Comtrend PowerGrid 902 Powerline Ethernet Adapters Review - Comtrend PowerGrid 902 Review

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You can also go for manual configuration as the adapters have their own built in web server. The password-protected interface isn’t particularly exciting and opens with a basic status rundown on transmit and receive throughput plus details of the network ID.


More details are provided in the advanced information pages where you can see system uptime plus the IP configuration and assigned address. The encryption type and negotiated keys can be viewed and you can see whether the adapter is functioning as an AP or EP. Don’t worry about the notch settings as you’re highly unlikely to need to change these and the manual doesn’t provide any enlightenment anyway.


You have access to virtually all adapter settings so you can opt for a fixed IP address, change the node type and enter a new network identifier. The encryption schemes, key length and key can also be modified but we would strongly recommend leaving the adapters to sort these out automatically. To secure access you can change the default administrative password and also reset the adapter back to factory defaults.


So far, so good, but performance is far from the claimed top speed of 200Mb/sec. Furthermore, the adapters only have 100Mb/sec Fast Ethernet ports so how this speed could possibly be achieved is quite beyond us. To test real world performance in a residential environment we linked a PC running Windows Vista to our main network via the Powerline network and started with an AP and EP connected to power sockets in the same room.


Copying a large video clip between them returned a top average speed of 38Mb/sec and this dropped marginally when copying a 450MB folder containing a mixture of smaller files. We moved the EP adapter to a room over the other side of the house and saw average speeds drop to around 32Mb/sec. Our worst-case scenario was plugging the EP adapter in a room on the ground floor as far away from the AP as possible where we saw speeds drop by around 25 per cent.


”’Verdict”’


If you want a cable free home network then the PowerGrid 902 is a very simple alternative to a wireless network and they are an absolute doddle to install and set up. With a two adapter pack costing as little as £70 they are very good value and also offer strong encryption to protect against eavesdroppers but performance is a big disappointment.

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