Netgear Powerline 1200 adapters review
The Netgear Powerline 1200 kit (PL1200-100UKS to give it its Sunday name) follows the brief of all the other powerline adapters I have encountered. It has been designed as a simple way to squirt an ethernet connection to a room far away from your router. Does the Netgear Powerline 1200 do this any better than the rest? Read on to find out.
Powerline adapters are a convenient and reliable way to extend your wired network without the need to run cables through your house.
The Powerline 1200 kit looks pretty good and promises a speed of 1200Mbps (Megabits per second) but I have had this promised by other adapters – once bitten, twice read the small print 😉
Netgear Powerline 1200 kit design
The Powerline 1200 Adapter Kit includes two identical adapters. The adapters have a single gigabit network port on top and, next to this, is a Security Button and a Reset button. The former is to create a secure connection between multiple adapters and the latter is to reset the adapter to the default factory setting. On the face of the device are some status indicator lights.
You may have already noticed that there is no pass-through for power which means that plugging in one of the Netgear units renders your power outlet occupied.
If that is a deal-breaker then you will be relieved to know that Netgear also offers another version of the Powerline 1200 kit, model PLP1200-100. It does cost a tenner more and looks to be quite a bit bigger than the PL1200 but you get the power pass-through.
As it is, the PL1200 is quite a slender device which could prove handy if you’re using a wall socket that’s behind some furniture.
Netgear Powerline 1200 kit set up
The Powerline 1200 Adapter Kit includes a Quick Start guide but, chances are, you won’t need this as the process is very simple – even for me!
All you have to do is hook up one of the adapters to your existing router using a network cable. Netgear have kindly bundled a short cable in with each adapter.
Then scamper to where your ethernet pining device is – be it a computer, printer or gaming console. Then plug each adapter into a power socket and you’re done. The adapters now use the electrical wiring in between the two sockets as a network cable.
If you have the need, you can add another adapter in for an additional device and keep on going until you run out of sockets or up to 16 wired devices to the single router.
The top status light is the Power LED. This shines green when the adapter is plugged in, amber when it’s in energy-saving mode and blinking green when the adapter is setting up security. Next one down is the ethernet status light and will blink happily as data powers through it. The bottom light is the Pick-a-Plug LED. This helps you figure out the best wall socket to plug the remote adapter in: red means it can deliver 50Mbps or less, amber means between 50Mbps and 80Mbps and green means the adapter has the best power line signal.
You can turn on the PL1200’s security feature by pressing the Security button on each plugged-in adapter as long as you do this within 2 minutes from pressing one to the other.
Once the security feature is turned on though, it won’t play nice with power line adapters from other companies. I found this out the hard way as I already have some Devolo and TP-Link units plugged in.
Also, if you want add another PL1200 to the network you’ll have to reset all the existing adapters to the default setting – turning off the security. Then, once plugged in, run around pressing the buttons again. Not a big deal, but handy to know.
Netgear Powerline 1200 kit performance
Netgear says that the Netgear Powerline 1200 kit can deliver up to a 1200Mbps connection speed. The thing is, each adapter is kitted out with a Gigabit, or 1,000Mbps, network port.
So, just as the Devolo devices claimed 1200+, the Powerline adapters may have the potential to handle data at 1200Mbps, but the real-world speeds are more around the 380 Mbps mark.
Still, this is not to be sniffed at when you consider your internet is being squirted through your home’s mains ring.
Netgear Powerline 1200 kit review conclusion
The Netgear Powerline 1200 kit performs very well and with a sub-£50 asking price isn’t going to sting you that much to get the interwebs in an otherwise unreachable room. This could be the ideal solution to enable you to hide your NAS (network attached storage) under the stairs or something.
Netgear Powerline 1200 kit price and availability
If the Netgear Powerline 1200 sounds like something you could do with, head on over to Amazon.co.uk where it is currently available for £49.99