In many ways, testing this device could be considered a waste of time – especially considering it is almost identical to the previously tested Devolo kit. However, you never know what surprises await you. An unpublicised firmware revision can sometimes make huge differences, so it's always worth a second test. These units are rated for 85Mbps, but can they actually do this?
We tried to replicate the testing scenario we used for the Devolo kit as best as we could. This involved two Centrino based notebooks and the open source tool Iometer. Despite our best efforts, the Solwise kit was consistently faster than the Devolo, at 6Mbyte/sec, which is 48Mbit/sec. This is considerably better than the previous 30Mbit/sec seen on the Devolo, but it did fluctuate by up to 10Mbit/sec.
This confused me somewhat, so I hunted out the Devolo kit to test once more. I literally swapped the units straight out and the results were identical – 48Mbit/sec. This is testament to the variable nature of Ethernet over power technology. We have a lot of equipment running in our office, and all it takes is one unit to cause interference to lower speeds. Naturally, I'm going to blame Benny since he wasn't present for the second round of testing.
At the end of the day, even a drop from 48Mbit/sec to 30Mbit/sec, although fairly substantial – is more than enough for both Internet use, as well as file sharing and more consistent that you are likely to get from wireless. That's not mentioning the 200m range, which is pretty much any outlet in your household.
It's the Devolo MicroLink dLAN kit, but in a black box. Upon looking at Amazon, The Devolo kit has actually dropped in price considerably too, making the difference between the two products minimal. Quite honestly, the only deciding factor between these and the Devolo units, is colour and price. I personally think the units look better in black, but others might disagree. As far as price, this fluctuates all the time, so keep a look out. Right now, there is very little in it, with the Solwise kit available from its website for £39.19 (per unit).