The D-Link Powerline Kit gets around the problems associated with wireless and normal Ethernet networks by using the power cables built into every building.
The kit is designed to be foolproof – all users need to do to get it working is plug in the devices and connect the cables. When the unit is plugged into the wall the power LED comes on. When the next unit is plugged and discovered the Powerline LED lights up. Finally when data is transmitted the Ethernet LED lights up.
The kit is primarily designed for video, hence the HD its name. To send high-definition video it needs to be fast. D-link quotes speeds of 200Mbit/s for the units and in testing it seemed to cope well with all the video to which we subjected it.
The unit also has a built-in quality-of-service (QoS) engine that helps prioritise audio and video streaming over the network, and includes secure encryption to enhance the network – but to set this up users need to install this from the accompanying CD.
The kit comes bundled with two 1.5m cables, which seem to be standard for Powerline devices, but a longer lead would have been better. The large adapter was also problematic.
Distributors: Computer 2000, Enta, Ingram Micro, Micro Peripherals, Portix, TNS, Target
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