Review: TP-Link AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit



By Richard V. Burckhardt

TP-Link AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit

TP-Link AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit

I work from home, currently using wi-fi for my home office Internet connection as the router is in another room (no cable outlet in my office). Despite wireless-N, I’m topping off at 72 Mbps over wi-fi on my work PC, so the potential of 500 Mbps powerline speed on the TP-Link AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit appealed to me.

The kit comes with two small powerline adapters, ethernet cables, a quick install guide and a resource CD which includes documentation and a powerline software client.

The idea is that you connect one adapter to your router, then other adapters are connected to wall outlets (directly, not into an extension) around your home or office. You then plug the adapter into your computer with the included ethernet cable and within 60 seconds, you are surfing the Internet. Or, you can set up a secure powerline network by pairing the adapters using the “Pair” buttons on the bottom of each.

Sounds simple. Unfortunately, for me, it wasn’t exactly “Plug & Play” as it says on the box.

Everything appeared to be connected. The lights were flashing, the Windows Network & Sharing Center said I was connected to the Internet, but nothing worked. All browsers, clients, everything refused to see the Internet connection. I tried rebooting, resetting ipconfig, etc. Nothing.

The documentation didn’t help, so I was off off to the TP-Link forums in hope of an answer. Fortunately, I found someone with a similar problem and a kind soul who gave a work around for the issue – setting the DNS to 8.8.8.8 and the secondary to 8.8.4.4.

Not exactly “Plug & Play” in my book. The documentation needs more troubleshooting content. I’m sure their customers & support crew would appreciate it.

Anyway, once connected, the powerline client that I installed on a PC in the room where the router was located said that I was getting 158 Mbps. I tried moving the adapter to various locations in the house and this was the best I could do. My office is across the hall from where the router is located, maybe 20 feet from router to PC. Naturally, your speed depends on distance and the quality of your power lines. My home was built in 1982, so they are not new.

Though I didn’t get the speed boost I had hoped for, I did get some and have been using the TP-Link AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter for several days without a drop in connection or any noticeable issues.

I’d personally give the TP-Link AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit 3 out of 5 stars, primarily knocking off stars because of the connection issue and lack of troubleshooting documentation. Performance is about what I can expect in my older condo (meaning good), but for me, installation was literally “plug and pray.”

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