on January 13, 2011
I am tremendously happy with the Trendnet Powerline AV 500. I've used it in two houses, a century old converted schoolhouse in Masschusetts and a decade old California house with far newer wiring.
In the Massachusetts location, even with the top Netgear wireless N routers on the 2.4GhZ band, I couldn't get a consistent signal from the top corner to the bottom corner of the place. The signal strength would report "3 bars" but the connection was spotty at best and would cut out constantly.
With the Trendnet, I can stream video consistently and the setup was as easy as plugging in both adapters into a standard wall outlet. Pushing the "connect" button seems optional. There's at least fifty feet of wiring between the two locations and the Trendnet handled it amazingly well with Skype video displaying consistently and beautifully.
In the California location, I have about the same fifty feet of wiring although the wiring is far newer and I can stream 1080p video from my PC to my PS3. I've never encountered a hiccup and once again the connection was amazingly easy to set up.
I've never done a stress test but while streaming video, the stream has gone to ~8MB/sec without stuttering.
The downside is that there's no power passthrough port. Some reviews complain about the powersaving sleep mode taking too long to respond but I've never encountered that.
on June 2, 2011
I got this kit plus one additional adapter to test along with a new Linksys WRT-400n router and a pair of Airlink AWLL6075 Wireless N mini adapters to do comparison testing. I was amazed when I first plugged the two adapters that come with the kit. They were registering a 279Mbs connection between them. I am able to max out my 24Mbs comcast connection consistently on speedtest.net. I am also able to do the same wirelessly, though the connection Tx rate is only 65Mbs and the Rx rate is 117Mbs. However, test results are not consistent using the Airlink AWLL6075's connected to a Mac Pro tower and PC located less than 30 feet from the router. I have more testing to do with actual video streams but so far the TrendNet adapters are looking very promising. Will update later. Did not do any actual file transfers to measure real world throughput but will get to that next.
I finally got around to doing a bit of real world testing. I have so many projects going on I have not yet actually put these into production use yet. However, once I finish building my NAS box for I will need them for streaming full time. I did a file copy test of a 3GB disk image from a Mac Pro to a MacBook Pro and measured actual throughput at 68Mbps. Though nowwhere near 500Mbps it is good enough for HD streaming. This was with standard Apple file sharing. The NAS will be sharing NFS mounts so my hope is that the throughput will increase with NFS. We'll see. Also there is a firmware update available that I have not done. Hopefully that boosts performance also. I'll add another update when the NAS is online. So far still satisfied with them.
on August 14, 2011
The setup for these devices really couldn't have been any easier. Once you plug them into the outlets of your choice and connect the ethernet cables, they are ready to go. I have one in my basement connected via RJ45 (ethernet cable) to my Apple Airport Extreme router, and the other is in my den connected to a 5 port Netgear Gigabit Switch via RJ45. I have several devices with LAN ports in the den so this has been a much improved connection alternative to going wireless, which I've found to be intermittent and far too susceptible to interferences. I now effortlessly stream HD Netflix , Youtube, Vimeo, and many other video content services along with fast downloads to my PS3. I feel as though my money was very well spent.
on April 21, 2011
I have a 20 year-old, 4000 sq ft home on three levels, with my internet connection and a media server on the main level. The electrical panel is in the basement in the middle of the house. I use SageTV to stream video from my server to the TVs in my house. Wireless has been problematic, because of the 14 other wireless networks in my neighborhood. I therefore decided to try the TRENDnet 500 Mbps Powerline AV Ethernet adapters to see if they would improve performance. Setting them up is easy and installing the software on a Windows 7 Laptop allowed me to verify that I had a connection and try different things to see the effect on connection speed.
With both adapters on the same circuit the software said the speed was 450. I then plugged in one adapter next to my server and ran a network cable from my network router to the adapter. First I tried using the second adapter upstairs in the master bedroom at the opposite end of the house. Initially the software identified the connection speed as low, fluctuating around 50-80. After I unplugged the two touch lamps that were on the same circuit the speed was identified as 129. Unplugging touch lamps on other circuits didn't seem to make any difference. Unplugging other devices on the circuit also made little if any difference. I then tried streaming video. DVD streaming worked without problems. However Bluray video kept cutting out, and was entirely unwatchable.
Next I tried placing the second adapter next to my home theater system in the basement, which is fairly close to the circuit breaker. Initially the TRENDNET software identified the connection speed at around 30. Moving to a nearby plug on the same circuit increased it to a 50. Unplugging the Monster Cable Surge suppressor which all of my AV equipment plugs into, brought the level up to a 79 (all touch lamps in the house were still unplugged). Plugging the TV and Sage TV extender directly into the wall rather than into the surge suppressor did not affect the network speed. However, when I tried to run SageTV the network connection was so slow that it took over ten minutes just to load the initial menus and I was never able to get it to display a list of videos, let alone attempt to play one.
Thus I am returning these adapters, because they don't work well enough in my house. I have friends who are using powerline networking with SageTV, so I know it can work. But in my case, performance was just too slow for my needs and actually slightly worse than the wireless network.
on November 11, 2011
This is the third set of powerline adapter that I got. I have all my data resources in my basement, internet, music, photos, movies in mpg, home video in mpg and m2t, and I want to access them without install network cables. I used 85 Mbps Actiontec, also used 200 Mbps ZyXEL. Actiontec couldn't handle regular mpg movie, ZyXEL could handle regular mpg movie, but not HD home video. The TrendNet 500 Mbps allows me to stream HD home video without any hiccups.
