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Solwise PL-200AV-PEW-N review

Barry de la Rosa
14 Jun 2011
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Solwise PL-200AV-PEW-N
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
53
inc VAT

Simple to set up and capable of high speeds across both HomePlug and wireless networks, the PL-200AV-PEW-N is the best way to get network access far from your router

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Powerline networking (also known as HomePlug) is a simple and elegant way to set up a home network, and is especially useful if you have trouble getting a wireless signal in certain rooms or have devices with Ethernet ports but no wireless. Powerline connections also tend to be faster and more stable than wireless connections, depending on your home's wiring. Along with two LAN ports, Solwise's PL-200AV-PEW-N has an additional advantage - a built-in 802.11n wireless access point, so you can add both wired and wireless network connections to far-flung parts of your home.

You'll need another HomePlug adaptor plugged into the mains and connected to your router with a network cable, which will then route network traffic through your home's power wiring to the PL-200AV. For our testing Solwise sent us a NET-PL-200-AV-PUSH (£29 from www.solwise.co.uk).

Solwise PL-200AV-PEW-N

Thanks to push-button security setup, getting the two HomePlug adaptors talking to each other is simple. You'll need to plug directly into one of the PL-200AV-PEW-N's LAN ports to be able to configure it, using a Windows-only utility. This lets you change the wireless SSID, choose the channel and set wireless security. There's no automatic channel selection, so you should use a utility such as InSSIDer to help you see which channels nearby networks are using and set the Solwise's channel to avoid interference.

Unfortunately, there's no way to switch off channel bonding. This uses two wireless channels to increase data throughput, but as it hogs large amounts wireless spectrum it may interfere with neighbours' wireless networks. Wireless transfers were quick in our tests, with 46Mbit/s at close range and 36Mbit/s at 10m. Speeds through the mains were also impressive - 63Mbit/s is faster than most HomePlug kit.

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