Devolo dLAN 200 AV Wireless N Starter Kit review

Is a complete home networking solution in one kit too much to ask?

Devolo dLAN 200 AV Wireless N Starter Kit
Is this a solution to wireless range woes?

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Devolo dlan wireless

Devolo is an old hand when it comes to powerline networking and it's impressive that it has managed to cram in both a powerline dLAN 200 AV adaptor and a fully featured Wireless-N router (and let's not forget a three-port LAN router on top of that).

While it's larger than a standalone dLAN 200 AV adaptor it's the same size as the units that had a pass-through power plug. Setting up either a powerline network or a wireless one are both stupidly easy.

Devolo has added a WPS button so it's a simple job to connect new devices that support this to the wireless network.

You can get more hands on with the supplied Cockpit software. This is the usual tool for configuring the Devolo dLAN 200 AV powerline network, but it has been extended for helping set up the Wireless-N router.

The web-based interface is very fast, looks good and has the base options you'd want to see. This includes the ability to alter the SSID, WPA encryption, add MAC filtering and impose time limits on access, but not much else.

As a Wireless-N router, it's relatively proficient, offering good 9.7MB/s same-room speed. Moving to further distances sees this tail off to more moderate 4.4MB/s speeds, but it's still very acceptable.

We've tested the same line of dLAN 200 AV powerline adaptors before and if anything it seems performance has improved a little.

That said, even at its 8.4MB/s best it can't quite match 100BaseT Ethernet speeds, so if you have a very fast broadband connection, the Devolo units could be still potentially end up as the limiting factor.

We liked

We like the Devolo dLAN 200 AV product line, it's reliable and offers a good level of speed.

The addition of the Wireless-N router is excellent and the dLAN 200 AV Wireless N Starter Kit will make for a solid solution for certain homes.

We disliked

The Devolo dLAN 200 AV is certainly a mature product set, it's something of a shame the pricing hasn't dropped more, especially with HomePlug AV2 on the horizon for 2011.

The powerline transfer speeds are now looking somewhat weak, though still very much usable in the home. It's also a less feature-rich wireless router than we'd like.

Final word

A good way to get broadband and wireless networking to otherwise inaccessible parts of your home.