CES 2015: D-Link Powerline Networking Adapters

Subject: General Tech, Networking | January 5, 2015 - 09:33 PM |
Tagged: D-Link, CES, ces 2015, powerline networking

Yesterday, D-Link announced two new gigabit-class powerline networking adapters. Powerline networking, which sends a signal between A/C outlets, is for users who want high-bandwidth connections in places that WiFi does not reach and running a cable is out of the question. The SKUs are basically identical, except that the DHP-601AV has a maximum rated bandwidth of 1,000 Mbps, while the DHP-701AV can go up to 2,000 Mbps... sort of.

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You see, unless I am completely misreading the specifications, the only way into this device is a single Gigabit Ethernet socket. The technical difference is that the higher-end model can use the ground plug as a network path, presumably balancing between the “two powered” and the “one power, one ground” circuits based on line quality. That is interesting technology that will help in situations where a gigabit link cannot normally be maintained on a two-prong network but, if it is behind a gigabit bottleneck, that is kind-of not right to advertise, isn't it?

Again, I could be wrong, but the specs seem to claim one, single-socket, Gigabit Ethernet plug.

As for pricing and availability, D-Link does not disappoint. The D-Link AV2 PowerLine Starter Kits will be available in Q1 of this year. The DHP-701AV has an MSRP of $129.99 while the DHP-601AV is set at $79.99.

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January 5, 2015 | 10:48 PM - Posted by collie

So this actually works? Mind blown!

January 5, 2015 | 11:49 PM - Posted by fade2blac

I'm pretty sure it has long been the norm to spec the total combined physical transfer speed for devices such as wireless, powerline, etc. If it is gigabit ethernet, then it is also full duplex which gives you 1000 Mbps transmit + 1000 Mbps receive, or 2000 Mbit for those who like creatively defining (inflating?) specifications. I noticed the same situation with my 200 Mbps rated powerline devices which only have fast ethernet (aka. 100 Mbit) ports.

But this is the data rate of the physical layer. There is protocol overhead for how frames are encoded and transmitted much like wireless 802.11 so the total effective throughput for TCP/IP payloads would be significantly lower and a much more useful metric for the consumer. An estimate of the effective throughput for user data on "200Mbps" HomePlug AV is actually only around 65Mbps under ideal conditions. Unless the newer powerline protocols are more efficient, this would mean 2000 Mbps physical data rate would only yield about 650 Mbps of usable throughput.

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