Isn't it always the case that your TV ends up somewhere completely out of reach of your household network cabling? Now those problems are over, thanks to this pair of HDX101 Powerline adapters, bundled together as the Netgear HDXB101.

The glossy white adapters plug into mains sockets – one goes next to your TV and the other near your router. Link each adapter to its respective hardware with network cable and you're away – you've just turned your ring mains into CAT5e network cabling.

These latest Netgear Powerline adapters feature the new high-speed DS2 chipset, which claims to offer up to 200Mbps (megabits per second) of bandwidth. However, this should be taken with a pinch of virtual salt – after all, the HDX101's ethernet port can handle only 100Mbps. Nonetheless, you'll be able to pass at least 50Mbps of throughput, which isn't bad.

Previous models were fine for low-bandwidth streaming, but the advent of HD (high-definition) TV calls for more bandwidth. The HDX101 can cope with the greater demands of HD content, and supports customisable QoS (quality of service) prioritisation. To top it all, the HDX101 is literally a plug-and-play device – as soon as you've connected it all up, three LEDs light up to indicate you're in business.

Netgear HDXB101: Specs

  • Up to 200Mbps data transfer
  • Powerline HD interface
  • 10/100 ethernet port
  • works with 3-prong standard 240V electrical outlets
  • Up to 200Mbps data transfer
  • Powerline HD interface
  • 10/100 ethernet port
  • works with 3-prong standard 240V electrical outlets

OUR VERDICT

Netgear's HDX101 Powerline adapters are effective and simple to use, but pricey – and they're not backwards-compatible with earlier models.

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