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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product that needs better documentation
I bought two of the DHP-309AV kits and set up all 4 of the units with the same encryption key. I have one of them connected to my router, of course, and the other three are for a network printer, a DirecTV DVR receiver, and a desktop computer. These three network devices are at diverse locations in the house.

Setup is easy (but see below) and it's nice that...
Published 13 months ago by Griffith Lea Miller II

versus
101 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Worse than useless
So, according to D-Link customer support, the "only problem" with these devices is that they have to be "on the same circuit" to connect.

That's the "only problem", huh? And were there any other problems at the play, Mrs Lincoln?

My house is about 3,000 sq ft and must have 15 separate circuits. The odds of any two rooms being on the same one...
Published on June 22, 2012 by D. A. Shlapak


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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product that needs better documentation, July 10, 2013
By 
Griffith Lea Miller II (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: D-Link PowerLine AV 500 Mini Adapter Starter Kit (DHP-309av) (Personal Computers)
I bought two of the DHP-309AV kits and set up all 4 of the units with the same encryption key. I have one of them connected to my router, of course, and the other three are for a network printer, a DirecTV DVR receiver, and a desktop computer. These three network devices are at diverse locations in the house.

Setup is easy (but see below) and it's nice that each unit comes with an ethernet cable. The connectivity seems to be reliable and with adequate bandwidth.

I like the status LED's.

I really have only a couple of gripes. One is that I get a little bit of background noise on a recording system that is near the the unit connected to the router. Possibly if I got a longer ethernet cable and moved the unit to the other side of the room it would go away. For now I just unplug it from the wall when recording. This may not be a fault of these particular units, but rather one of the caveats of the technology in general, since (from what I've read) it basically turns your house wiring into a sort of broadcasting antenna.

The other is that this product is somewhat poorly documented. Only by reading lots of product reviews beforehand did I have a trouble-free setup. Here is what you need to know:
1) Initially set up the encryption key with the units on the same circuit. If you use two plugs in the same room you should be on the same circuit. Then you can move them anywhere in the house.
2) The button for encryption key setup should be pressed for no more than 2 seconds, not at least 2 seconds as the quick start guide implies.

Other tips:
1) Heed the warnings in the documentation and always plug the units directly into the wall. I wasn't dumb enough to try them on a power strip or UPS, but I did have one at the end of an extension cord in a moment of sheer laziness - no dice until I plugged it into the wall.
2) It doesn't seem to matter if you plug the units in upside-down, as I had to in order to clear one of those 90-degree plugs on the cord attached to my UPS.
3) Corollary: plugging these into one of the receptacles in a standard duplex outlet allows use of the other receptacle. I understand that this is not the case for some competing products.
4) I recommend downloading and reading the full documentation from the DLink website. It's more accurate and complete (obviously) than the quick start. [...]
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Setup, September 26, 2011
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I purchased this product because my wireless router was simply not offering enough signal strength to fully allow my PlayStation 3 to play comfortably online without any interruptions. The box includes two adapters, two blue ethernet cables, and product manual, quick start guide, and a CD. It's very easy to setup, and it works extremely well. Even from where the first adapter is plugged in, on the uppper level, I'm still able to get roughly 120 mbps to my PS3, which is suitable for HD video streaming. Overall, I would recommend this product for people who are having wireless unreliability or for large homes.
The only con I would give is that the first adapter that must stay plugged in to the router can get a tad hot and so can the other adapter, so I just unplug both of them when I'm not using them.
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101 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Worse than useless, June 22, 2012
By 
D. A. Shlapak (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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So, according to D-Link customer support, the "only problem" with these devices is that they have to be "on the same circuit" to connect.

That's the "only problem", huh? And were there any other problems at the play, Mrs Lincoln?

My house is about 3,000 sq ft and must have 15 separate circuits. The odds of any two rooms being on the same one are...long. In any decent-sized house, what are the chances that two arbitrary rooms will share the breaker? I mean, really?

So, useless.

