Some time ago, there were only wired and Wi-Fi networking. That suited most people, but still, there were issues: wired approach demanded the installment of UTP cables, which wasn’t always practical or achievable, while Wi-Fi, although highly versatile, failed in the reliability field. In other words, there was a space for something new that will surpass the limitations of wires and Wi-Fi.
A device that did that is a powerline adapter that allows for the connection of multiple adapters (in the case of the best powerline adapter, up to 16 or 32 devices), on the same electrical circuit, while providing a stable and reliable network between them. The achieved speeds are not as high as those of the cable connection; nevertheless, they are still above the regular router wireless speeds, and more importantly, much more trustworthy considering network stability and with much lower latency.
If that is what you need in your office or home, the following guidelines will surely help you out in finding the best powerline adapter possible. Therefore, hop on and enjoy the ride.
How to Choose the Best Powerline Adapter
Similar to many other products, powerline adapters come with a few crucial aspects that separate the good from the not-that-good devices, and they are:
One of the most important aspects of any powerline adapter is its speed. Therefore, always go for higher numbers and keep in mind that gigabit speeds are a necessity these days. Also, be aware that declared speeds are only theoretical ones and that they are almost impossible to achieve.
In other words, don’t get surprised if your “gigabit” powerline adapter actually provides speeds drastically bellow 1000Mbps.
If you want a great gaming experience, everything has to go smoothly and without a significant lag. For that reason, go for the device with the lowest possible latency, in order not to get unpleasantly surprised and realize your investment in powerline adapter was a waste of money and it is completely unusable in fast-paced games.
Although this may not sound that important, have in mind that these devices are using your electrical circuit to transfer your data. In other words, whoever has the approach to your circuit can potentially “hijack” your files.
Of course, this doesn’t happen to everyone and it applies more to offices, rather than home use, but whatever the location is, it is better to be safe than sorry. For that reason, be sure that your adapter is equipped with some sort of encryption, usually 128-bit AES that will prevent any situation in which your files may be compromised.
One of the requirements for powerline adapters to work, is that all of them are plugged in the same electrical circuit. If that isn’t the case, the devices that are outside of it, will not work. For that reason, before the purchase, be sure that the desired location for the powerline adapters is suitable considering the mentioned requirements and that all of the devices will be in the same circuit.
Although officially most devices apply to compatibility certification standards, as HomePlug AV2 for instance, the fact is that in reality, these labels don’t mean much. In other words, the products may or may not work together, which isn’t an issue if you are buying your first powerline adapters set (they will surely work with each other), but is, if you want to widen your existing network and are looking for compatible products.
In that case, you have three options: 1) Search online to see other people’s experiences; 2) Contact the manufacturer’s support to see if the desired devices are compatible; and the last, but surely the safest, 3) If it is possible, buy the exact same product as the first time.
8 Powerline Ethernet Adapters
TP-Link AV1000 Powerline Ethernet Adapter (TL-PA7010 KIT)
An Affordable, But High-Performing Powerline Adapter
For a large portion of the users, low price and quality performance are the most important characteristics of any device and TP-Link AV1000 Powerline Ethernet Adapter (TL-PA7010 KIT) perfectly fits that role. It offers the highly respectable 1000Mbps Ethernet speeds, 128-bit AES data encryption and a decent 300m range. Also, it comes with some of the advanced features, such as the power saving mode (automatically switches on, when the device isn’t in use, and that way reduces the power consumption by up to 85%) and support for HomePlug AV2, which allows for easy addition of multiple adapters.
TL-PA7010 KIT is the simplest of four versions of the TP-Link AV1000 Powerline Ethernet Adapter and it comes with a single LAN port and lacks the pass-through socket, but if you are not a too demanding user, this is more than enough.
With this adapter, you are getting a plug-and-play function, a nice 2-year warranty and, most importantly, a great value for the money and altogether one of the best powerline Ethernet adapters available.
- Great performance
- Adapters get hot
- No Wi-Fi
NETGEAR PowerLINE 1200 Mbps (PL1200-100PAS)
A Great-Value-for-Money Powerline Adapter Ideal for Gamers
If you are in a pursuit for the best powerline adapter for gaming, or the one with the best value, NETGEAR PowerLINE 1200 Mbps (PL1200-100PAS) should seriously come into your closer observation.
