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Many people seem to have a hard time leaving the convenience of their local Wi-Fi network although they all know that it can't actually reach the throughput data transfer speed of a wired connection. Wiring a brand new house with Ethernet (CAT5/6) cables may not be quite easy but it's also the most ideal solution if you want the best possible performance for your local network (although it can get somewhat expensive). However for old houses/structures that is not really possible (unless you don't care having them around) and so in such cases you can either rely on a Wi-Fi connection or on Powerline adapters. Of course since Powerline adapters practically use the electrical wirings of the structure their performance is directly affected by their quality/age. Still even so Powerline adapters are quite faster than most Wi-Fi connections (especially when the modem/router is not near) something which we've proven time and again through our reviews. This time however in our lab we have the smallest Powerline adapter in the market to date, the TPL-406E 500Mbps compact powerline AV adapter by TRENDnet.
TRENDnet is a global provider of award winning networking solutions to small and medium size business and home users. Building networking solutions since 1990, TRENDnet enables users to share broadband access, multimedia content and networked peripherals for true anywhere connectivity. TRENDnet's diverse product line includes Wireless, Fiber, Switch, Gigabit, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Keyboard/Video/Mouse (KVM), Internet Camera, Print Server, Powerline, Bluetooth, Storage Server, Power over Ethernet (PoE), and Multimedia Accessories. Based in Torrance, California, TRENDnet maintains branch offices in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central America, South America, and Asia. TRENDnet’s management system is ISO 9001:2008 certified (click here to view certificate). TRENDnet emphasizes continual improvement as an essential component of its quality management system. This ensures rigorous process standards across the entire organization with respect product development, product quality and all other pertinent enterprise functions. TRENDnet's 250-plus product portfolio is distributed in over 125 countries. The TRENDnet brand is consistently recognized for high quality, exceptional performance and professional support.
I can't say that i ever had a real problem with the size of powerline adapters especially if they featured an integrated electrical socket so i was a bit surprised when TRENDnet announced the availability of the TPL-406E series. It is indeed a compact powerline AV adapter but no matter how much i try i can't figure out why I’d ever use a compact adapter without an integrated electrical socket instead of a slightly larger one with an integrated electrical socket. Anyways things like that always come down to personal preference so at the end of the day our job is to test the TPL-406E 500Mbps Powerline AV adapter mainly to see whether or not its compact size affects its overall performance especially since all of the powerline adapters we've tested from TRENDnet so far have been top notch.