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Old 1st Oct 2013, 09:48   #1
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Zyxel PLA5215 600Mbps Powerline Adaptor Review

Zyxel has released a pass-through version of its speedy 600Mbps adaptors. We put them to the test.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/net...e-adaptor-re/1
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Old 1st Oct 2013, 11:31   #2
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These look good.

BUT, my experience of Zyxel is they seem really good, but become buggy within a few weeks of use. I'm on my 3rd set of 500mbps powline adapters and they are just starting to lose connection for roughly 5-6 minutes, twice a day. They just drop out. You have two choices: unplug and replug and they will re-establish, or wait 5 minutes and they will reset.
Very annoying.

I was thinking of changing them, even though they are still in warranty, I'm bored of sending them back and getting anew set that do the same. So, I'm a bit hesitant to use zyxel.


Secondly, a question.
You say that they fall short of decent dual band wireless? Is this true? I thought powerline adapters were way ahead of wireless. Dual band "n" for example has a theoretical 300mbps, but is likely to be far below this, (I thought people were getting close to 130mbps top speed).
Am I better looking at a decent bit of wireless kit than powerline adapters? :s
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Old 1st Oct 2013, 14:18   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
I thought powerline adapters were way ahead of wireless. Dual band "n" for example has a theoretical 300mbps, but is likely to be far below this, (I thought people were getting close to 130mbps top speed). Am I better looking at a decent bit of wireless kit than powerline adapters?
I would imagine that there's no definitive answer to that without actually physically testing it in your location, as what would work best in one situation / location would be the worst in another, simply because there are so many variables: ie the distance from point to point, whether it's a clear or obstructed line of sight, what type of obstruction/s they are, (ie wall material / thickness) external interference to the WiFi signal, quality of the electric wiring in your house, route of the wiring, etc, etc...
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Old 1st Oct 2013, 17:32   #4
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There are 5-10 options?! Where?! Which ones?!
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Old 1st Oct 2013, 19:50   #5
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From a console gaming perspective, I always found the latency of a power line kit was lower to that of a wireless gaming set-up.

So, assuming your hardware is close enough to a power socket for cables not to be the issue, power line kits with decent speed set-up that's fast enough for HD streaming was a better choice for me... I hooked up a cheap wireless N router for the family wireless needs
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Old 1st Oct 2013, 23:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
There are 5-10 options?! Where?! Which ones?!
I presume you're referring to this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article, page 3, last paragraph
Devolo's adaptors might have come down in price but even though they now retail for 5-10 less than the new PLA5205's, the latter are still your best option.
I think that was a bit of a misread there! (It'd be great if they were just 5-10 though!)
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Old 2nd Oct 2013, 10:42   #7
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Old 2nd Oct 2013, 10:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway View Post
These look good.

BUT, my experience of Zyxel is they seem really good, but become buggy within a few weeks of use. I'm on my 3rd set of 500mbps powline adapters and they are just starting to lose connection for roughly 5-6 minutes, twice a day. They just drop out. You have two choices: unplug and replug and they will re-establish, or wait 5 minutes and they will reset.
Very annoying.

I was thinking of changing them, even though they are still in warranty, I'm bored of sending them back and getting anew set that do the same. So, I'm a bit hesitant to use zyxel.
I have the Zyxel 500s the 4205/4215, 4 of them in fact, issue free, I can't recommend them enough, bit of a shame BT hasn't reviewed these and these are the 500 Zyxel variant that should be used in a comparison with the 600mb as unlike the 42x1 devices they have 1Gb ports rather than 100mb ports so you get better performance, it's hard for me to see here if the 600s are an upgrade or not as I get comparable speeds at home on my 500s to what is in this review for 600s.


Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway View Post
Secondly, a question.
You say that they fall short of decent dual band wireless? Is this true? I thought powerline adapters were way ahead of wireless. Dual band "n" for example has a theoretical 300mbps, but is likely to be far below this, (I thought people were getting close to 130mbps top speed).
Am I better looking at a decent bit of wireless kit than powerline adapters? :s
As mentioned by others it all depends on a mixture of things, I went out a few months back before upgrading to the Zyxel 500s and bought a load of N450 kit, it could not match the speed of even my old powerline gear over distance, 11ac gear will likely be another matter but that is a substantial price difference at the mo.
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Old 2nd Oct 2013, 11:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
There are 5-10 options?! Where?! Which ones?!
I presume you're referring to this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article, page 3, last paragraph
Devolo's adaptors might have come down in price but even though they now retail for 5-10 less than the new PLA5205's, the latter are still your best option.
I think that was a bit of a misread there! (It'd be great if they were just 5-10 though!)
Ah, yeah, quick skim read so I clearly missed half the sentence. Cheers though
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 00:13   #10
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sub 100Mbps? No way! I use 1Gbps for years now. And now I'm already going to 10Gbps (early 2014).
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 09:43   #11
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Powerline is just no option when its theoretical speed isn't even on par with the best Wifi technology out there. I don't care about actual real world speeds and that powerline can be better than wireless if you have poor coverage. This is supposed to replace the need to install Ethernet cabling in your home and right now it is not going to happen. I'm glad I decided to install cables a long time ago. Sub-Gigabit in 2013? Hell no.
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 09:50   #12
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When all you need to do is stream video files from a server or give internet to TV, HTPC or console GbE is OTT, in these scenarios you only want a few reliable megabytes, powerline does this and will do so all over the house, into the back of the garden to the granny flat etc, very simple, plug and go, no need to worry about wifi holes, though actually I do use the PLA4321 (powerline wifi extender) to back up my home wifi that can't reach parts of my house.
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Old 7th Oct 2013, 13:42   #13
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I have questions about powerline adapters. Seemingly they can communicate across circuits within the house so theres a circuit for downstairs sockets and a circuit for upstairs... if it can cross circuits then does the signal not go out of the house also and possibly into your next door neighbours house? (I live in a terraced house) What if they have one in their house will it also communicate?

I am very tempted as My wireless signal is currently being drowned with all the other signals around me (10-11 different signals)
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Old 7th Oct 2013, 13:48   #14
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Yes It can connect to next door, so you still need to secure it, they have encryption.
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Old 9th Oct 2013, 12:38   #15
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Yeah the best solution for speed and reliability is of course a LAN connection. Sadly this is not always possible and in such situations Powerlan adapters are a much better choice then wifi.

At the very least from a support point of view, as there are fewer ways for it to not work.

still miffed that tablets do not have LAN ports. Guess I'll have to try USB to LAN. At least setting up some set IPS for your devices outside the DHCP range helps a bit and naturally buying Pro grade network hardware with a good track record.
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