Top HomePlug AV Powerline Wireless Network Adapters

Computer network adapters based on the HomePlug AV standard allow you connect devices to a home network through the home's electrical wiring. HomePlug AV devices offer 200 Mbps maximum network bandwidth, although actual connection speeds tend to be significantly lower in practice.

While powerline network adapters have traditionally required devices to hook up via Ethernet cables, the HomePlug AV adapters listed here feature built-in wireless bridge support, allowing laptops, phones and other mobile devices to join the powerline network through their Wi-Fi interface. Each also incorporates one built-in Ethernet port. Note these units are typically sold as part of larger kits that include a pair of adapters, Ethernet cables and optional software.

Unless otherwise noted, the products in this category also incorporate a physical push button for Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). WPS is not recommended to be used for joining Wi-Fi networks due to its flawed network security implementation. Separate vendor-provided software utilities can be used instead to configure encryption as needed.


See also - Introduction to Powerline Home Networking and HomePlug

Netgear's XAVN2001 supports integrated Wireless N (802.11n) Wi-Fi. It's relatively small size - 4.41 x 2.91 x 1.77 inches (11.2 x 7.4 x 4.5 cm) - relative to other products in this category is convenient when needing to plug into wall outlets near to the floor or in cramped areas. One of the unit's LED's indicates the signal quality of a connected adapter, helping to compare the performance of different wall outlets. The unit also incorporates energy-saving features, part of the Netgear Green family of products.

The TL-WPA281 supports integrated Wireless N. It measures 6.6 x 3.6 x 5.5 inches (16.7 x 9.1 x 14.0 cm). Although some sites classify the TL-WPA281 as a 300 Mbps device, this refers to the 802.11n link speed and not to the powerline link speed, which is the standard 200 Mbps for HomePlug AV.

Linksys PLW400

Linksys PLW400
Amazon
The PLW400 supports Wireless N Wi-Fi. It's relatively large size - 3.3 x 9.5 x 6.3 inches – can be a disadvantage. Some online reviewers have complained about the quality of the product documentation.