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The 5 best Powerline adapters 2014: Here are the best Powerline adapters you can buy in the UK right now

The 5 best Powerline adapter you can buy in the UK right now

Powerline adapter home power socket network

What's the best Powerline adapter you can buy today? We look at the five best Powerline adapters after extensive testing in real-world environments.[Updated December 2, 2013.]

Powerline is a simple-to-install digital home technology that gets you faster speeds than Wi-Fi for connecting devices to your network despite them being in different rooms to your router. It uses your home's power lines to create a network that's much faster than distant Wi-Fi, and can create new Wi-Fi hotspots to boost your home's wireless speeds.

Simply plug one Powerline adapter into a power socket near your router and attach it to the router with an ethernet cable (usually supplied with the Powerline adapter kit). Then go to the room where you want to hook up a device (maybe another PC or laptop, a smart TV or a set-top box for catch-up TV such as Sky+, Tivo and Apple TV), plug the second adapter into a nearby power socket and connect another ethernet cable from that to the device or devices.

That's it. It really is plug and play.

Some of Powerline adapters also have wireless functionality so they create a new Wi-Fi hotspot in that second room, too – so you get much faster Wi-Fi for your laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Read our Powerline adapter reviews for more detail, and check out our list below for our group test results and recommendations.

For more information on Powerline speed myths, tips and recommendations read our Powerline FAQ What is Powerline – simple to set up, faster-than-Wi-Fi home network.

Best Powerline adapters 2013

5. Netgear Powerline 500 WiFi Access Point

Netgear Powerline 500 WiFi Access Point
  • Reviewed on: 21 November 13
  • RRP: £69.99
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

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.

4. TP-LINK 300Mbps AV500 WiFi Powerline Extender

TP-LINK 300Mbps AV500 WiFi Powerline Extender
  • Reviewed on: 1 December 13
  • RRP: £89.99 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

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.

3. ZyXel HD Powerline Adapter 500Mbps

ZyXel HD Powerline Adapter 500Mbps
  • Reviewed on: 22 November 13
  • RRP: £35.33 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

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.

2. BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit

BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit
  • Reviewed on: 22 November 13
  • RRP: £99.99 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

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.

1. Devolo dLAN 500AV Wireless+ Starter Kit

Devolo dLAN 500AV Wireless+ Starter Kit
  • Reviewed on: 21 November 13
  • RRP: £129 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

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.

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