Powerline technology is a super-easy way to create a fast home network that beats the pants off connecting your Internet devices (smart TV, Sky Q, Tivo, games console, Apple TV, etc) via WiFi. We test and review the Netgear PowerLINE WiFi 1000.
This Powerline starter kit comes with two adapters, one base unit to connect to your Internet router, and the other to go in the second room that houses your smart TV, Xbox etc
Plug the base adapter into a wall power socket near your router and connect these two together with the supplied Ethernet cable. Plug the second adapter into a power socket near the TV, PlayStation or whatever, and then connect these together with another Ethernet cable.
That’s all you need to do, and you should achieve much faster wired performance than you will over flaky weak WiFi.
Powerline comes in various speeds, rated on the box as 500Mbps or 1,200Mbps. In reality these are speeds you’ll never actually get as they are theoretical maximum speeds. The state of your home wiring and other environmental factors will slow these down by quite a factor. Rest assured though that the wired Powerline speeds will almost certainly be faster than your WiFi. If you’re happy with your WiFi download speeds all around your home then you probably don’t need Powerline. You and I know that no one is truly satisfied by their WiFi performance at the furthest point of their home.
In our real-world home tests we usually see actual second-room performance of around 120Mbps from a 1,200Mbps-rated Powerline and 70-80 for a 500Mbps set up.
Powerlines, such as the Netgear 1000, have the added ability to create a new WiFi hotspot right there in the room that’s a distance from your usual wireless router. This can also significantly improve WiFi performance around the home.
NETGEAR POWERLINE WIFI 1000 REVIEW: FEATURES
The Netgear PowerLINE WiFi 1000 is a fairly basic set of Powerline plus WiFi adapters, albeit with the benefit of the extra WiFi hotspot. The base adapter that connects to your router is a diddy little thing with just the one Ethernet port. To be fair you shouldn’t need more than one Ethernet port by your router, which will likely have a few itself.
The second-room adapter boasts the ability to create an extra 802.11ac wireless hotspot, which is great. It sports a couple of antennae that we rarely spot on wireless Powerlines; the Asus PL-AC56 AV2 1200 WiFi being the only other antennae model we’ve seen. But it too has just the one Ethernet port. We prefer at least two such ports on the second adapter as most of us have more than the one Internet-hungry device that needs connecting. In my house I have the smart TV, Sky Q box and a Tado thermostat that are gasping for a wired connection.
You can add a cheap Ethernet Switch to add more Ethernet ports, or look to Powerline adapters with two or three Ethernet ports. Both are Gigabit Ethernet ports, so there’s no speed-limiting you get with Powerlines that use the slower 10/100 Ethernet, which pegs back speeds at a maximum 100Mbps. With Gigabit Ethernet you’ll get whatever the Powerline can give and your home wiring allows.
The Netgear 1000 also omits pass-through sockets on each adapter. These pass-through sockets can be handy if you’re short of power sockets as they allow you to plug in other devices to the same socket as the Powerline adapter. Never plug a Powerline into a power extender block as you’ll sacrifice performance.
NETGEAR POWERLINE WIFI 1000 REVIEW: PERFORMANCE
As stated earlier don’t expect 1,000Mbps speeds from the Netgear 1000. But the same can be said for all Powerline adapters, no matter who the manufacturer is. In our real-world tests (in a three-storey Victorian house) the Netgear Powerline 1000 performed well, although not as fast as the 1,200Mbps-rated Powerlines we’ve tested.
In our same-room test we got 186Mbps, which is great but not a real indicator of what you’ll get in the second room. We do this test to see what each Powerline can do with less limiting factors such as distance.
Once connected two floors down in the house the Netgear 1000 achieved 91Mbps – about half what it got when both adapters were in the same room. You will almost certainly get different speeds as so much is determined by your house’s wiring and other devices taking power from wall sockets. But as a comparison we suggest that the Netgear 1000 is faster than most 500Mbps but a little slower than the best-performing 1,200Mbps Powerlines.
When we tested the new WiFi hotspot we were properly impressed with its 87Mbps score – not far off the wired speed! The more expensive Devolo 1200 Powerline we tested reached 116Mbps, but 87Mbps is still not to be sniffed at.