Netgear Powerline Nano 500 review

A small and steady kit to consider

Netgear Powerline Nano 500
A compact but chunky design that yields a steady, although a little uninspiring performance at a reasonable price

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Compact design

  • +

    Decent speed

  • +

    Good price


  • -

    No install CD

  • -

    Speeds not great

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Netgear is a respected name in networking, offering everything from routers to powerline hardware, and the Nano 500 is one of just three 500Mbps starter kits that the company produces.

The design of Netgear's adaptors are compact but pleasingly chunky at the same time. The footprint of the Netgear adaptors is notably smaller than Devolo's similarly targeted dLAN 500 AVmini, although these are nearly 50 per cent thicker.

The tiny units are home to three LEDs that show power, Ethernet connectivity and the state of the powerline network. This latter LED shows red for power connections of less than 50Mbps, amber for up to 80Mbps and green for connection speeds above that. It's a simple way of checking you're getting the optimum performance on installation.

Netgear has sensibly elected to employ Gigabit Ethernet on the Nano 500, which means that you're not going to be limited by the Ethernet side of the connection. The package comes with an installation guide, although somewhat unusually there's no install CD for checking your network.

When it came to testing, the Nano 500 managed competent, if somewhat uninspiring read and write performances across our network of 62.2Mbps and 54Mbps respectively, although on the bright side, the units were consistent, which can be just as important in real world terms.

This set is a solid option for anyone looking to tap into the latest 500Mbps powerline standard. And even though the performance wasn't enough to make it stand out from the crowd, the throughput results are consistent and the pricing is reasonable.