This affordable, but a bit robust powerline adapter offers super-fast 1200Mbps speeds and allows for trouble-free 4K streaming. More importantly, especially for gamers, it allows for a lag-free gaming experience, which makes it a perfect choice for your Overwatch or Fortnite online duels.
Similar to wireless routers, NETGEAR PowerLINE 1200 Mbps is equipped with MIMO and Beamforming technology and offers an easy plug-and-play use, followed by the HomePlug AV2 support, energy-friendly mode and a touch of button encryption, for the secure data transfers.
Although it is equipped with many handy features, this adapter is still just a basic device, which lacks the Wi-Fi, pass-through socket and other similar, more advanced utilities. Nevertheless, it offers a fast, reliable service, with a nice 500m² coverage, which is more than enough for the majority of users.
- Easy to use
- Bulky design
- Only one LAN port
- No Wi-Fi
TRENDnet Powerline 1300 AV2 Adapter Kit (TPL-422E2K)
An Easy-to-Use Powerline Adapter for Mainstream Users
Fact is that the majority of users just need a device that will work properly. It doesn’t need to have a fancy outside or amazing features, it just has to be reliable and offer a decent enough performance for regular use… and TRENDnet Powerline 1300 AV2 Adapter Kit (TPL-422E2K) is an ideal example of such a device.
It is equipped with the basic features (128-bit AES encryption, one gigabit port, etc.) that are “reinforced” with MIMO and Beamforming technology, and it also offers the HomePlug AV2 support. Along with that, this kit comes supplied with a Sync button that allows for an instant change of the current Powerline encryption keys. It also supports the use of up to eight powerline nodes.
TRENDnet Powerline 1300 AV2 supports the 1300Mbps speeds, which is more than enough for HD streaming, and has the range of around 300m. Also, it offers a simple installation and comes with a very nice 3-year warranty.
Overall, this kit surely isn’t the best powerline adapter you can find, but if you are a regular and not a power user, this little kit will do miracles for you.
- Allows for HD streaming
- MIMO and Beamforming technology
- No pass-through socket
- No Wi-Fi
TP-Link Powerline Adapter AV2000 Mbps (TL-PA9020P KIT)
One of the Best Powerline Adapters Available
If you require only the best, TP-Link Powerline Adapter AV2000 Mbps (TL-PA9020P KIT) will be a perfect match for you. This a bit bulky device is packed with all the needed features and offers super-fast speeds of around 2000Mbps that are comparable with a rather small number of the devices.
TL-PA9020P KIT features, among others, include 128-bit AES encryption for safe data transfers, Home Plug AV2 support, 2×2 MIMO function, Beamforming, and two gigabit ports on each module. Also, there is an energy saving feature that reduces the power cost by 85% and even a noise filtering and a pass-through socket, which makes a rather nice addition to this overall great package.
Unfortunately, there is no Wi-Fi support and therefore, if you need it, you will have to pair it with a Wi-Fi extender or purchase some other powerline adapter with that function available.
Nevertheless, with its easy to install characteristic and amazing performance, which allows for the 4K streaming and on top of that fair price, TL-PA9020P KIT is a great option for the users not willing to accept compromise. It is altogether one of the best powerline adapter devices available on the market today.
- Easy setup
- Fair price
- Very fast
- No Wi-Fi
- A little bulky
D-Link Powerline AV2 2000 DHP-P7101AV
A Powerline Adapter Built for a High-Speed Performance
Speed has never been more important than today, and technology companies have figured that out a long time ago, producing faster and faster devices on every field. One of the prime examples of that approach is D-Link Powerline AV2 2000 DHP-P7101AV adapter that was, at the time of its arrival, the fastest device of its type. Although some time has passed since that moment, and it lost a bit of its shine, this adapter still has a lot to offer and can still be counted as one of the best powerline adapters available.
Its 2000Mbps speed is still impressive, which can also be said for its features that include MIMO and Beamforming function, Home Plug AV2 support, power-saving mode, noise filter, pass-through socket and a lot more.
