The HomePlug MPT is very solidly constructed out of a matte white plastic that should look suitably understated next to your average white plug socket. To accommodate the sockets for the pass-through plug, all the network circuitry has had to be shifted up and consequently the HomePlug MPT is really rather tall. Indeed at 123mm tall, it extends some 50mm above your average wall mounted plug socket. However, while this is undeniably large and in some situations the HomePlug MPT will simply not fit, the design has obviously had some real thought put into it so that for most people it is incredibly easy to use.
For a start, it’s only the width of a standard plug socket so it fits comfortably alongside other plugs when used in a multi-plug extension and it doesn’t interfere with the power switch on normal mains sockets, unlike some other devices. Also, because all the extra height has been confined to the top of the device with no extra length underneath, it will fit in even the lowest of wall mounted sockets.
The positioning of the Ethernet port underneath the plug is also worthy of praise as it ensures the cable points towards the ground where it is less likely to be damaged by wayward feet or vacuum cleaners – and it looks neater too. Likewise, the trip switch for the mains pass-through is also kept out of harm’s way on the underside of the plug. This cuts-out at 10 Amps, even though the pass-through is only rated at eight Amps, so it’s best not to use the socket for an electric heater. For most computing uses, though, it will more than suffice.
Setting up a basic PLN is incredibly easy with the new Simple Connect method. You just connect one end of the Ethernet cable to your router and the other to a HomePlug then plug the HomePlug in to the mains socket. Next, go to all the computers you want to connect and similarly plug the Ethernet cable into your computer and the HomePlug then plug it into the mains socket. When all your computers are connected and turned on it’s a simple case of pressing the Simple Connect button on the device connected to the router then you have two minutes to go round pressing the buttons on all the other devices that you wish to connect to that network. Moments later you’ll be connected up and ready to go. If you later want to add an additional HomePlug to your network all you need to do is press the Simple Connect button on one of the existing HomePlugs then press the button on the new HomePlug.