D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV500 Network Kit Long-Term Review @ ModSynergy.com
When it comes to ways one can connect their computers to the Internet, most people know of two ways; one being through the standard wired LAN port, and the other wirelessly through a Wi-Fi router.
These two options are most prevalent in today's computing world, for both consumers and businesses. We know that wired connections are the best in terms of overall speed and latencies, those who play online multiplayer games can attest to this, as they need lower ping rates (which wired connections provide) to have the smoothest online gaming experience. Those also streaming HD media through their network can also attest to wired connections offering the best speed and latencies, this means less buffering and less lag.
On the flip side with Wi-Fi, it's the convenience of no wires that attracts people to use a wireless router instead, so that we can connect to the Internet virtually anywhere our home with a Wi-Fi adapter. No one wants to be running 100-FT Ethernet cables to the next room in order to have Internet, I used to do that back in the day and it was both inconvenient and downright ugly.
There's a problem with Wi-Fi though, we have all come across the issue at one time or the other, the issue of range. Wi-Fi signals don't come with infinite range, there's theoretical limits and there's reality. Reality is that there's a number of barriers that affect Wi-Fi range in our homes and businesses, for example, the materials inside our homes, cement walls. There are Wi-Fi dead zones in every place, there's only so far you can reach, distance is always the enemy.
There are various wireless routers on the market today, some come standard with 1-3 antennas to boost wireless range, heck if 3 antennas wasn't enough, there's a wireless router on the market with 6 antennas so that wireless range can be boosted! However, those are just too expensive. The stronger your wireless signal, the faster you can download and or transfer files through your wireless network. The opposite happens if too low of a wireless signal, overall speed suffers.
What happens if to no avail you struggle to get solid wireless signal in your home? There are Wi-Fi dead zones in certain places. Homes aren't as small as they used to be, everything is larger and that means more distance between your wireless router and the computer or devices that requires Internet that happens to be sitting in the basement, or the second, third level of your home.
Today I'll be sharing with you about a new way, a third way you can connect your computer and or Internet enabled device to the Internet. It's called Powerline networking, sometimes known as Home Plug, and uses the electrical wiring in your house to create a wired network. No longer will you have to run 100-FT (or longer) Ethernet cable down to various parts of your home that don't have Internet, or if there's a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home. Or let's say you wanted to have Internet in your garage... Now all you need is one of these Powerline networking adapters connected to your router, and another Powerline adapter connected to your desired device or computer with any short Ethernet cable to get up and running, best of all it's very easy to set up, even for beginners.
D-Link is a name we all should know and likely remember, it's a name that is linked to computer networking products of all kinds. D-Link designs, develops, and manufactures networking products on a global scale. They've been doing computer networking for more than two decades, you might be running a D-Link product as you read this!
Today I'll be reviewing the D-Link DHP-309AV Powerline AV 500 Mini Adapter Starter Kit that has everything you need to get up and running. D-Link advertises that all you need to do is simply plug into your electrical sockets, no set up required. We'll walk you through everything and see how good it really is.
D-Link helps you connect to more of everything with our innovative approach to computer networking. From relatively modest beginnings in Taiwan, the company has grown over the last 25 years into an exciting global brand offering the most up-to-date network solutions.
D-Link DHP-309AV Product Overview & Features
The Powerline AV 500 Mini Adapter Starter Kit uses your home’s existing electrical wiring to extend your Internet connection. It turns every power outlet into a high speed network connection. Compliant with the HomePlug AV standard, it provides network access to your computers, game consoles, televisions, and any other Internet-enabled devices throughout your home. Compact design allows the Mini Adapters to fit discretely into your power outlet without blocking adjacent power sockets. Also available as a single unit (DHP-308AV).
Ideal for bandwidth-intensive applications
This Powerline AV 500 Mini Adapter Starter Kit is compliant with the HomePlug AV standard and capable of delivering data transfer rates at speeds of up to 500 Mbps, faster than regular Powerline AV products. This rapid transmission speed makes it ideal for bandwidth-intensive applications, guaranteeing smooth HD video streaming, VoIP phone calls, and lag-free online gaming experiences. This device provides ample network bandwidth, enabling you to tap into existing electrical wiring for high-quality multimedia streaming. Additional Quality of Service (QoS) support prioritises multimedia traffic over other types of traffic on your network connection, ensuring faster transmission.
Convenient setup and secure operation
Plugs directly into a power outlet, and does not require any additional cables. Extend your home network by connecting multiple devices in the farthest corners of your home, or attach a switch or wireless access point to the adapter to connect even more devices. The adapter implements 128-bit AES data encryption at the push of a button to protect your network from any intruders. With hassle-free plug and play installation, it’s an ideal solution to create a wall-to-wall home network.
