HomePlug devices have been around for almost a decade now but I have never even considered them before. After all, with Wifi adaptors being built into just about every computing device nowadays, why purchase additional adaptors just to get wired networking running? But as it turns out, I found a real use for these and you just might too.
I picked up a pair of Aztech HomePlug HL110EP at the recent SITEX at a special price of S$49 each. Unlike most other HomePlug devices, the Aztech is very very small and is will not block an adjacent AC socket. More importantly, at this time it is the only HomePlug device that features AC Pass-Through.
This means you needn’t dedicate one AC socket to this HomePlug, the way you would need to with others!
I decided to test the HL110EP by plugging it into my nettop computer in the kitchen which was able to get only 2 bars via the 802.11n wireless network. Setup was simple enough – simply connect one adaptor plugged into my room’s AC socket to to the router (using the supplied ethernet cable), and connect the other adaptor plugged into my kitchen’s AC socket to the nettop’s ethernet port. Switch both on and..voila! Instant networking with no software configuration needed!
So how useful was it? I decided to do a simple file transfer test of (590MB file) from the home file server.
- Over wireless – 16 minutes 39 seconds
- Over HomePlug – 1 min 49 seconds
Yes the difference is that staggering!
So if you have a networked computing device located somewhere you don’t get good WiFi signal, you definitely want to consider using a HomePlug device like the Aztech HL110EP (unless you plan to drill through walls, lay Cat6 cables and do up trunking to conceal them…).Space saving, speedy and simple-to-use – what’s not to like?