Spreading internet connection throughout your house without trailing lines around the house is easy and cheap with the TPL-420E. It’s not the fanciest looking powerline networking plug but it is a superb value option.
Powerline networking is an easy way of avoiding the cost and hassle of extending network cables around the house. It uses your existing electrical cables to transfer data meaning you just need two plugs on your power network to send information through the house. You may think that in a time of wireless networks through Wi-Fi that powerline is no use, but it actually can be very useful for extending a Wi-Fi network into parts of the house difficult to reach.
The TrendNet TPL-420E is a great option at the affordable end of the scale, offering great performance at a low price.
While a lot of networking products offer simple setup it can often not be the case but with the TPL-420E it really is hard to imagine how it could be any easier. You plug one adaptor in near your router and connect it directly with the supplied ethernet cable. You then plug the second adaptor somewhere else in the house and it automatically connects and provides a live Ethernet port.
For us, it worked perfectly despite just jumping straight in without reading any instructions, as you might expect the average impatient customer to do.
Unlike some cheaper options, the TPL-420E offers speeds of up to 1.2Gbps although our testing showed download speeds from a distance can fall quite far short of this top speed, ranging from 26-40Mbps when tested across the full length of a house.
It is missing features like the ability to provide a Wi-Fi spot so you are restricted to either plugging a device in through ethernet or plugging in a router/old laptop to work as a repeater. It also doesn’t provide pass through, so it will take up one of your plug sockets rather than allow you to plug another device in through the adaptor.
Available for $35 each (you will need at least two) it is a fantastic value option. There are cheaper products but not offering 1.2Gbps speeds. If you want to spend a bit more you could get Wi-Fi functionality but this will likely cost around $80 for a decent option.
A great, cheap way of quickly and easily getting an internet connection around your house. If you only are interested in extending a Wi-Fi signal you will need to buy further equipment or look at other options, but if a new ethernet socket is what you want we don’t think there are better options.