D-Link DHP-501AV review: Powerful power-line networking

CNET Editor Dong Ngo reviews the new D-Link DHP-501AV PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit (model DHP-501AV).

The D-Link DHP-501AV PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit includes two DHP-500AV adapters like this one.
The D-Link DHP-501AV PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit includes two DHP-500AV adapters like this one. Dong Ngo/CNET

If you can't live with the huge physical size of the Netgear XAV5501, there's now an alternative: D-Link's DHP-501AV PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit (model HDP-501AV).

This kit includes two adapters, model DHP-500AV, which are based on the HomePlug Powerline Alliance's new Powerline AV 500 standard, the same standard that the XAV5501 is based on. The D-Link's DHP-500AV adapter, however, is much more compact, just about 40 percent the size of the Netgear.

The smaller size doesn't mean it's slow, and in our testing the kit showed superfast performance, significantly faster than that of a traditional 10/100 Ethernet connection. Still, it's small for a reason: the D-Link's adapter doesn't include a pass-though power socket, meaning you can't use it where there is only one power outlet. This is because in general, power-line adapters don't work well, if at all, with surge protectors or power strips.

The DHP-501AV's adapters work with the Netgear XAV5501 adapters, however, so you can get one of each for your home if you choose and use them together. At a street price of about $130, the DHP-501AV kit (again, containing two adapters) is cheaper than a pair of XAV5501s costing about $80 each. Considering its performance, nice design, and ease of use, the DHP-501AV kit is arguably the one of the best choices among power-line kits on the market.

To find out more, check out CNET's full review of the D-Link DHP-501AV.

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