It claims 500 Mbps, what it really means is 250 Mbps upload and 250 Mbps download. I can get peak throughput at 6.3MBps(~50Mbps) when downloading a large file, it is about 20% of the throughput it claims.
The unit has a led light indicating connection between the two units, green(best), amber(better), red(good). What I found was that usually when I access internet(DSL 100KBps), the light was green, however when I copy large files from my NAS box down in the basement, the light would change to amber as soon as the copying started, indicating my home electric wiring somehow interfere the connection under high throughput.
I had three ZyXEL 200mbps powerline adapters, two of them were sent back for warrenty repair, out of curiosity, I found these units can talk to my ZyXEL 200mbps adapter.
Overall I like the units, since it allows me to do what I want although the performance is only 20% of what it claimed.
Using file copying to measure throughput might not be accurate, so I downloaded NTttcp from Microsoft to mearsure the throughput. The receiving computer was in basement and sending computer on first floor. The result was 8.2MBps(66Mbps), while 802.11g delivered a 2MBps(16Mbps). So it is roughly 4 times the thoughput of 802.11g under my electric wiring.
on January 22, 2011
This really was an exceptionally easy product to install.
I didn't monkey with thier software, since I'm just not that concerned that a close neighbor is also going to have one of these. What are the odds?
Plugged one unit into the wall and the existing router, went to the other end of the house, where wireless is poor, plugged in the other one, and connected the cat6 wire. Presto, internet connection, just as good as being connected to the base router.
I am only getting 80mbps or so of data transmission, but as stated in the product description, much of the available speed is dependent on how the wiring in your house is setup. I have not tried other nearby outlets to see if I can up that any, but Skype is working and that is what I was trying to achieve on my new Skype enabled Panasonic TV.
I think this is a pretty cool device, that delivers on it's promise, and is super easy to setup. I also like that it is capable of much higher speeds should I end up moving it to a location that has less interfence and that it conforms to the powerline standard.
on May 31, 2011
Bought this device to enable my son to connect his XBox 360 to our internet router. The XBox is located in a bonus room over the garage and the router is in the kitchen...barely reachable with a 100 ft ethernet cable strung through the house. I tried a wireless bridge device but there was not enough signal strength at the game console. I did not want to buy (yet another!) router that might have more transmit power, and leaving the ethernet cable running through the house was totally unacceptable... so what to do? Enter the TrendNet powerline adapter... Plugged both units into wall outlets - one near the router, and the other near the console - and had a brief flash of red on the BPL LED (a good sign!), but alas no connection. Tried resetting and unplugging/plugging in again but no go. Moved the console unit to a different outlet 12 feet over from the first and within seconds the BPL LED was on and my son was connected... has worked beautifully ever since. Maybe the first receptacle was on a different side of the 120/240 in the circuit box...not sure. Anyway, he's happy, and we're happy... a much easier and more realiable set-up than WIFI bridges from what I can see. Oh, yes, and it's wicked fast also... Enjoy!
on November 17, 2011
Work out of town four days a week, and have begun to set up a large media server in my travel apartment. 802.11 n in my TV and router was just not enough to reliably stream 1080P content, and drilling holes to put in CAT6 ethernet was not an option.
Tried these on a whim, and a week after set up pretty excited about the results. Although I still get some stutters, and the occasional "retry," it is demonstrably better than my wireless signal.
Setting these up was a bit disappointing, as I did need to go to the instructions to set up the encryption sync. Also, despite being about 15 feet apart, on the first day the link with only "amber," and not full green. For some reason, by day two they have been glowing green. Strange, but in my favor!
My throughput is an indicated 185 Mbps. Not too bad, and enough to stream just about everything. I use a Synology NAS as my movie repository, and despite this being a small, temp apartment...have four computers here. All are working very well. About to order a second pair of Trendnet 401e's, so will update this review as the Powerline network completely replaces wireless.
Of course, nice when i go to my real home, which has all CAT6, and a pretty impressive and modern patch bay to work with. Still, if you need more than 300 Mbps 802.11n, and can not jump to GigaBit ethernet in your home, this is a nice mid point.
on July 28, 2011
I ordered this pair of adapters to connect the router in my office to the switch in my living room. Prior to this change I was using wireless-N to connect the two rooms. The setup was quick and painless: plug the first adapter in to the wall, run an Ethernet cable to the router, plug in the second adapter, and run an Ethernet cable to the switch. Prior to the installation I was able to get just under 8Mbps downstream from my living room when testing using speedtest.net. After the change I was able to get 30Mbps. A four-fold improvement is not bad for 5 minutes of effort! It's not quite as good as the 62Mbps best case that I've seen in the past in my office, but it's much more than I need to smoothly stream HD content to my TV. I would highly recommend this for anyone who doesn't want to put in the effort to run dedicated gigabit network cabling in their home.
on December 24, 2011
You get two very lightweight plug in boxes that are completely identical. You don't need to worry which is master and which is slave. They plug in to the wall either way as it has two prongs that are not sized. There is an ethernet cable slot on the bottom, and the box has two cables included.
So, first you run a cable from your router to one of these boxes, plug box in to wall.
Then anywhere else in your house plug the other box in and to your computer, and now you have ethernet routed and your computer just connects as normal.
This is especially great for those of us who get headaches from wifi.
It has some PC configuration software on an included CD. This will allow you to change the name of the network so that if someone else is using one of these things for their own network it won't conflict with yours. This is probably of use to people in apartment buildings and office buildings. It's not required to use and if you have a Mac or Linux and can't run it it won't make any difference, it still works without any configuration needed at all.