look at the performance numbers.