Having previously mentioned my intention of upgrading the Homeplugs in my house, I eventually decided to buy the latest and best from Solwise. My current plugs are Solwise 200AVs and they’ve been reliable and quick. These are not only 600Mbps (the previous were, as you can tell from the name, 200Mbps) but use the new AV2 standards as well. AV2 supports Gigabit Ethernet, power saving modes and is only available for 500AV products and above – the original AV standard only works up to 500AV. I’ve also plumped for the model with a mains pass-thru, meaning they don’t use up a mains socket when in use.
For those not aware of Homeplugs they, basically, use your mains wiring to transmit internet connectivity around your home. Better and faster than WiFi they’re an excellent alternative to wiring around your walls.
As before, they’re white 1 and have 3 lights on the front, indicating power, connectivity and Ethernet use. These can be different colours and conditions (e.g. flashing) to indicate various states. For example, the connectivity light will use the colour to indicate connection speed (red is less than 30Mbps, orange is 30 to 80Mbps and green is over 80Mbps).
Underneath is a single Gigabit Ethernet port as well as a reset and security button – the latter is used to randomize the security key used to transmit data. I’ve never had the need to use either of these buttons but they’re there for those who may need to.
Packaging, you get a quick start guide, CD with utility and full instructions on and an Ethernet cable, held with a tie. The Homeplug itself is in an unsealed plastic bag so it can be re-used easily. Other than that it’s all held in its box via cardboard so all very environmentally sound. Personally, I’d have liked the CD to not be included and to be downloadable – particularly if you want to read the instructions on, say, a device without a CD drive.
I bought 3 in total, each the same. The first one went next to my router. Plugging it in, the lights came on immediately (no start up sequence like the older models), showing amber for connectivity. This is because my older Homeplugs were still in use elsewhere in the house and it had automatically connecting to them, obviously at their slower speed. When I then swapped the other outs for the 600AV2s, all lights went green.
And that was connection – plug them in, switch them on. It really is that simple.
Last, but by no means least, I should mention Solwise. They’ve been brilliant, support wise. Thankfully their products are reliable but when I’ve had technical questions they’ve always been quick and keen to help. When, last year, my house was struck by lightning and it destroyed one of my original Homeplugs, they even replaced it for me, free of charge. I don’t think that’s usual service but I was very grateful to them.
Quick, well priced and so damn easy to use – a brilliant solution to connecting up your home.
- often you’ll find white plastic products dis-colour over time but I’ve not seen evidence of this from my previous models
- often you'll find white plastic products dis-colour over time but I've not seen evidence of this from my previous models