6 HomePlug AV2 powerline adapters with WiFi review

WiFi through the power grid

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Introduction

HomePlug AV2 offers a significant performance increase for powerline adapters, which we've already seen multiple times. There are also models now that feature wifi. We've tested six of these models to find out what you can expect from adapters of this kind.


The addition of wifi to powerline adapters has been very important for the increasing success of powerline adapters in the Netherlands these last couple of years. Of course the successive performance improvements of the actual underlying standard also play a big part - they improve the functionality of the devices outages and they increase bandwidth - these days most people want to connect wirelessly to their network for most things. If you want to do that in combination with a set of powerline adapters without wifi, you'll have to connect an old router or a new access point to make it possible. Integrating this functionality is therefore a very logical next step.

The integration of wifi powerline adapters has taken quite a bit of time. While it's true that we wrote an article a couple of years ago about 500 Mbps adapters with built-in wireless functionality, we didn't write much else about them the years that came after that article. This was mostly the case due to the fact that the manufacturers were busy developing and releasing HomePlug AV2 and products that use this technology. The only manufacturer that quickly combined HomePlug AV2 and (802.11ac) wifi was - how could it be any different - Devolo. This wasn't possible for any other manufacturers, probably because combining the two would increase the price of the devices too much. This is never a problem for Devolo though, as they're associated with the high-end segment anyway. This isn't the case for TP-Link though, the other large player in this market. That manufacturer needed more time to combine the two technologies. Lastly, you shouldn't expect anything from the other manufacturers, as they are very small players in market.

In any case, there are enough manufacturers now that combine HomePlug AV2 with an integrated access point. We tested six kits of two adapters for this article, namely the Asus PL=AC56, AVM Frits!Powerline 1240E WLAN, DevolodLAN 1200+ WiFi AC, Netgear PLW1000 and TP-Link TL-WPA8630 and TL-WPA8730. We discuss the models based on some general features on the following pages.

ASUS PL-AC56
The Asus PL-AC56 is very large even for an adapter from this sector, however it offers excellent performance in return.


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