During periods of inactivity, the Mini Adapters will go into sleep mode to save power, reducing power usage by more than 70%, allowing you to save energy automatically without sacrificing on performance.
D-Link DHP-309AV Product Specifications
The D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit comes in a cheerfully designed eco friendly packaging where it utilizes paper instead of plastic, making recycling easier and effective than if plastic were used. We live in a plastic world, with enormous amounts of plastic filling up our landfills, and since there are many variations of plastic, not all plastic can be recycled at local recycling facilities, therefore they just sit and take up space in landfills. But with paper having a single variation, it's easier and able to recycle at any center. The box takes advantage of the signature green D-Link colors and allows it to stand out on store shelves.
Front of the box displays the product image of the two Powerline Adapters included in the package and gives brief information to what this product can do for you. A bright yellow HD symbol lets you know that the DHP-309AV is great for HD/3D streaming media, and for online gaming purposes. Again, a wired connection gives you the lowest possible latencies and better overall speed if compared to a wireless network, and that's not taking into consideration if your wireless signals are weak.
Turning it over reveals more detailed information regarding the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit, what it's meant for, how it works, and what other D-Link PowerLine products its compatible with should you ever in the future need to extend your network coverage. The D-Link Powerline networking family is extensive in the products and variations available.
About the only negative about the package that I don't like is that it could be using less paper real estate considering the size of the Powerline adapters that you'll see soon. D-Link could have easily cut the amount of paper they used on the package in half. Maybe they strategically want more shelf space in stores.
The contents of the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit are as follows...
Powerline networking products don't come with much of a bundle as there's nothing else you need other than the Powerline adapter and the possibly supplied Ethernet cable. Frankly you don't need a Quick Install Guide either since set up should be as simple as connecting one end to your network router and the other end wherever you want the connection to be made. That's the beauty of Powerline networking, it's essentially a 3-step process. All you're really doing is 1. Opening the box, 2. Connect one Powerline adapter to the router, and 3. Connect other Powerline adapter to the computer or device you need Internet on.
The D-Link DHP-308AV Powerline adapters that are bundled in this kit are D-Link's smallest Powerline adapters in their entire PowerLine range. In terms of height and width, the D-Link DHP-308AV Powerline adapter closely resembles that of a credit card, only difference is that it's about an inch shorter in height.
The D-Link DHP-308AV is draped in solid matte white color and is constructed entirely out of hard plastic, aside from the metal used on the electrical prongs and Philips screw on the backside. There's no flex or feeling that the product is going to break and not hold up over time, none of that feeling is given.
The front of the D-Link DHP-308AV contains just 3 LED's, either green, amber, and red with respective symbols beside to differentiate them. From top to bottom is the Power LED, PowerLine LED, and Ethernet LED. There's nothing else worth noting up front aside from me nitpicking to have the symbols illuminated.
The Power LED indicates that the device is receiving electrical power, the PowerLine LED indicates that the device is connected to the PowerLine Network (green being the best link rate quality, amber being better link rate quality, red being good link rate quality), and lastly the Ethernet LED indicates that the Ethernet port is linked and will blink during data transmission. Again in order to create a Powerline networking you need at least 2 Powerline adapters in order for them to sync up and create a wired network. D-Link DHP-308AV will enter Power Saving Mode automatically after 5 minutes of Ethernet inactivity and blink to inform you.
The backside of the D-Link DHP-308AV contains the electrical prongs that will be inserted in your wall electrical socket, a Philips screw that shuts everything tight, and stickers at the bottom providing the brand name, model number, serial number, and regulatory information of the product. The product is made in China. Specifications say that the maximum power consumption is only 3.01W, however, in my testing with the Belkin Conserve Insight Power Meter, I only ever experienced between 1.8 - 1.9W being used from the wall, so regardless it's all very cheap to operate.
Both top and bottom of the D-Link DHP-308AV Powerline adapter contains vent holes to allow heat to be dissipated from the adapter and run as cool as possible. The very top of the DHP-308AV Powerline adapter contains the D-Link logo embossed into the plastic construction.
Coming to the bottom we find a single LAN connector port and a single button that acts as the simple connect button/push button security button if you wish to utilize encryption (other than its default encryption) to prevent unauthorized access to your Powerline network. But if you're in a home environment you don't need to do that.
Set up should be as simple as 1-2-3.
1. Open the box and gather Powerline Adapters and connect Ethernet cables to the Powerline adapters.
2. Connect Powerline adapter #1 to your network router by plugging the Ethernet cable to your routers unoccupied LAN port, could be either port 1 through 4. Plug Powerline adapter #1 to your electrical socket receptacle.
