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Devolo dLAN 650 Triple+ Starter Kit review

Andrew Unsworth
15 Aug 2014
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
120
inc VAT

A fast powerline adaptor kit with enough ports for both your smart TV and home cinema system

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Specifications

Powerline networking standard: HomePlug, Stated speed: 650Mbit/s, Adaptors in box: 2

The Devolo dLAN 650 Triple+ Starter Kit is comprised of two powerline adaptors that let you route network data through your electrical mains wiring rather than over a wireless or wired Ethernet connection. Although this type of connection isn’t as quick as a gigabit Ethernet connection, a powerline network can be quicker and more reliable than a Wi-Fi network, especially if you live in a multi-storey home or if there are many walls and obstacles in between your Wi-Fi router and the devices you want to connect.

Many powerline adaptor kits consist of two adaptors, each with a single Gigabit or Fast Ethernet connector. However, the dLAN 650 Triple+ kit is a little different. One of the adaptors has a single Gigabit Ethernet connector, and you attach this to your router via Ethernet. The other adaptor has three Gigabit Ethernet ports so that you can connect various devices to your network, which minimises the number of powerline adaptors you would otherwise need. The extra ports are especially handy for connecting home cinema, smart TV and games consoles to your network, as these devices might not be located near your router or may be resident in a Wi-Fi dead zone.

PERFORMANCE

Another difference between this kit and other powerline kits is the speed at which it’s rated. Most top-end powerline adaptors are rated at 500Mbit/s, but the adaptors in this kit are rated at 650Mbit/s. That may only seem like a relatively small increase in speed compared to an adaptor rated at 500Mbit/s, but this extra speed has a big effect on the kit’s performance.

We tested the kit by connecting one adaptor to our router via Ethernet and the other adaptor to our test laptop via Ethernet. Both adaptors were then plugged into adjacent mains sockets so that they’re as close to each other as possible. We then ran our standard network test and were very happy to see an average speed of 209Mbit/s. This is a great result, as the Devolo dLAN 500 AV Triple produced an average speed of 139Mbit/s when plugged in next to each other.

The kits also produced average speeds of 167.7Mbit/s when the adaptors were plugged in a metre apart and 50Mbit/s when plugged in 10 metres apart. These results are also better than those of the Devolo dLAN 500 AV Triple kit, which produced an average speed of 27Mbit/s at 10 metres.

The speed of powerline adaptors decreases the further apart they’re placed, but 50Mbit/s is more than enough to stream Full HD video to a TV while streaming music or web pages to another device.

We’re also pleased to see that the adaptors’ Ethernet cables protrude upwards instead of downwards, as does the body of each adaptor. This makes them much more suitable for UK households where skirting boards or desktops might prevent you from using downward facing adaptors. Even better, each adaptor has a pass-through socket, so you can attach the plug of another appliance, such as a TV, to the powerline adaptor and not waste a mains socket.

SECURITY

Security is an important concern when using a powerline adaptor, but, as is common with powerline adaptors, each adaptor has a push button to help you set up an encrypted powerline network. The idea is that you press the encryption button on each adaptor and within two minutes the adaptors will have communicated with each other to create a secure powerline network. You can also do this in Devolo Cockpit, a free utility available from the Devolo website. Devolo Cockpit is ostensibly user-friendly, as the screen consists of a network map of your powerline network, with connection speeds for each adaptor. You can then click an adaptor listed on the map and change a limited set of options. However, we found the system fiddly to use. You must click on certain icons that come out of the onscreen adaptor as an animation and we found that the icons would disappear when we moved the mouse to click on them. This is more of an irritation than a problem, but it’s annoying nonetheless.

It’s good to see Gigabit Ethernet ports on the adaptors, as there has been a recent trend, with many manufacturers, of putting Fast Ethernet ports on higher rated powerline adaptors, which has meant you can’t fully utilise the extra speed afforded by these adaptors. You’ll have no such problem with the Devolo dLAN 650 Triple+ Starter Kit. The only thing we’re not keen on is Devolo Cockpit, but even this isn’t enough to dent our enthusiasm for this kit. Alternatives exist, such as the TP-Link TL-WPA4220KIT, but that kit isn’t as fast, it only has two ports on one of the adaptors, it has Fast Ethernet ports rather than Gigabit Ethernet ports and there are no pass-through sockets. On a more positive note, the TP-Link TL-WPA4220KIT is half the price of the Devolo dLAN 650 Triple+ Starter Kit and is a good budget option. Even so, we’d still rather pay the extra for the Devolo dLAN 650 Triple+ Starter Kit.

If you need a means of connecting your TV, home cinema system or even a collection of PCs to your network, you should invest in the Devolo dLAN 650 Triple+ Starter Kit.

Hardware
Powerline networking standardHomePlug
Stated speed650Mbit/s
Adaptors in box2
Push-button securityyes
Ethernet ports1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s, 3x 10/100/1000Mbit/s
Wireless networkingnone
Power sockets2
Size143 x 72 x 41
Buying information
Price including VAT£120
Warranty3 year's RTB
Supplierwww.dabs.com
Detailswww.devolo.com/uk
Part code9238

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