PL-85PE HomePlug Ethernet Turbo

The Solwise HomePlug Ethernet Turbo is capable of shifting 85Mbps of data through your home’s wiring. Out of the box the unit is anonymous and unobtrusive; a black plug that looks like a mains adaptor. Simply plug this into a wall socket and, with the supplied Ethernet cable, connect it directly to your Mac. (For best performance you should avoid surge protectors and extension blocks as they have a significant effect on data speed.)

Although sold singly you need at least two HomePlugs to create a network. For example, if you wish to share an internet connection with a computer in a remote part of the house you’ll need one plug to connect to the modem or host machine and a second to connect to the other computer. Thankfully, networking with these devices is blessedly simple – just plug them in and they configure themselves. You can find the IP address for your device through the Ethernet section of your Mac’s System Preferences if you need to connect directly to another machine, to swap files, for example.

In our tests we used the HomePlug Ethernet Turbo to share an internet connection between machines, swap files and download video. Future uses will include transmitting broadband TV to equipped devices. This device is just about fast enough for that, though newer hardware based on the 200Mbps HomePlug AV standard is now being released.

OUR VERDICT

The HomePlug Ethernet Turbo is a great solution for machines that lack wireless capability or in homes where the walls are too thick or rooms too remote to make wireless viable. It’s faster than wireless too – with AirPort Extreme and 801.11g achieving top speeds of just 54Mbps. All in all it’s a great product.

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