The "worse than" part is this. The device has a "PowerLine LED" that's supposed to tell you "that the device is connected to the PowerLine Network." On both my units, this LED is glowing a pretty, steady green, which is supposed to mean not only that they are in communion, but are communicating at 80+ Mbps.

Turns out, not so much. According to D-Link tech support, all that LED is really saying is that the device is getting power.

Gee, I thought that's what the "Power LED" was for. Silly, silly me.

What a disappointing waste of time. I'll be requesting my return authorization pretty much the moment after I hit "return" on this review.

I wish I could give it zero stars.

ADDENDUM Turns out it's d-link tech support that's worse than useless, as is the documentation that accompanies the product. Thanks to the managing editor at SmallNetBuilder.com, I learned that PowerLine networks DO in fact work across circuits. He suggested that I reset the adapters to their factory settings and have another go.

Here's where d-link's marvelous documentation comes not play. The quick start that comes with the adapters says NOTHING about how to reset them. The downloadable user's manual says, "Press and hold the button for 1 second to reset to factory default." Yeah, well, no. Doesn't work at all, so's you'd notice. A second call to tech support taught me that the correct reset procedure is instead:

* Plug the adapter in
* Hold the reset button in for 10-20 seconds until the LEDs flash red or orange
* Release the reset button
* Unplug the adapter and leave it unplugged for 20 seconds
* Plug it back in

Just a tad more complicated than, "Press and hold the button for 1 second to reset to factory default." A tad.

Once I reset both adapters and ran through the configuration procedure again, IT WORKED! I'm very pleased with the performance boost, much less so that it took all day to achieve it.

So, d-link's customer service is basically telling people-incorrectly-that their own product is junk. If I hadn't taken one last desperate stab at salvaging the situation by posting to SmallNetBuilder (I'd already printed out the Amazon return authorization) I'd have totally, permanently, and unnecessarily given up on a technology that solves a real problem for me in my big ol' house.

The documentation-what comes with the product and what you can download-is totally misleading on a crucial subject.

And, the PowerLine LED still lies like a rug.

But, the adapters work, and so far work well. If they'd been Apple-like to set up (as part of my network upgrade, I just now replaced an older AirPort Express with a new dual-band one. It took longer to unwrap than to get working), they'd get four or five stars, but I have to subtract somewhere from one to two for the epically crummy tech support and documentation. Be prepared for some frustration if you buy these, but i have to (happily) admit that I'm finally getting my money's worth from our FiOS service.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Regretfully, I Have to Return It, December 21, 2011
By 
g45 (TX United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Two problems on my wireless home network are a personal PC at great distance from the Access Point/Router [AP] and a heavy resource user in the form of a security DVR. After reading reviews re the PowerLine technology for extending an Ethernet circuit I bought this D-Link Starter Kit that was advertised to get up to 500 Mbps for devices connected to a router by bridging the distance through the house wiring. Before purchasing I called D-Link Technical Support and discussed the limitations of the equipment and the technology. I was told I could obtain nearly the same speed and signal strength for devices located far away from the router, AS LONG AS BOTH ADAPTERS WERE ON THE SAME ELECTRICAL PHASE. The Technician repeated and EMPHASIZED, the operating constraint was the PHASE of the wiring, not the circuit segments.

I understood his comments to mean, in modern house wiring two legs or phases are connected to the customer distribution panel from a utility transformer. Customers then distribute the wiring throughout the house for phase to ground circuits [120 VAC] and phase to phase circuit [240 VAC]. If BOTH ADAPTERS are ELECTRICALLY connected on the SAME PHASE, regardless of the individual circuit location, then the D-Link PowerLine Device will operate as advertised. Any OTHER connection WILL yield unpredictable or inoperable results.

Because the PC problem was in the section of my house that was electrically two distribution panels away from the AP, I was not too surprised that the PowerLine solution did not work. I WAS surprised with the results from connecting the DVR, which I determined WAS on the same phase as the adapter connected to the router.

