Trendnet 200Mbps Powerline Neworking Kit - Installation, Setup and More

Article Index
Trendnet 200Mbps Powerline Neworking Kit
Features and Specifications
Installation, Setup and More
Performance and Final Thoughts


As I referred to previously, installation of the Trendnet Powerline Networking kit is a snap.  It comes per-configured and synchronized to each other so that all you have to do is plug each of them into the wall and then plug the network cables into your devices.  In order to connect to your network, you'll need to plug one into your router or switch and the other one into your device.

Within seconds, they synchronized to each other and I had green lights all across the board.  On the devices themselves, there are three lights on each.  The top one lit up immediately as it indicates power to the unit.  The second light shows the signal to the other Powerline network devices and it showed green when testing on the "Very Close" setting and turned to yellow at the "medium range" and "long range" tests.  if it goes red, you still have connectivity, but it is poor.  If it is off - well, your network is down.  The bottom LED indicator shows that you have network activity and will blink as traffic is passed through the device.

You can add a total of six of these devices to the same "network" without running new cabling or setting up anything special.  This is not a huge network, but should connect most places where traditional wireless cannot work or perhaps you don't want to run a wired network.

I don't often read instruction manual when it comes to testing products - or using products that I buy.  I'm a "Let's see how easy this is to use" kind of guy, so I plugged the TPL-307E2K before I read anything much on the box of the website.  I was surprised that when I plugged the Ethernet cable into my switch that the it showed am amber LED instead of a green LED.  On my 1000Mbps switch, green indicates a full 1GB connection and amber indicates a 100Mbps connection.

The TPL-307E2K clearly states on the box that it is a 200Mbps device, and I wondered how on earth they can get 200Mbps performance over a 100Mbps wired Ethernet port.  I'll make this short.  They can't.  As I mentioned on the specifications page, the information states that the devices come with 100Mbps jacks.  Any consumer buying the product though would see the 200Mbps sticker and expect to get that performance.  Right off the bat, I discovered that the best I can do is half of that.


Test Setup:

On a wired 100Mbps connection, we often get 94Mbps - with a 6% overhead of inefficiency.  Wireless networks, on the other hand typically get around 30%-40% of rated throughput so it will be interesting to see what kind of throughput we get on this 100Mbps Powerline kit.

We ran performance number from this hardware over three different ranges.  The "Short Range" setup was done in the same room - here in my office at BCCHQ South.  The medium range was done in the same building, but the network was required to span a couple of floors.  When it comes to long range testing, we actually moved the connected device to another building almost 200 meters away.  This is pretty extreme and shows the benefit of a Powerline kit and how it can operate without line of site.

On the next page we'll jump into testing before we wrap up with our final thoughts.