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Netgear Powerline Wi-Fi review – the range extender that uses your power lines

Improving connectivity in our home is always an important mission for customers everywhere and Netgear has introduced a product that utilises your power lines for a fast connection.

The Netgear Powerline Wi-Fi is a simple plug-in solution that uses your home’s electrical wiring to link to your modem or router.

The product consists of two adapters – a powerline adapter that connects to your modem or router and a second device plugged into another room in your home that can then connect to the product.

For example, your modem might be located in a room at the front of the house while the TV or gaming console you’d like to connect is at the opposite end or on the second level of the home.

By connecting one adapter near the modem you’re able to extend the reach of your modem/router using your home’s power lines and connect to the second adapter near the TV or gaming console.

Each adapter has an Ethernet port which can connect to the modem/router on one end and to the TV or gaming console (or any other connected device) at the other end.

When connected the adapters find each other on your power lines and can achieve speeds of more than 80 Mbps.

It’s the ultimate range extender.

For our review, we linked our modem in our office downstairs to one Netgear Powerline Wi-Fi adapter and the other adapter to our smart TV upstairs.

The devices have clear LED indicator lights to let you know when each adapter has power and when a connection is established.

Each adapter also has a Pick A Plug indicator which helps users pick the PowerPoint with the strongest link performance.

This is shown by the colour displayed by the LED.

Red means a link of less than 50 Mbps, amber means a link rate more than 50 Mbps but less than Mbps and green means more than 80 Mbps.

And what makes this package even more attractive is the fact that the second adapter, which connects to your device, also becomes a Wi-Fi access point.

There are two antennas on this adapter to increase signal strength but it effectively gives you another wireless network.

It’s also possible for users to add even more Netgear Powerline adapters to add more Internet access point in their home.

You can even customise your network settings and do things like change the network’s name and password.

But there are things you need to take into account.

First of all, the Netgear Powerline Wi-Fi adapters can’t be plugged into extension cords, power boards or surge protectors.

So you’ll need to find room at the actual wall plug for these to work.

The other issue is that these adapters aren’t exactly small and can hog the power point especially if there only two outlets.

So you need to choose carefully when placing the adapters.

For our review, we had to connect a power board to the other outlet because it had a small plug that would allow the largest secondary Netgear Powerline Wi-Fi adapter to fit.

But after that we tested the connection we found we now had speeds of about 60 Mbps.

Now, instead of having the hit or miss connection of Wi-Fi in that room, we now had a solid connection to the TV to stream movies and play online games.

And we also had a bonus Wi-Fi network which was stronger than the one we could access previously.

Netgear Powerline Wi-FI

Price: $229

VERDICT

The Netgear Powerline Wi-Fi is an excellent choice to solve those connectivity issues in your home that’s easy-to-set up to provide a great result.

Improving connectivity in our home is always an important mission for customers everywhere and Netgear has introduced a product that utilises your power lines for a fast connection. The Netgear Powerline Wi-Fi is a simple plug-in solution that uses your home’s electrical wiring to link to your modem or router. The product consists of two adapters - a powerline adapter that connects to your modem or router and a second device plugged into another room in your home that can then connect to the product. For example, your modem might be located in a room at the front of the…

Netgear Powerline Wi-Fi

Rating - 85%

85%

PROS: Easy to set up, extends range of your network, creates another wi-fi network, Ethernet ports to connect devices.

CONS: Can't plug into a power board or extension cord, larger adapters that hog the power point.

VERDICT: The Netgear Powerline Wi-Fi is an excellent choice to solve those connectivity issues in your home that's easy-to-set up to provide a great result.

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About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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