Devolo dLAN 500 AVplus Starter Kit review

High-speed Homeplug adapters with a ‘piggyback’ design that means you don’t lose a wall socket
Photo of Devolo dLAN 500 AVplus Starter Kit
£140

The popularity of Homeplug networking over power-lines continues to grow, with more and more manufacturers moving to the 500AV standard, which offers link speeds of up to 500Mbps. Devolo’s latest product, the dLAN 500 AVplus, has a ‘piggyback’ design, with a filtered pass-through mains socket that means you don’t have to sacrifice a power point.

The Starter Kit consists of a pair of adapters plus two decent-quality CAT-5 network cables. There’s also a software CD containing the rather good dLAN Cockpit monitoring utility. This can monitor any number of Devolo Homeplug products, although it won’t show those from other manufacturers. It also enables easy adapter firmware upgrades and management of the Homeplug network password. The display shows the current link speeds between each adapter in each direction, and there’s a basic troubleshooting guide.

The adapters are pretty bulky, measuring 130 x 65 x 40mm. They are quite a tight fit on a standard dual-socket power point, and (perhaps intentionally) also on most extension cables. Like any Homeplug device, for best performance, they should always be plugged into a dedicated wall socket.

For our tests, we found locations that gave us indicated link speeds in dLAN Cockpit of over 450Mbps. With a PC connected at both ends, we used Tot0usoft’s LAN Speed Test and some real-world file copying to measure performance. In both these tests we consistently achieved a very reasonable 85Mbps, more than enough for HD video streaming and better than most Wi-Fi networks. It also outperformed the Solwise PL-500AV although it’s not quite as fast as Netgear’s XAVB5001

devolo1 

Company: Devolo

Website: http://www.devolo.co.uk/

Contact: 01865 244141

Positives
  • The software lets you check status at a glance; good performance; pass-through mains sockets
Negative
  • Wide adapters can be a tight fit in double wall sockets

Verdict

Although quite pricey, the dLAN 500 AVplus Starter Kit offers decent performance, the benefit of pass-through mains sockets and a good monitoring utility.