User Rating: Very Good
Ease of Installation:
Ease of Use:
Pros:Obscenely easy setup
Cons:Leeched off too much bandwidth from the connection
The Bottom Line: If you're a casual Internet user who can't run a wireless network, this may be a good product for you.
My main desktop computer is in a relatively awkward position within our house. We have both wireless and wired access to our modem, but the desktop sits in a spot with relatively weak signal strength, and no network jack nearby. I really wanted to rip up part of the floor and run a network cable to the desktop, but cooler heads prevailed, and I had to think up a better solution.
Recommend this product?
After a good deal of research, the NetGear Powerline Network Adapters looked to be the best route. There are a few flavors, and I only needed the lowest end, the XETB1001. Our house is new (3 years), and I figured there would be no problem with shoddy (or old) electric work interfering with the signal.
I ordered from buy.com, and it was in my hands 4 days later.
Setup was embarrassingly easy. Plug and play all the way. I was using the unit less than five minutes after I opened the box, and couldn't tell any difference in casual web surfing.
But speed testing told a different story.
I'm one of the lucky few with fiber directly to our home. We get 15 Mbps downstream over wired or wireless-g. But when I ran the test through the XETB1001, there was a speed loss of about 66%, to just over 5 Mbps. My weak wireless signal beat that speed.
I tried a few other tests, and was able to isolate the issue to the unit itself. For me, that was a deal-breaker. And I can't help but think that if I'm having that issue with newly laid copper, the problem will probably be exacerbated for those with older wiring or slower starting speeds.
All that said, I'm a bandwidth hog. I game, stream and download heavily. The loss of that bandwidth would have been noticeable. For some other users, it probably wouldn't. And in casual web surfing, it's unlikely I would have noticed at all.
In my case, I sent the unit back. But I can see this as being an ideal selection for someone who doesn't want (or can't use) a wireless network, is just a casual bandwidth user and likes easy setups. This wasn't the product for me, but I can see where it might be the product for other people.
Amount Paid (US$): 80
Driver Availability: Other