My DVR is currently "networked" through a Linksys Wireless-to-Ethernet Bridge, just like my color laser printer is connected on a separate Wireless Linksys Bridge. Unfortunately, when I access my DVR from a wireless device, i.e., laptop, remote desktop, etc., the network bogs down. Based on how the researchTechnician described the operation of their PowerLine devices, I thought I could simulate extension of the Ethernet to my peripheral devices and release some wireless demand resources to other equipment. It did not work. As soon as I accessed the DVR from one of my PCs the middle/House Icon [ which represents the quality of the Ethernet signal], would flash red. When I removed the wireless PC access, the middle light would continue to flash red then go to solid red. A different D-Link Technician said all three lights should illuminate green at all times to indicate proper high speed operation. If the middle icon "drops" to amber, then the signal/speed is deteriorating. If the icon "drops" to red, the speed is 50 Mbps or less. He said the FLASHING was an indication of data transfer. When I asked why the system did not refresh to green when the wireless access was removed, he did not have an answer. The only way I could restore the system to green was to PHYSICALLY remove/re-install one of the adapters from the power circuit. This made the device UNACCEPTABLE, so I am returning it.

I performed one other test. I connected the PowerLine devices to my network printer. On THAT device, which is also on the same electrical phase as the router device, the adapters appeared to operate as advertised. So, it may work well for devices like printers. For that reason, I rated the device as Fair or 3-Stars. I would have given it another Star, but I had some problems communicating with the initial Technician on this second call. I believe the problem was associated with insufficient training.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D-Link PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Kit (DHP-501AV), January 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The AV500 kit works well. My wireless router is located downstairs and was not providing a good enough constant signal for streaming movies to the upstairs media room. I had no problems setting the kit up and syncing them. One is attached to the D-Link 655 router and the other is providing the wired connection to the movie room for the Roku 2 XS 1080p Streaming Player. The streaming has been good with movies and there have been no drops or hesitations in the streaming.

The main confusion most people have is that the units have to be on the same electrical circuit. This only refers to the units being plugged up initially on the same circuit in any given room and syncing them. After that has been done then you can place them anywhere in the house for use.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It worked, December 5, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Wow - when's the last time a piece of technology worked as advertised? I followed the three step process and now I'm watching streaming netflix movies on my home theater system that is in the opposite corner of the house from my wireless network.

1 - I purchased this because the wireless signal was too weak for streaming video
2 - plugged in both boxes (one in an outlet near the modem & one in the TV room)
3 - connected the supplied network cable to the modem and to the home theater
4 - It worked!

Note - I plugged in the boxes via short extension cords - that way I could still use the other outlet at each site.
- not sure how it will hold up long-term, but 1 week into things and the system is functioning and stable.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works but "dumbed" down compared to previous models, October 14, 2013
This review is from: D-Link PowerLine AV 500 Mini Adapter Starter Kit (DHP-309av) (Personal Computers)
I have used various powerline adapters from different manufacturers. The DHP-309AV works but drops important features from previous models. The DHP-309AV kit comprises of two DHP-308AV (note the 8 instead of 9) adapters, D-Link uses the DHP-309AV model to refer to two bundled adapters. It should be OK to purchase a separate DHP-308AV adapter and link it to a pair of 309s if you need to connect additional devices. My devices had firmware 1.00 (marked on device label).
THE GOOD:
+ The adapters do what they claim: create a Ethernet link using house AC wiring. The devices that you connect do not need any special configuration and never realize that they are not connected by Ethernet cable.
+ The size is much smaller than previous 200Mbps adapters that I have purchased. This means that they are less noticeable, apart from taking up less space.
+ The single button (used for resetting/setting security) is placed on the bottom of the device where it is much less likely to be accidentally pressed when unplugging or plugging in. Some other powerline adapters have this button on the side of the device which almost guarantees that you will inadvertently press it during installation or removal.
+ The Powerline (middle) LED changes color depending on signal quality and is a nice feature to determine which outlets may work better than others (just plug it in and watch the color). Believe it or not I have seen other powerline adapters which do not use different colors for the Powerline LED and this makes it difficult to evaluate signal quality.

