A simple yet fast and effective networking solution, the Piggy Mk.2 comes out top for speed and won't take up a power socket, and at £40 it's keenly priced too.
Solwise has launched a new version of its Piggy HomePlug AV adaptor, referred to simply as the Piggy Mk.2. It’s a pass-through adaptor, so you don’t have to sacrifice a power socket to use it. It’s worth noting that the size of the adaptor, and the fact that the Ethernet connection is on the underside, means you could have problems using a socket that’s close to the floor.
Installing a pair of Piggy Mk.2s is simplicity itself: you plug them in, press the Simple Connect button on one adaptor and then the other, and your network is created. The idea is that you connect at least one adaptor to your Internet-connected router, and then the other adaptor can be plugged in elsewhere in the house where there’s a device you need to connect to the Internet.
It’s ideal for old houses, where a wireless signal can’t penetrate thick walls, or to ensure consistently fast speeds for gaming ore video streaming. The Piggy Mk.2 did well in our speed tests, achieving 61Mbit/s, enough to stream even a couple of HD movies concurrently and faster than many of its rivals, although nowhere near the 200Mbit/s theoretical top speed.
There’s a simple Windows utility on the included CD which lets you change the name of the network, which is handy if you plan on having more than one HomePlug network in the same house. It also lets you set QoS, which can be configured to favour either games, multimedia data streaming, or voice traffic.
Powerline networking’s beauty is its simplicity, and the Piggy Mk.2 offers some of the best speeds currently available at a reasonable cost, so it wins our Best Buy award.
If you need more network ports, though, check out the Solwise NET-PL-200AV-3PE, with its three built-in ports.
|Powerline networking standard||HomePlug AV|
|Homeplug stated speed||200Mbit/s|
|Power consumption active||2W|
|Number of adaptors in box||1|
|Number of power sockets||1|
|Warranty||one year RTB|