Sitecom 500 Mbps homeplug Ethernet review -
Final Words & Conclusion
Final Words & Conclusion
Alright let's get into the final verdict, quite honestly I expected way more from the new 500 Mbps homeplug models, the difference in-between the 200 Mbps and this 500 mbps model really is way too little to make a substantial difference whatsoever. In fact if you'd have told me that it was 200 Mbps model I'd have believed it just as well.
The good news, they are not really expensive at under 50 EUR per plug, 105 EUR for a kit of two and 65 EUR for the Sitecom Homeplug 500 Mbps plus switch LN-509.Remember, the cost of getting network cabling & sockets properly installed, and it's much tidier than running Ethernet cables on the floor. By the way, Sitecom offers a great 10 year warranty on these products, which is golden in my book.
But granted, we feel that the Sitecom 500 Mbps Homeplug series is very good for typical web-surfing, gaming or occasional file transfers. If you stay in the same fused power ring, then streaming HD content would not be an issue either. But if you want something more demanding you'll quickly run into performance limitations IF you do not stay within the same power-group/ring.
The upside is that even on a completely different fuse group yet within the main ring we still pulled 34 Mbit/sec out of the devices in a worst case scenario, which is more than enough for most lag-free internet connections, but certainly not enough for file transfers and blu-ray HD streaming (=40 Mbps). So it all depends on whether or not you 'travel' to other rooms and add to that, the other electrical equipment in your house, both will have an effect on the quality and thus speed of the signal.
What makes this product interesting is related to the fact that it literally is plug and play. No setup is required, no operating system dependency. So there's no messing around with wireless SSID, WEP and pass phrases etc. like you have to deal with on a wireless router. Each plug has its own ID no. and MAC address, they are automatically detected. And when there is no network connectivity, the Sitecom Homeplug 500 Mbps plus will jump into a power saving mode. And if you want to, you can add another layer of security and also enable 128-bit AES encryption. The ease of use is incredible.
So let's round it up with the negatives first, if you advertise a product at 500 Mbit/sec you may expect a lot more performance then offered. We measured give or take 100 mbit/sec in the very best and very optimal scenario. And if you need to split the connection to other rooms and computers, that will have a very adverse effect on signal quality and thus the overall speed in Mbps.
That makes it good for Internet connectivity and transferring small file, online gaming should not be an issue. However, if your purpose is to occasionally move masses of files, you'd be MUCH happier with the good old CAT5 cable, a switch and some wires.
The Sitecom Homeplug 500 Mbps plus series remain a fairly good series Powerline Ethernet adapter. The ease of use is incredible, and you can add a layer of security if desired. Performance however will never ever even get remotely close to 500 Mbps though.
Really, it's all about network performance, and while the units deliver more then enough for internet connectivity and the occasional file transfer, it's by far not as advertised. You'll never get 500 Mbps, but you should certainly beat current Wi-Fi standards and thus WIFI routers.
The Sitecom Powerline Ethernet adapters allow you to use your mains electricity circuit to transfer data, this way you can extend your network to wherever you have a free plug socket. The product we test today comes from Sitecom, their 500 Mbps plus Homeplug. The kit provides a connection of up to 500Mbits/sec. Divide that by 8 bits and you'd in theory would be able to see transfer speeds of 62.5 Megabyte per second. In practice, however we tested the maximum net data rate is much MUCH lower, 60~100 Mbits/sec - still that is faster than Wi-Fi and sufficient fenough or streaming high-definition video from say your PC with network shares to, for instance, your HTPC.
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