THE BAD:
- The most important feature that is missing is the ability to configure the powerline security key using a computer. With the DHP-309 the only way to use custom security is by pressing the button - you cannot connect to a PC and view status of all adapters nor set security options using special utility software (as has been done on previous powerline adapters). Because of this you don't have flexibility such as viewing status (Tx/Rx transmission speeds per adapter to see which outlets may work better), or ensuring that all adapters are using the same security key. There is NO UTILITY SOFTWARE publicly available to view status or configure adapters.
- The 2nd major thing wrong with the DHP-309 is that the Ethernet LED (the one that is ON when a device is plugged into the adapter) DOES NOT FLASH DURING DATA TRANSFER! The LED remains ON which is not intuitive and is opposite to every other adapter that I've used (including D-Link's earlier models). This flashing is an easy way to determine whether data is actually being transferred but since the Ethernet LED doesn't flash you don't have an easy way of determining whether this is happening. You may ask, whether this is really important. Consider a device already setup for your WiFi network and you decide to use the DHP-309 to connect via Ethernet: you might be confused whether the device is really using WiFi or Powerline. Since the Ethernet LED on the adapter doesn't flash you might think it is still using WiFi when it isn't.
- There is a gotcha with most powerline adapters that I have tested - most of them power down after a couple minutes IF NO ETHERNET DEVICE IS PLUGGED IN. This means that for setting custom security (WITHOUT any connected device) you need to unplug/plug in both adapters (to wake from "sleep") then complete the process before they go to sleep. If you do not do this and one device goes to sleep you will not be able to configure a unique security key (since the other device is "sleeping"). It is best to have Ethernet devices connected (doesn't have to be transferring data) before setting custom security.
OVERALL it works and is an inexpensive way to implement a powerline network. But I am disappointed that no software is available for monitoring status/configuring security using a PC. Also the absence of Ethernet LED flashing can make troubleshooting more difficult than it has to be and is very counter intuitive. If these two issues didn't exist I would have given a 5-star rating.
I hope you have found this helpful!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great once they are setup, December 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have been using 8 of these through out our house for over 6 months. Once they were setup correctly they work great with blazing speed. The documentation is worthless for correctly setting them up. I read other reviews and found they needed to be on the same circuit to set them up. Once they recognized each other and the security was setup up I was able to move them to other rooms and they work great. They work great in the media room for watching movies from Amazon Prime or Netflixes.They provide about 10x the download speed that I get from my wireless router. I now have one in the living room and bedrooms to plug our laptops into so we can get faster download speeds on them also.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cannot get a good signal anywhere, August 27, 2013
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The reason you buy this product is because your computer is no where near your router. Well, as soon as you leave the circuit where your one plug is plugged in, you get about zero signal. I have 50 mpbs internet, and usually get around 30 wireless -- I got 5-8 mbps with these. It only worked well when they were on the same electrical circuit, but again, unless you live in 500 sq ft, when the heck are you going to be on the same electrical circuit?? It defeats the whole purpose of using these things!!!!

Just as an FYI for set up- be sure to do the first steps while they are on the same circuit. They find each other super quickly and makes set-up easy. If only I got an actual signal.....
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works like a charm - FAST FAST FAST!, December 25, 2011
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I purchased this starter kit because one of the adapters from my old set (Netgear XE102G) failed one day. I tried connecting wirelessly in my home but the response time was much too slow. At first I could not decide if I was going to replace my one failed old adapter or buy something else, so I did some research and read reviews and found this product. Well, now that I see how fast my connection speed is with this D-Link set I am actually glad my old ones stopped working. I am not techy enough to measure mbps, but I can say that the response time with these is noticeably faster to me than any other type of connection I have tried. And the set was easy to set up (just plug both adapters in and they work!) I had read somewhere that when these adapters are plugged in they take up the whole wall outlet...but I have mine plugged into the top of a standard 2 outlet wall plug unit and I can still fit another plug in the bottom socket...so that was a pleasant surprise. I would highly recommend this product to anyone.
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