Review Price £59.99
While powerline-based connections are less susceptible to noise than their wireless brethren, there are still issues. For a start, if you have a noisy power supply that interference can have a negative impact on the data rates achievable. Distance is a big factor, too. As long as the wiring isn't too old, it should be possible to get a good connection throughout a reasonable sized house, but don't expect incredible results over hundred-metre stretches of cable.
Our testing resulted in a 76Mbps transfer rate, over the same run of wiring that the Netgear XAVB1004 managed 64.8Mbps. That's a good outcome for the D-Link kit, although it's always possible that uncontrollable external factors had some influence on the results. A more likely repeatable result was the absence of any measurable latency, which couldn't be said for a wireless connection in the same place.
Importantly, the D-Link DHP-307AV proves faster in a real-world setting than any 802.11N wireless product we've looked at. And while we often notice Wi-Fi connections dropping out on us, or suffering fluctuations in transfer speed, no such issues occurred using the DHP-307AV. Short of running an Ethernet network around your house, there's no better alternative.
It's also worth pointing out the low power consumption of the DHP-307AV. When no network activity is detected the kit enters an idle mode where it draws under 1W. If you're the type to be concerned about the cost of your electronics this might prove reassuring.
The D-Link DHP-307AV kit is easily affordable, blissfully simple to set up and offers great performance. Wireless has its advantages, but when a fast, stable connection is wanted Ethernet-over-powerline connections will best Wi-Fi every time.
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