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Devolo dLAN 500 AV Wireless+ review

Andrew Unsworth
22 Apr 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
96
inc VAT

Not the best Wi-Fi performance, but it’s a great HomePlug kit nonetheless

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The Devolo dLAN 500 AV Wireless+ HomePlug starter kit is comprised of two HomePlugs, one of which acts as wireless access point so that wireless devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones can connect to your wider network. This makes this kit potentially ideal if you have trouble connecting to your wireless router in certain parts of your home or office, or if you want to provide Wi-Fi access to your network on another storey of your house or building.

Devolo dLAN 500 AV Wireless+

One HomePlug is a Devolo dLAN 500 AVplus adaptor that you should connect to your router via its single Fast Ethernet port. Although it might seem a little basic, this HomePlug is designed for quick transfer of data, particularly audio and visual media, and is only intended for connecting your other HomePlug to your router, the other HomePlug being the eponymous dLAN 500 AV Wireless+.

This HomePlug is a little more exciting, as not only does it have a built-in Wi-Fi access point, it also has three Fast Ethernet ports. Better still, it can broadcast on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, but not simultaneously, which is a slight shame but won’t be an issue for the majority of users.

Devolo dLAN 500 AV Wireless+

Both HomePlugs are rather large, but they’re designed so that they protrude upwards, which is an absolute god-send for British users. Many HomePlugs are designed to protrude downwards from the mains socket into which they’re inserted, which means it can be difficult to insert them if your sockets are located just above your skirting boards or work surface. This also means that your Ethernet cables are located on top of the HomePlugs, and some users may think this looks messy, but we prefer this because it’s easier to unclip and insert your cables.

Conveniently, both HomePlugs also have brightly illuminated and clearly visible icons detailing the current status of the HomePlug, such as a current connection, the strength of that connection and whether or not data is being transmitted. In the case of the dLAN 500 AV Wireless+, there’s also a Wi-Fi icon that changes colour to let you know if it’s broadcasting on the 2.4Ghz or 5GHz band.

WIRELESS WONDER

Connecting to the dLAN 500 AV Wireless+ is as simple as choosing its broadcast name from your device’s SSID list. At first, the device is secured using a default password, but you can change that after you’ve logged in or by connecting a laptop or PC to it via Ethernet and accessing its configuration page from there.

Sadly, its Wi-Fi performance wasn’t as good as we’d hoped, but it’s important to remember that the dLAN 500 AV Wireless+ is a HomePlug with a built-in Wi-Fi adaptor, not a top-of-the-range wireless router. We connected to it on the 2.4GHz band using our laptop’s built-in Centrino Wi-Fi adaptor and achieved an average data rate of 28.5Mbit/s at one metre, 7.9Mbit/s at 10 metres and 2.14 at 25 metres. These aren’t fantastic speeds, especially around the 10 metre mark, but it should be enough to provide Wi-Fi coverage over a bedroom or two.

Devolo dLAN 500 AV Wireless+ HomePlug Selection Screen

The speeds certainly improved when we switched to the 5GHz band, with the dLAN 500 AV Wireless+ moving data at an average rate of 58.6Mbit/s at one metre, 484.4Mbit/s at 10 metres and 9.5Mbit/s at 25 metres. This is much better, and should be enough to provide network access over much of the top floor of a 3-bed suburban semi-detached. The only concern is that a lot of users won’t have a device capable of connecting to it on the 5GHz band, or if their devices do have the necessary Wi-Fi adaptors they may not know that they can connect to it this way.

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