Review: TP-Link Mini Powerline Ethernet Adapter

The problem, a house which is ~250 years old, with at least 100 years of DIY slapped on top, some network cabling retrofitted on top of that and 2′ thick walls which are a right pain to drill holes through.  On top of which a second hand Shuttle box running as the house server, backup MX for a bundle of personal domains which currently relies on a 9″ desk fan to deal with the fact the internal cooling wasn’t doing it’s job properly.

It’s a noisy thing to have in the dining room.

Enter some birthday money and some decent recent reviews on Amazon for the TP-Link.

Installation

In short, a doddle.  Plug one in, press the button for 2-3 seconds.  Plug the other in, press it’s button for 2-3 seconds, watch until the lights calm down.  That was it, all working.

Performance

On the ethernet (100Mbs switch) 9-10Mb / sec transfers from Windows 7 to the server were the norm.  These drop off to ~7.5Mb/sec when running over the adapters, however that’s an acceptable loss given it’s new location shoved in the spare room.  The documentation recommends not spanning across different rings, or plugging into extension cables etc etc.

Naturally I’m doing both, the connection has to jump across different power rings (two MCBs) and 4-way extension cables at both ends.

Summary

As with all technology things vary, but given the nature of the house, it’s power setup etc etc I reckon this is a solid test.  I’d buy it again.

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