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Netgear Powerline 1200 PLP1200-100UKS review

Tom Morgan
8 Sep 2015
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Netgear Powerline 1200
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
80
inc VAT

Reasonably priced and incredibly fast, the PLP1200 kit is as simple and effective as Powerline networking gets

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Specifications

Powerline networking standard: HomePlug AV2, Stated speed: 1,200Mbps, Adaptors in box: 2

Unlike other manufacturers, Netgear doesn’t typically add pass-through power outlets to its Powerline networking adapters. We can’t understand why, as this design is far more convenient than non-pass-through adapters, as you aren’t sacrificing one of your plug sockets in order to add wired networking to a room. Thankfully the PSP1200 breaks that trend.

With just a Gigabit Ethernet port and WPS security button on the top and a row of activity LEDs on the front, the PLP1200 is refreshingly simple. Multiple Ethernet ports would certainly be a welcome addition, but we can’t really grumble considering the price for two adaptors. Conveniently, each adapter protrudes upwards, rather than downwards, meaning we had no trouble installing them in a 1930s flat with excessively thick skirting boards.

Each adapter draws around 2W from the mains before you plug any other devices into the pass-through socket. That means the PLP1200 shouldn’t add more than 40p per month to the cost of your electricity bill.

Two Ethernet cables are included in the box so you won’t need to provide your own to get set up. After plugging one adaptor into your wireless router and the mains, and the second next to the device you want to connect to your network, pairing is simply a matter of turning on each plug and pressing the security button. It takes less than a minute and doesn’t need any messing around with software or browser-based interfaces.

The Pick a Plug LED on the top changes colour to indicate your link rate; green is best, suggesting 80Mbps or greater, amber indicates a rate between 50Mbit/s and 80Mbit/s, and Red means your connection is under 50Mbit/s. The LED will also flash if you’ve placed your adapters too far away from each other. We didn’t experience any issues connecting in any of the sockets we tried in a two-bed flat, and a claimed coverage area of 500m2 should mean only the largest of houses will struggle for connectivity.

The PLP1200 should be among the fastest Powerline adapters available, with a rated speed of 1,200Mbit/s. Of course, real-world speeds will depend on the quality of your electrical wiring and the distance between adaptors, but the Netgear adaptors certainly impressed in our tests. With the plugs 1m apart, we saw a fantastic 326.2Mbit/s, although this isn’t exactly indicative of real-world use. In our 10m test, however, the PLP1200 still produced an excellent 279.6Mbit/s – faster than any 802.11n wireless device is capable of and quicker than all but the very fastest 802.11ac Wi-Fi networks, too. Speeds eventually dropped to 74.6Mbit/s at 25m, but this is still a superb result.

Even though you don’t get any notable extras like built-in Wi-Fi or multiple Ethernet ports, the PLP1200 is reasonably priced for a Powerline starter set. Devolo’s dLAN powerline 1200+ WiFi ac Starter Kit adds a second Ethernet port and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but costs twice as much. If you’re simply looking to connect a single device to your network at high speed without taking up all your plug sockets, the PLP1200 fits the bill.

Hardware
Powerline networking standardHomePlug AV2
Stated speed1,200Mbps
Adaptors in box2
Push-button securityYes
Ethernet ports1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s per adapter
Wireless networkingNo
Power sockets2
Size120x58x42mm

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