The Solwise 200Mbps HomePlug AV Ethernet kit won’t win any prizes for elegant design, but the 200Mbps Ethernet kit provides a simple, affordable option for getting started with Powerline networking. See also D-Link W307AV PowerLine Homeplug AV Wireless N Starter Kit review.

The two adaptors included in the kit are fat, chunky devices that protrude out from the wall socket for a good three inches. Despite their size there’s only a single Ethernet port on each adaptor, so you can connect only a single PC or other device to your network. See all Wi-Fi and networking reviews.

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However, it’s hard to complain at this price and Solwise sells additional adaptors for as little as £18, so it won’t cost too much to expand your network if you need to. Solwise also sells a ‘mini’ kit with a pair of adaptors that are much smaller and neater, although this costs closer to £50. Visit Devolo dLAN 200 AV Wireless N review.

There’s a security button on each adaptor that allows them to automatically generate a password for an encrypted when they’re connected together. However, the skimpy printed leaflet included with the kit doesn’t really explain this feature, so we had to delve into the mass of files included on the CD-ROM in order to find a more detailed PDF manual.

There’s an additional configuration program on the CD as well, but this is for Windows only and there are rival HomePlug products that provide better support for Macs and Linux.

The kit took just over two minutes to back up a 1GB test file. That’s solid rather than outstanding performance (it equates to 64.5Mbps), but is still perfectly adequate for streaming video and routine web surfing and email.

Solwise 200Mbps HomePlug AV Ethernet: Specs

  • Standard: HomePlug AV
  • Speed: 200Mbps
  • Number of adaptors: 2
  • Number of Ethernet Ports: 1/1
  • Push Button Security: Y
  • Mains Pass-through: N
  • Wi-Fi extender: N
  • Dimensions (mm): 90x45x75mm
  • Standard: HomePlug AV
  • Speed: 200Mbps
  • Number of adaptors: 2
  • Number of Ethernet Ports: 1/1
  • Push Button Security: Y
  • Mains Pass-through: N
  • Wi-Fi extender: N
  • Dimensions (mm): 90x45x75mm

OUR VERDICT

At this price the 200Mbps HomePlug AV Ethernet kit is inevitably basic. However, it works perfectly well and is a good choice for home users who just need a single wired network connection for a device such as a laptop PC or a set-top box for their TV.

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