I just ran into a little situation with my home network. In my older home I can't get good wireless performance throughout the home. Luckily, Actiontec just sent in their Powerline Network Adapter Kit. I know most people are wondering why anyone would need this. I’m going to point out some reasons I came up with as we move through the review.
How Does It Work?
The unit ships in a small box. Inside are two adapters (each the size of about two 9v batteries set side to side) two Ethernet cables, and the instructions. That’s it. This isn’t a unit that’s going to require a visit from your local tech guru to install.
Now to the operation: Once both adapters are plugged into the wall, plug the first one into your network Ethernet port and the second one into where you’re feeding the data – your computer, game system, or even another wireless router. I know a lot of people are wondering why you would use your home’s electrical wiring to setup a second wireless router but I had just the need for this. In my older home I’ve had terrible network performance in my bedrooms. Blame the construction of my home or any number of variables but I had great performance in my living areas but the main bedroom could have been in a cave for its lack of internet access. I’m limited in what wireless router I can use as mine is provided by my ISP – to get a better antenna I need to jump up to a much more expensive performance tier. That isn't going to work for me as my current tier should more than handle my needs.
Enter the Actiontec Powerline Network Adapter. I plugged into the outlet next to the wireless router and hooked up the Ethernet and at the other end of my home I used another wireless router behind the Powerline equipment. I setup the second router to accept DHCP from the original router and I was off and running. Yes – I could have just plugged the Ethernet cable into my computer but I like that now my phone, Xbox, and any other wireless equipment work throughout my house.
Performance and Conclusions
I highly recommend this as a solution for your network needs. The compact size and super easy installation makes this a no fear upgrade. I hate the dread that happens when you fire up a new network and nothing happens.