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Zyxel PLA4201 500mbps Powerline Adaptor Review

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Phalanx 25th May 2012, 11:48 Quote
Would these be any good for streaming HD Netflix to a HTPC? It would be coming through from a gigabit router.
Spraduke 25th May 2012, 12:12 Quote
Hmm my devolo 200mbps might soon become a bottle neck when virgin boost my 30 mb to 60mb. Time to do some speed tests!
sandys 25th May 2012, 12:25 Quote
I use the Zyxel and get ~180Mbps from one part of the house and ~130 from another, only dropped to ~100Mbs when I am simultaneously copying big files to both locations, so not sure what is up with yours.

EDIT- Just realized these are the mini, I have the PL4205 Oops, I also use the 4225 which has a in built 4 port hub well handy for behind the TV, perfect for Netflix streaming etc by the way.
Phalanx 25th May 2012, 12:33 Quote
Thanks sandys. :)
Combatus 25th May 2012, 12:47 Quote
Netflix needs a maximum of just over 5Mbps (0.64MB/sec) for streaming in HD (they state up to 2.3GB/hr) so even 200Mbps adaptors will be fine.
Phalanx 25th May 2012, 12:48 Quote
Fair enough then. :) Thanks.
Blackshark 25th May 2012, 13:05 Quote
So in a few years time, as marketing teams increase the 'theoretical' speed on the packaging a gazillion times, we will have powerline plugs that offer 10Gigabits (1GB per second) but will offer 30MB/s. When will someone like the Trade Description people step in?

I can understand transfer loses - but these manufactureres should have to prove in lab tests that even in perfect world, they can live up to what? 90% of the claim?

When I buy a car with a 180bhp 2.2 litre enginer, I dont expect it to arrive with a 40bhp 0.8L engine!
sandys 25th May 2012, 13:16 Quote
That is single stream performance.

You can achieve good throughput generally, it used to be that the more powerline adaptors you added the lower your transfer, now you can add more and the tranfer rate of the network is still quite high, so you can have multiple network streams and the bandwidth doesn't drop which is the big improvement the 500 gear gives you.

Check figure 15 here

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/lanwan-reviews/31624-homeplug-av-500-adapter-roundup?start=2

One of my reasons for upgrading since backups to my NAS take forever if you were also streaming other stuff on the old gear to other machines, but to be honest the old gear was great, though ran hot, new stuff nice and cool plus its faster. :)
Pookie 25th May 2012, 13:40 Quote
Nice review, good to see reviews of networking kit for a change.
GeorgeK 25th May 2012, 16:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackshark
So in a few years time, as marketing teams increase the 'theoretical' speed on the packaging a gazillion times, we will have powerline plugs that offer 10Gigabits (1GB per second) but will offer 30MB/s. When will someone like the Trade Description people step in?

I can understand transfer loses - but these manufactureres should have to prove in lab tests that even in perfect world, they can live up to what? 90% of the claim?

When I buy a car with a 180bhp 2.2 litre enginer, I dont expect it to arrive with a 40bhp 0.8L engine!

I agree - I've been looking into cabling vs powerline recently and I could find no evidence to support the fact that 'gigabit' powerline adapters would offer me any more throughput than my current wireless connection (which gives me a max of about 8 MB/s on large files) unless they happen to be used to network two things in the same room...
sandys 25th May 2012, 17:11 Quote
Both of mine go across the house in different directions, do a test on your wireless and see if you can sustain 12.5MB a second to two computers at the same time, your wireless will probably half.

Before I updated my powerline I bought 450Mb 3x3 wireless N gear as this stuff exists in or laptops/phones etc and as I didn't really want to continue using powerline when wireless is so convenient and I have limited sockets, it couldn't handle my usage scenario :(

Was only good for one stream at full speed really any more and the missus complained that the internet didn't work :D
dunx 25th May 2012, 17:59 Quote
So how do you measure multi-streaming performance ?

I don't need it, yet... but can they cope with 2x loading say between 2 pairs of PC's ?

dunx
Pookeyhead 25th May 2012, 18:34 Quote
Am I missing something obvious with these powerline adaptors? How is 19MB/sec = 500Mbsec? Why is it a 500Mb/sec adaptor? 500Mb/sec = around 60 MB/sec doesn't it?
GeorgeK 25th May 2012, 19:04 Quote
^ Exactly - even in 'ideal conditions' (read: same room), they don't even manage 1/3 of the stated speed....
sandys 25th May 2012, 19:14 Quote
It is one of those unfortunate marketing things that networking companies seem to get away with where they add up and down plus multiple streams in best case scenario to come up with the number.

Bit techs review misses the multi stream test that is the benefit of these adaptors beyond raw single stream pace :)
MSHunter 25th May 2012, 21:21 Quote
Waiting for a full review in next CP mag to include other brands like Solwise which use the same chip as the Delovo's and cost much less. some review sites say they are so much of the same that the auto encrypt button works when linking delovo to Solwise adapter. (got to love it when standards are followed)
jjthorne 29th May 2012, 10:25 Quote
I use 3 of these Powerline adapters in my use, as I live in a built up area where if I do a scan of the Wi-Fi channels I pick up 10 different signals so gaming via the W-Fi is no good, I have the 200mbps connected to a ADSL modem, the ADSL is connected ATM at 9.306 doanload and 1.025 upload, Wireless I don't get anything near this just simply Pinging the router via the Wireless I get on min/avg/max/mdev = 1.477/3.078/70.950/8.198 ms through the the Powerline I get a 3ms at all time, as their is no interference from other house's.

So aslong as you get a set of adapters that are faster then your broadband then their will not be a bottle neck, the downgrade of the of the bandwidth if A) the quality of your powerline cables in your house, and B) the length of the transmission, 'cause if its going from one room to another on different flip switch's then the signal needs to go right down to the switch box then back up to the other adapter. but its cuts out all the interference from other people WIFI which i was getting.
TheDitherer 30th May 2012, 21:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjthorne
the length of the transmission, 'cause if its going from one room to another on different flip switch's then the signal needs to go right down to the switch box then back up to the other adapter.

This must be TCP/IP packet loss or Ethernet frame loss. There's no way a signal, travelling at about 0.5c, is appreciably slowed by a dozen yards of copper wire and a fusebox.

But why is there any loss at all? This cabling carries (13Ax240V) 3.1kW, surely it can manage a bit of Ethernet?

There are much techier people on here, so I await enlightenment (and probably being made an idiot of :o)
PeteDemiSwede 7th June 2012, 01:27 Quote
I recently upgraded my broadband to Virgins 100mbit and my old Devolo 200mbit power line adapters were too slow. Bought the solwise 500mbit ones and they do the job nicely, and they give me at least 100mbit. They were a lot cheaper than the Devolo equivalents but work very well and I have had zero dropped connections. I used to regularly get dropped connections with the Devolo adapters wasting a huge amount of time.
augustud 14th October 2012, 23:51 Quote
Good review, HOWEVER, you forgot to mention one thing...they only have 100Mbit Ethernet connection on them, which is why you could only get them to run at 100Mbit/s and nothing like the advertised 500Mbit/s.

Bloody cheek really.
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