The 15 best Powerline adapters 2015: Here are the best Powerline adapters you can buy in the UK right now
The 15 best Powerline adapters you can buy in the UK in 2015
By Simon Jary | PC Advisor | 10 January 15
The Linksys Powerline HomePlug AV2 Kit is a neat set of two Powerline adapters that offer decent speeds in a small, unobtrusive package but are under-featured for the price. At £89 we'd expect Wi-Fi at least, which is a shame as we were impressed by the speeds we achieved on test.
The Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapter is a decent Powerline adapter, with just above-average performance at a reasonable price. The Pass-Through socket is handy, and we liked the Gigabit Ethernet – although we would have preferred more than one port. A Wi-Fi option would also have benefitted this Powerline adapter – although you could add one from a different manufacturer if you wanted this at a later date.
The Devolo dLAN 500 WiFi Network Kit is marketed as user friendly, and it’s certainly that. Set up is simplicity itself, and you’ll be up and running in minutes. The adaptors are unobtrusive and fit in well with the look of most homes. The Wi-Fi function is a real boon – doubling the Wi-Fi signal in our test house. The app and parental controls are also worthwhile features. While we never expected 500Mbps speeds the Devolo dLAN 500 WiFi wasn’t the fastest Powerline system we tested but it should be fast enough for most purposes. You can buy one set with the base unit plus one adapter for £79.99 or another with the base unit plus two adaptors for £124.99.
The Netgear Powerline 500 is a set of two average-speed, unobtrusive Powerline adapters that can be found online at a bargain price. The single Ethernet port might limit you if you have multiple devices that need connecting but you can get round this by swapping out cables where you need them. The cost sadly precludes a handy Wi-Fi function, but if your Wi-Fi is decent you can probably live without at this price.
The TP-Link AV500 Powerline Adapter with AC Pass Through was one of the fastest Powerline adapters that we tested under real-world conditions. It lacks Wi-Fi and has only one 10/100 Ethernet port on each adapter but its fast speeds recommend it. There's now also a model with three ports and Wi-Fi, so that's worth checking out, too.
The Netgear Powerline 500 WiFi Access Point is a 500Mbps-rated Powerline adaptor that wasn't the fastest we tested but offers good value for money compared to others in its range. It features only one ethernet port, which might not suit you if you need to attach more than one ethernet cable to your TV or set-top box. It can create a new Wi-Fi hotspot in your home, which could, according to our tests, triple your Wi-Fi speed away from your router.
The TP-Link 300Mbps AV500 WiFi Powerline Extender is one of the fastest sets of Powerline adapters we tested. It's not too big but offers both Wi-Fi and more than one Ethernet port, which is good for the prices we've seen it on sale for online.
The ZyXel HD Powerline Adapter 500Mbps is a great-value set of Powerline adapters that performed excellently in our real-world speed tests. It's the smallest Powerline adapter we've seen, and will blend into any home environment. It lacks Wi-Fi and has only one ethernet port on each adapter but it's a real bargain that performs well.
The BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit performs brilliantly, offering the some of the fastest Powerline speeds over ethernet and Wi-Fi in our tests. It's simple to install, is up and running in minutes, and offers two ethernet ports. Our only problem with it is its bulk and obtrusive black design, which may not appeal in your living room.
The Devolo dLAN 650+ and 650 triple+ are fine examples of the latest “600Mbps” Powerline chips, and offer fast speeds that knock the spots off using a home’s standard wireless signals. The use of Gigabit Ethernet, plus the new Powerline chips, and the clever “Range+” technology make these adapters stand out from the now quite established 500Mbps adapters. They’re not massively faster than the older adapters but they are an improvement. The lack of Wi-Fi on these adapters is, however, a disappointment. Creating a new Wi-Fi hotspot in the second room is a great feature that Devolo should add as an option to these products. If you need the three Ethernet ports we still prefer Devolo's dLAN 500AV Wireless+. Even though they're a bit slower the inclusion of Wi-Fi makes them better value. That said, the three Gigabit Ethernet ports of the 650 triple+ and the Pass-Through power sockets on both the 650+ and triple+ set these Powerline adapters apart from most of the competition.
This Devolo powerline/wireless system is simple to set up – real plug and play. The best-case speeds reached over powerline were far from the claimed 500Mbps, but this is true of all powerline adaptors as much as Wi-Fi underperformance. The speed of this device will in part be determined by the unique wiring of your house, but our tests prove that speeds will likely be at least three times what you'd expect of your standard Wi-Fi when a few rooms from your router. The Devolo dLAN 500AV Wireless+ will be of particular use if you want to hardwire more than one ethernet-enabled device such as TV or Sky+ box, as it boasts three ethernet ports. Its wireless function means we still prefer the 500AV to the newer and faster 650+ Powerlines from Devolo.
The TP-Link AV500 Passthrough Powerline WiFi kit is a nicely priced, and speedy set of fully featured Powerline adapters. We like the number of Ethernet ports, integrated power socket and Wi-Fi hotspot. Our only word of warning is that these aren’t best designed for houses with low to the floor power sockets because of the placement of the second adapter’s Ethernet ports. Otherwise it’s a good choice.
The Devolo dLan 1200+ is one of the fastest Powerline adapters we’ve tested to date. It might not reach the dizzying speeds that it claims, but that’s true of all Powerline adapters out there. Its integrated electrical power socket is a real bonus, and the model with Wi-Fi and two Gigabit Ethernet ports on the second unit pretty much has it all.
The TrendNet Powerline 500 AV2 Adapter Kit features some of the fastest Powerline adapters we've tested so far, and the Wireless Access Point option adds super-fast Wi-Fi for good measure. Of course we like the speed, which is the whole point of Powerline, but we were also impressed that the standard adapter had Gigabit Ethernet – although more than one port per adapter would have been nice. It might be basic in its single port and lack of pass-through socket and it’s a shame that the Wireless Access Point product, which does have two ports, is limited by the use of 10/100 Ethernet but you simply can’t argue with the impressive speed scores and we've seen the Wireless Starter Kit sell for under £50 so is incredibly good value.
The Solwise SmartLink PL1200AV2 Passthrough PIGGY (why PIGGY??) HomePlug Adapter might have an over-long name but it is one of the fastest Powerline adapters we’ve ever tested. In a straight fight with its nearest competitor, the better-looking but bigger Devolo 1200+, it aced the speed tests by a whisker. It features two Gigabit Ethernet ports and a Passthrough socket just like the Devolo, but is a third cheaper. There’s no Wi-Fi model but pound for pound it’s hard to fault this super-speedy Powerline adapter. Don’t forget that you need two to make a network, and can add extra if you want to network other rooms, too.