Easy to use, with a plug-and-play function and accompanied by great expandability, which allows for the connection of up to 16 adapters, this powerline adapter is an amazing choice for any household. Although its price isn’t among the most affordable ones, it is still fair enough for its level of features and the performance that, among other things, allows for lag-free gaming experience and easy handling of the 4K materials.
In other words, if you want a great performance, you can’t go wrong with this kit.
- Very fast
- Easy setup
- No Wi-Fi
Extollo Powerline Adapter LANSocket 1500 Kit
A Powerline Adapter That Will Bring a New Light into Your Gaming
Extollo Powerline Adapter LANSocket 1500 Kit is a fast (it supports speeds of up to 2000Mbps), lag-free powerline adapter, ideal for gamers and users searching for the ultimate reliability. Thanks to its 512Mbit (64MB) of DDR memory, dedicated to signal boosting and maintaining, you can be sure that this device won’t let you down in decisive moments of your gaming duels and that your gaming experience will be at the maximum possible level.
LANSocket 1500 Kit is built around the Broadcom BCM60500 chip (offers Home Plug AV2 support) and comes with many useful features, such as MIMO and Beamforming, electrical pass-through with a noise filter, auto-detection, etc.
Unfortunately, it lacks the Wi-Fi function and has only one LAN port available on each module, but that doesn’t affect its great overall Ethernet performance in any way. If on the other hand, that still isn’t good enough for you and you demand wireless connectivity, you can always pair it with a proper router for gaming and get an equally good gaming experience that will please even the most demanding players.
All in all, if gaming is the first thing on your mind when buying the powerline adapter, LANSocket 1500 Kit will surely be a perfect fit that will keep you satisfied and overcome even the most optimistic expectations.
- Good price
- Filtered pass-through socket
- Adapters heat up a lot
- A bit bulky
- Only one LAN port
Zyxel Pass-Thru Ethernet Adapter AV2000 (PLA5456KIT)
A Very Fast Powerline Adapter that Sets Its Own Rules
If you are into fast, high performing devices for your network, you should seriously consider Zyxel Pass-Thru Ethernet Adapter AV2000 (PLA5456KIT) that offers very nice 1800Mbps speeds and lag-free experience, perfect for both 4K and game streaming.
The device itself is equipped with numerous features like 128-bit AES encryption, MIMO function, two gigabit LAN ports, a pass-through socket, LED status lights, and much more. Unfortunately, although it has the AV2 label, AV2000 doesn’t always work with other HomePlug AV2-certified devices, because ZyXEL did not obtain its license in the first place, and the resulting products apply to the required normative only to a certain extent.
Nevertheless, its performance is still great and among the best on the market, delivering smooth 4K streaming and a lag-free network gaming.
In other words, if you want to get yourself one of the best powerline network adapters, Zyxel PLA5456KIT comes as a really nice deal, with plenty of useful functions that even include a smartphone app for monitoring and controlling of the device. All in all, it’s a good powerline adapter, with a few flaws here and there.
- Good price
- Easy setup
- No Wi-Fi
Tenda AV1000 Powerline Ethernet Adapter Kit (PH6)
A Basic Powerline Adapter for the Not-too-Demanding Users
Tenda AV1000 Powerline Ethernet Adapter Kit (PH6) is an affordable device, with basic functions and features, good enough for a large portion of users, especially those that are looking for simplicity and easy use. Thanks to its plug-and-play function and automatic detection feature, all you need to do is plug this adapter into the power socket and everything will work by itself. There is also optional software, which allows for additional setups, but in reality, the majority of users will never need it.
PH6 adapter supports for HomePlug AV2 standard and offers decent speeds of up to 1000Mbps that are good enough for watching 4K videos. Also, it comes equipped with a LED area, a power-saving feature that can reduce the power consumption by 85%, and a pass-through power socket with noise filters for the reduction of various interferences.
Of course, there are also some minor issues, such as, its bulkiness and its tendency to heat too much, but that is expected from a device of this type, that doesn’t have the agenda to be the best powerline adapter, but to do the job.
Overall, PH6 adapter doesn’t bring anything innovative or impressive. Nevertheless, if you want a decent device at a fair price, this is the adapter to get.
- Good price
- Nice speed
- Bulky design
- It gets hot
This guide is made with a primary intention to help you find the best powerline adapter possible. If that is the case, its mission is more than fulfilled.