Having recently moved home – and to a much larger home – I realised I was going to have a problem with my internet connection. I need my router by my main PC, but that was upstairs. How was the signal going to be through multiple stories and thick walls? In addition, downstairs was my PS3 which is notorious for not liking wireless connections.
I’d for some time been considering HomePlugs, having tried the ZyXEL before, and knew this might be the solution. In the end I came across Solwise – they produce some excellent value-for-money solutions.
Therefore I bought 3 of their HomePlugs – each a different type. One was the basic model which I connected my router to. The other was in the living room and has 3 Ethernet ports – this satisfied my home media requirements. Lastly, I had one which extended my wi-fi.
What each have in common is their reasonable price, white plastic appearance and basic (but appropriate) packaging. I bought them directly from Solwise, as their prices are competitive. Delivery was also swift.
There are a choice of speeds – I went for the 200Mbps, as that is a good price point for AV (there are quicker 1GB and 500Mbps available, though). Again,in all cases, configuration is incredibly simple – plug 2 sockets in together next to each other and they will automatically configure themselves. This worked in all cases and I had to do nothing further. They have buttons to allow for them to resync and software to allow you more advanced configuration, including firmware updates.
The 3 I bought were…
NET-PL-200AV-MINI – This is a simple single Ethernet ported compact HomePlug. Priced at £25.74.
NET-PL-200AV-3PE – This is a 3 Ethernet port HomePlug. Priced at £34.49.
NET-PL-200AV-PEW-N – This is 2 Ethernet port Homeplug with 11n Wifi capability. Priced at £46.94.
The latter has additionally configuration software to allow you to set the SSID, channel, etc. What this does is pick up your internet connection via your Homeplug and re-transmit on a different signal. In my case this means I have 2 SSIDs – one for upstairs and one for downstairs. Each are on different channels too, selected (via an Android app) to be the least congested in each area.
[review]They’re simple to use, good value for money and, essentially, work – my home network issues have been resolved without a single cable between rooms![/review]