Ordinary HomePlug AV kits that run at 200Mbps (around 70Mbps in real-world terms) are fine for streaming HD video, but if you have more than two adaptors on your network and want to stream, say, two HD films at once, and play online games there may not be enough bandwidth. See also D-Link W307AV PowerLine Homeplug AV Wireless N Starter Kit review.
In this case, you can benefit from faster devices that provide speeds of up to 500Mbps. Of course, these HomePlug AV2 kits are more expensive than their 200Mbps counterparts, but D-Link’s PowerLine AV 500 Network Starter Kit is competitively priced at around £60. See all Wi-Fi and networking reviews.
The two identical adaptors have a neatly curved design that makes them look a lot less bulky than most rival HomePlug adaptors. It’s odd that the single Ethernet port is located on the side of the adaptors, but this can be an advantage if your power sockets are especially close to the floor. It could be a problem, though, if you’ve got another device plugged into an adjacent mains socket. Visit Devolo dLAN 200 AV Wireless N review.
There aren’t many additional features, apart from a security button that allows you to quickly establish a secure network. Unfortunately, this option isn’t covered in the printed Quick Start guide that is included in the box, nor is it very clearly explained by the PDF manual that is supplied on CD, so first-time users might struggle here.
It’s also a little disappointing that you just get a single Ethernet port, which means you can only use the kit to connect one device to your network. However, the main reason for buying this kit is the 500Mbps speed, and the PowerLine AV 500 doesn’t disappoint on that score. It was able to back up a 1GB test file in just 77 seconds (106.4Mbps), which gives it a significant advantage over HomePlug AV adaptors.