TP-Link AV600 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit Review

In Technology

A solution to WiFi-problems! Horray! But… Potentially a source of other issues?

Update (01/07/2018): I’m using the powerline adapter on my PC on day-to-day basis, but I’m having to turn off the wall socket every few days because it seems to lose the connection… So no improvement on reliability.

Wireless networking can be a pain. Especially in very populated areas in the cities your WiFi channels might be super crowded (even 5Ghz), or you just simply don’t have the range and don’t want to use range extenders because of increase in latency or the interference from other networks. I’ve had personally a mix of everything previously mentioned; so I bought this powerline adapter set in December 2016 for £19.99 on Amazon to see if it solved my issues or not.

Check out the latest price and full product description on Amazon:
TP-Link 600 Mbps Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, No Configuration Required, UK Plug (TL-PA4010KIT V1.20) – Pack of 2

TIP: I ended up buying an extra cable because the description on Amazon states :
“Box Contains: Ethernet cable (RJ45)”

That actually means two cables. i.e. You do not need to buy any cables with this starter kit:

My (mixed) personal experiences

I do think the adapters work, but the Internet connection will be only as good as your wiring is, so I can’t blame the adapters for everything. For example in our flat the lights flicker and the wiring seems to be done by someone who was/is on the mental level of a five-year-old. So, not very well and not very recently either.

My biggest complain is that sometimes, usually due to a time of inactivity or interference it just drops the connection between the two units and I have to turn one of them off and on again and the connection is up in a few seconds. The interference can be something like a vacuum cleaner plugged in another plug and being used, and the internet just drops off completely.

Do I think you should get one?

I am not too pleased with this product in particular because of the problems, but… If your WiFi is really bad, it is worth the shot. Maybe you won’t suffer same issues. But the network quality may not be what you will expect with these adaptors. So: Just don’t go spending too much on something that may not work or make sure you can return it if you do spend a decent amount.

If your WiFi’s ‘lacking signal’ is only noticeable in the signal strength bars and not in anything concrete you actually do use your wireless devices for, then I’d probably just keep using the WiFi or get an extender if possible – if that were to suit your needs.

On the positive note the adapters are almost as fast as my Killer Wireless card on 5Ghz: I compared the two in Overwatch and found that my ping went up by 2ms every time I swapped from WiFi to the adapters. And also I am getting full bandwidth with my Virgin 100Mbit broadband. Where as with the wireless I never could even come close to the full speed.

TP-Link 600 Mbps Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, No Configuration Required, UK Plug (TL-PA4010KIT V1.20) - Pack of 2

The Good!

  • Cheap kit that includes everything you need
  • Stylish and compact design
  • Very easy to pair and to start using
  • Doesn't increase latency too much

The Bad!

  • Reliability issues, having to restart the adapter(s) a few times every week
VALUE
90 %
BUILD QUALITY
70 %
FUNCTIONALITY
50 %
RELIABILITY
30 %
60%FINAL SCORE

A fix for some, but more problems for others

I'm quite surprised how much you can get for twenty pounds, but at the same time quite disappointed that it wasn't as good as I had hoped. So I probably will have to keep on looking for a better solution for my own networking needs. But I have a feeling that this would be a very good and simple solution with houses that have good quality and recent wirings with not too much interference going on.

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