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Solwise Homeplug AV review

Better than wireless networking?

Gamers and media-streamers would do well to give HomePlug AV system some thought

Our Verdict

It's still not perfect, and can be expensive, but HomePlug AV is effective and powerful


  • Fast connection speed

    Stable ping


  • Not as good as 100Mbps ethernet

    Expensive for more than two PCs

Over in the world of wireless networking, 802.11n draft 2 has just been moved one step up the bureaucratic ladder towards final ratification. Woo! That means another six or so months to wait before it's finally ready. Tired of hanging around? We have the ideal alternative...

Using the 240v ring main in your home to transfer data is nothing new. The first adapters which had a male electrical socket on one side and a female Ethernet port on the other came out almost a decade ago. Up until now, though, results have been a little flaky and no better than wireless.

When you take into account the downsides of powerline networking, it's always made sense to stick with WiFi. Or better yet, run a long Ethernet cable down the stairs. HomePlug AV, though, is capable of up to 200Mbps. Solwise's adapters cost about the same as a WiFi setup.

Best of all, though, they beat 802.11n WiFi for gaming. To top it off, a 25MB zip file took over a minute to transfer between PCs over wireless n. Using HomePlug AV it was less than ten seconds.

There's still a strong case for choosing wireless - especially if you like to wander around with your laptop. But gamers and media-streamers would do well to give HomePlug AV system some thought.