We've seen no shortage of Ethernet-over-power adaptors in our time but although we've never failed to be impressed by the technology inside them, the products themselves don't offer that much variety beyond the transfer speeds they offer. Bucking that trend, however, is the DeVolo dLAN 200 AV USB Extender, which takes the principles of powerline networking, and takes them to a fairly logical new domain: powerline-USB.
It's a clever idea, if not an amazingly imaginative one - we've seen countless (wireless) routers offer similar functionality. The big ace up the DeVolo LAN 200 AV USB's sleeve is that it doesn't require an Ethernet or wireless connection, the former of which is an obvious hassle, and the latter of which doesn't always provide the most stable or speedy of connections.
Functionally that makes the DeVolo dLAN 200 AV USB a basic device. The two members of the powerline-USB tag team are fairly small units, one of which packs an Ethernet port, the other a USB port. We'd have liked to see a couple of ports, which would justify this adaptors rather high, almost Â£90, price. The ability to link multiple computers to a single USB device is pretty useful though - even if you will have to buy more powerline Ethernet adaptors to use this feature.
Physically the two adaptors that comprise the DeVolo dLAN 200 AV USB kit are what you'd expect - fairly small unimposing boxes, one of which is equipped with a USB port underneath, the other an Ethernet port in the same place. Also next to these ports on both is a button for enabling the encryption of the data over the network - at a small performance penalty that's nigh unnoticeable given the transfer speeds to and from any attached device are limited by USB's slow data rate.