The Devolo dLan 200 AVplus takes Devolo's entry level dLan 200 AVeasy powerline adaptor, and adds power throughput. Devolo has placed a power socket on the back of the AVplus, so you can bounce data around your powerlines without having to lose a wall socket.
For the uninitiated, powerline adaptors such as these plug into wall sockets, then use your electric circuitry to offer up to 200Mb/s throughput to anywhere there is a plug point. 'Up to' is an important proviso, however. You'll get a lot less in the real-world, and if you're extending your broadband network, the initial connection will be the crucial factor.
You get two Windows 7 compatible adaptors, which are around 13cm high. Each has power pins and a power socket at one end - the top - with a 10/100Mbps ethernet port at the other. This matters: if your plug sockets are snug to the floor or skirting board, you may not have space to fit in the Devolo dLan 200 AVplus adaptor and an ethernet cable. And remember: it's not advisable to use an extra plug adaptor, for throughput reasons, or force in the plug, for fire-safety reasons.
There is another issue: if you share a building, using powerline may lead to inadvertantly sharing your data. In the case of the Devolo dLan 200 AVplus, however, network security is handled by 128-bit AES encryption. This is remarkably easy to use: simply press and hold a small button next to the ethernet socket to generate a key, then rush around to hit the same button on the other adaptor within a two-minute window.
We tested the Devolo dLan 200 AVplus by extending a flaky 2MB Wi-Fi connection around our 1950s-built house, complete with elderly copper wiring. When
transferring even large files and streaming HD media, the connection was robust, even a story above the router (powerline adaptors are not strictly meant to work on multiple floors). Using the adaptors extended our wireless network into several rooms the Wi-Fi couldn't previously reach, and downloaded and transferred files more quickly in the same room as the router.
But is the Devolo dLan 200 AVplus green? On the Devolo dLan 200 AVplus box Devolo claims the adaptors consumer 60 percent less power than comparable products. They are rated at 5.5W and 0.1A. In active use we found they typically drew down between 5W and 7W. Importantly, this dropped to around 3W when in standby, which is relatively low (although unlikely to be 60 percent less than other powerline adaptors).
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