Published on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 18:59
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For the past 10 years or so most newly build houses, office buildings and even some apartment complexes are network-ready meaning they have shielded (most of the times anyways) CAT5/6 Ethernet cables installed in the walls coupled with at least one network plug in each room. This is without doubt the ideal solution for people who want and prefer the speeds offered by Ethernet connectivity over WiFi but unfortunately most houses (including my own) are way older than just 10 years. Powerline adapters have been in the market for many years and are pretty much the best choice for use with older buildings since they use the electrical wiring (power lines) to create a local network. Strangely enough however although this technology allows for much greater speeds than typical WiFi connections (especially over long distances) and also provides a much higher level of security not many consumers actually make use of them (on the other hand Office/Business sales are flourishing). Still our job is to thoroughly test the ones available in the market and so todays review is about the latest PlugLink AV 500Mbps Adapter by Asoka, the PL-9670-Q2.
Founded in 2001 and funded by top-tier investors Venrock Associates and Storm Ventures, Asoka is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. The company has engineering and manufacturing facilities in Zhuhai and Shenzhen, China, and sales and marketing offices in Grenoble, France. Asoka is a pioneer in the development of simple, secure, and reliable powerline communications (PLC) hardware and software and cloud services for Digital Living Made Simple™. Asoka’s PlugLink® and PlugLine® product lines enable service providers to quickly and economically install or extend complete home area networks that distribute high-speed Internet and broadband entertainment services throughout the home, as well as deliver innovative residential energy management and home monitoring services to consumers. Asoka pioneered the baseline platform for PLC solutions and developed the first remotely manageable PLC solution optimized for deployment by carriers and systems integrators. Today, Asoka provides the broadest and most complete portfolio of PLC products and solutions available for a global base of top tier service providers and system integrators, including AT&T, Comcast, Swisscom, Rogers, Motorola, FairPoint, CenturyLink and Clearwire.
Asoka has a large line of Powerline adapters but the PL9670-Q2 combines three very good features none of the others have together, a very compact size, two RJ-45 Ethernet ports and a bandwidth of up to 500Mbps. The only downside of such a compact size is the lack of a powerplug which means that once you use the adapter on a power socket you can't use it to power another device. That obviously shouldn't really be much of a problem since even really old houses have more than just 2 power sockets in each room but i do realize that some people may not like it in which case there are plenty other models in the Asoka line for them to choose from (reviews pending). Other important features the PL9670-Q2 Pluglink AV 500Mbps powerline adapters carry are the 128-bit AES encryption and power consumption less than 4W while in operation. Compact powerline adapters however usually underperform compared to their larger brothers so without further delay let's continue our review.