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Devolo dLAN 500 AVplus Starter Kit review

Chris Finnamore
18 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
122
inc VAT

An excellent powerline networking kit, but it's just too expensive compared to the competition

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Unlike the excellent Solwise NET-PL-500AV-PIGGY, you get two adaptors in Devolo's dLAN 500 AVplus Starter Kit, but you don't get a discount - this kit is almost twice the price of two Solwise adaptors. The adaptors have pass-through sockets so you won't take up a pair of electrical sockets, which is useful as they're too wide to fit in four-way adaptors next to other plugs.

Devolo dLAN 500 AVplus Starter Kit

The adaptors are smart, with a glossy finish that's a bit classier than the Solwise adaptors' generic electronics white. Setup is just as easy thanks to push-button security, and we had no problems getting the two adaptors in the box to talk to each other. Once we'd performed our file transfer tests, we were struck by how similar our results were to the Solwise adaptor's. Both could transfer files at a fast 139.8Mbit/s at close range, and when plugged into a socket 10 metres away we still got an HD video-friendly 47.5Mbit/s - almost identical to the 46.6Mbit/s we had from Solwise's adaptor.

We began to suspect that the adaptors are based on very similar chipsets - a guess reinforced by the fact that we could get the Devolo and Solwise adaptors to connect to each other with push-button security; Netgear's Powerline AV+ 500 kit (see What's New, Shopper 284) refused to connect to other manufacturers' adaptors with this method. We even managed to make a mixed network of 500Mbit/s and 200Mbit/s adaptors from both Solwise and Devolo just by pushing buttons.

Like the Solwise 500Mbit/s adaptor, Devolo's weren't affected by the presence of slower 200Mbit/s HomePlug AV adaptors on the same network - they could still transfer files at their maximum speeds, and transfer rates between 500Mbit/s and 200Mbit/s HomePlug AV adaptors were what we expected for 200Mbit/s kit.

Devolo dLAN 500 AVplus Starter Kit bottom port

The Devolo kit comes with the smart Devolo Cockpit software, which shows the adaptors plugged into your network as well as their reported connection speeds. It also allows you to set up security on the network, but, unlike Netgear's powerline configuration software, you can't assign Quality of Service values to prioritise traffic to certain adaptors. However, unlike the Power Pack software from Solwise's website, Cockpit doesn’t work with adaptors from other manufacturers; the software shows other manufacturers' adaptors as blank boxes, with no further information or way to change settings.

Devolo's dLAN 500 AVplus Starter Kit is incredibly fast and very easy to set up, and its software makes it easy to configure a Devolo-only powerline network. However, inside the adaptors' smart casing seems to be the same chipset as in Solwise's NET-PL-500AV-PIGGY adaptors, which have the same performance for half the price. Solwise's adaptors are better value.

Details

Rating****
Powerline networking standardHomePlug AV
Homeplug stated speed500Mbit/s
Power consumption active3W
Number of adaptors in box2

Security

Push-button securityyes

Physical

Size129x65x41mm
Ethernet ports2
Number of power sockets2

Buying Information

Price£122
Warrantythree years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.devolo.co.uk

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