Trendnet 500Mbps Powerline Networking

Article Index
Trendnet 500Mbps Powerline Networking
TPL-401E Features and Specs
TPL-405E Features and Specs
Installation, Setup and More
Performance and Final Thoughts

Product(s): Trendnet TPL-401E & TPL-405E Powerline Adapters
Provided By: Trendnet
Price: Find Lowest Price on Trendnet here

Introduction:

I'm going to start off by showing my age.  I remember when 10Mbps networking over an Ethernet cable was pretty impressive.  Back in this day, you'd often find a networking hub (not switch) that would hook 4-8 people together in a very slow network.  This network had a lot of packet collision as every packet was sent to every computer on the network.  It was cool, but in reality - it sucked.

Times have changed a lot and now there are many homes and offices that have 1Gbps (1000Mbps) networks that may even have managed switches and fast routers to make everything super snappy.  Here at the BCCHardware HQ, we've got a fast managed network and have seen actual throughput of file transfers to a server at up to 985Mbps actual performance.  This is crazy - and I love it.

Box Front Back of Box

 

Today we are going to be looking at a networking kit from Trendnet that is designed for those who want a wired network, but don't have the infrastructure or ability to run a traditional wired network.  Powerline networking has been around for quite a while - and while it certainly isn't new, lately it's been experiencing resurgence as people want better security, speed and less interference than what wireless networks can provide.  We've look at a couple of Powerline networks in the past - one from Trendent and the other from Linksys and today we are following up with the TPL-401E and TPL-405E adapters to see how they fit into your home or office network.

 

First Look:

Both of these adapters have pretty much the same specifications as we'll soon find out.  The biggest difference between the two is that the TPL-401E has a single port while the TPL-405E has four ports.  Both have 1Gbps ports this time around so we do have a bit higher hopes for these adapters going forward.

TPL-401E In Box
TPL-401E In Box

TPL-405E In Box
TPL-405E In Box

   

TPL-401E Bundle
TPL-401E Bundle

TPL-405E Bundle

TPL-405E Bundle

As you can see above, the adapters and bundles and even the boxes are pretty similar all around.  Both include a setup CD with a utility and a user guide as well as a single Ethernet cable and a quick install guide of sorts.  The entire bundle is a bit lean - but more than adequate for what it is designed to do.  This should be enough to quickly and easily get anyone started.

 

Closer Look:

As we see below, the main difference between these two adapters is the number of ports and the physical location of the "Sync" and "Reset" buttons.  They are pretty close to the same size.  The TPL-401E has a nice glossy finish while the TPL-405E has a matte finish however.

TPL-401E Bottom
TPL-401E Bottom

TPL-405E Bottom
TPL-405E Bottom

The downside to these products - rather than the Trendnet TPL-307E2K kit we looked at in the past, is that these 500Mbps adapters we are looking at today actually take up a plug on your wall.  The TPL-307E2K kit has pass-through connectors for power so they could be used seamlessly in your home or office environment.  Trendnet does have a 500Mbps kit that offers this feature as well - but it doesn't offer four ports as does the TPL-405E.

TPL-401E Label
TPL-401E Label

TPL-405E Label
TPL-405E Label

 

On the next page we'll take a look at the specifications of the TPL-401E before we follow it up with the TPL-405E.  They we'll jump into installation, setup and begin testing.