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Linksys PLEK500 power-line networking review: Pricey for its performance

Yardena Arar | Jan. 16, 2015
The adapters in the Linksys AV2 networking kit were the only ones in their class to be outfitted with three prongs (the Zyxel AV2 MIMO adapters do, too, but they're MIMO adapters). Avoid these if your home doesn't have grounded wiring, because you won't be able to plug them in. What's more, their chunky form factor (they have a smaller footprint than D-Link's DHP-601AV, but the Linksys are thicker) makes it difficult to use the second outlet in a duplex.

The adapters in the Linksys AV2 networking kit were the only ones in their class to be outfitted with three prongs (the Zyxel AV2 MIMO adapters do, too, but they're MIMO adapters). Avoid these if your home doesn't have grounded wiring, because you won't be able to plug them in. What's more, their chunky form factor (they have a smaller footprint than D-Link's DHP-601AV, but the Linksys are thicker) makes it difficult to use the second outlet in a duplex.

The Linksys' performance was almost identical to that of D-Link's AV2 adapters, between 65- and 70 Mbps, with good-quality video streaming. And like D-Link's, the Linksys adapters have LEDs to show connections to power, a power-line network, and an Ethernet device, plus passwords and push-button security options.

Linksys does provide a pair of five-foot Ethernet cables (D-Link's were much shorter, but other vendors use longer cables) and an installation CD (which many people might not be able to use — my notebooks don't have optical drives).

Linksys must think these extras are precious, or maybe it just has an outsized opinion of its own brand: The kit's $130 MSRP is half again as much as that of the D-Link kit, and it's higher than any of the HomePlug AV contenders. The price difference narrows on the street, but it's still tough to justify the premium if longer cables and a CD are the only significant advantages.

 

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