3. Go to the location of your computer or device that requires Internet connection anywhere in your home and connect remaining Ethernet cable of Powerline adapter #2 to the desired device. Plug Powerline adapter #2 to closest electrical socket receptacle.
Connection is now fully complete. Enjoy the Internet!
Here are some further example diagrams of how it would be to connect in different rooms and situations...
A bit of Powerline Networking Do's and Don'ts
Powerline networking won't work for everyone, however, it should work for most people. Most homes dating back 15 years should work with Powerline networking. Older homes 35-100 years old may not work with Powerline networking because of either old wiring, interference, bad wiring, corroded wiring, poor grounding, split phase difference due to wiring, many more variables.
A few do's and don'ts to consider...
1. Connect Powerline devices to electrical outlets that are not controlled by a wall switch to avoid accidentally turning off power to the device.
2. Do not connect the Powerline devices to an extension cord, surge protector, or power strip as this might prevent it from working correctly, or reduce the network performance.
3. Avoid using the Powerline devices in an electrical outlet that is located near an appliance that uses a lot of power, such as a washer or dryer, or a refrigerator. This may prevent the adapter from working correctly, or negatively impact network performance.
4. Verify that your Powerline devices are electrically rated to operate with the power available in your location.
5. To help prevent against electrical shock, be sure to plug the power cables into properly grounded electrical outlets.
6. The Powerline device is equipped with a three-pronged plug to help ensure proper grounding. Do not use adapter plugs or remove the grounding prong from the cable
Results - How does it work?
For me at least, Powerline networking with the D-Link DHP-309AV was without major incident once I found which electrical socket receptacles at certain locations that worked best. I did experienced just about all that could happen with Powerline networking, good and bad.
For the most part, the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit has done everything it said it would without problems, and overall I've been very happy with it.
Installation was a breeze, I could create a wired networking through Powerline within 5 minutes or however long it took for me to get from my router to where my desired device was connected.
Once both Powerline adapters were plugged in, the synchronization between them would always be quick. The PowerLine LED would become illuminated within a second of plugging in, and the Ethernet LED would illuminate shortly thereafter in another second or two.
Mind you my home is around 15 years old so the wiring is not entirely old. Again your experiences may vary, there's so many variables.
I did experience a few situations where within my home, that Powerline networking did not work at all. That was mostly in certain areas in my basement, which to my knowledge was not professionally done from the previous owner. So I don't know how they wired the basement and if they created new electrical nodes or just tapped into existing ones. I know the previous owner added extra electrical receptacles around the basement that were not originally there when the house was built. The PowerLine network LED did not come on at all.
Some other receptacles around my home, the Powerline network would work for a couple of hours without issue and then all of a sudden the middle Powerline network LED would disappear. It would take about 5 minutes for the Powerline network LED to reappear and work again.
Then there were other parts of my home where I had zero issue with the Powerline networking. It would work 100% without issue and have zero down time. Other parts of the home I noticed that intermittently the Powerline LED would change between Amber or Red to indicate that the link rate quality was not the best but better and good. Internet would still work at a good speed, when it was red speed dropped quite a bit.
One of the ways I'm using the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit in my home is with my VOIP phone. I have my modem and router in the far end of the first floor, and have the Powerline adapter connected in the second floor opposite side of the house and connected to the VOIP adapter and phone and have had zero issues. It's been reliable and great.
The next thing I tried is having Internet in my garage. My Wi-Fi signal is spotty at best in my garage, I get dropouts. However, the D-Link Powerline adapters allowed me to get Internet in my garage and the speed was very fast as if there was no problems. The Powerline network LED would illuminate Amber intermittently to tell me the Link rate quality had changed but was still good. So for those of you who have DVR's in the garage, as I know some of you do, be rest assured it can work.
As a long-term review, I've actually been using the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit quite regularly for about 8-9 months and nothing has died. It's been reliable.
Where Can I Buy One? And For How Much?
Right now you can purchase the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit for only $32.90USD on sale with free shipping! So buy with confidence.
Why do I like Amazon? They are fast, reliable, honest, and return policy is great. I actually got money refunded back to my account after Amazon overcharged me on duty costs, talk about being an honest company, most others would keep the money and not say anything!
If you are thinking of purchasing the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit, please use our Amazon link, it will help us out greatly.
Some Amazon Deals That May Interest You!
My experiences with the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit have been mostly positive.
I think it's great that I got to experience the good with the bad with the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit, so that I can relay that information on to you my readers.
All in all, I can definitely recommend trying out the D-Link DHP-309AV PowerLine AV 500 Network Kit.