D-Link DHP-501AV PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit review: D-Link DHP-501AV PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.2
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 9.0
  • Service and support: 7.0

Average User Rating

4.5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The D-Link DHP-501AV PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit offers stellar performance. It is also affordable, compatible with other Powerline AV 500 adapters, easy to use, and aesthetically appealing.

The Bad The D-Link PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit doesn't come with a pass-through power socket and may obstruct adjacent power outlets.

The Bottom Line Attractive, affordable, and very fast, D-Link's PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit DHP-501AV is one of the best available in its class.

Editors' Top Picks

At a street price of around $130, the D-Link PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit model DHP-501AV, which includes two adapters, is a great deal. Not only is the kit a nice-looking piece of hardware, it's also easy to use. Most importantly, it's superfast, beating regular 10/100 Ethernet connections by about 50 percent.

For those who are looking for a first power-line adapter kit to add to their home network, the DHP-501AV kit makes an excellent choice. However, if you want adapters that have a pass-through power socket for far corners that have only a single power outlet, the $80 apiece Netgear XAV5501 will better fit the bill. You can also opt for both, as they work with each other.

Design, setup, and features
The D-Link DHP-501AV kit contains two identical adapters, model DHP-500AV. These are based on HomePlug Powerline Alliance's new Powerline AV 500 standard, which offers a ceiling speed of 500Mbps. The HDP-500AV adapter itself is a stylish, completely white object, resembling a product made by Apple. On the front, it has three status lights for power, the power-line connection, and the connection to the client. On the side, it has one Gigabit Ethernet port and a quick-security button. Pressing this button on both adapters within 2 minutes when they are plugged into their wall sockets will create a secure connection between the two. This is to prevent others from connecting to your network by using another compatible power-line adapter in the same building.

On the bottom, the DHP-500AV has a two-prong power connector, so it fits more sockets than the Netgear XAV5501, which comes with a three-prong connector. The two-prong design does mean the adapter stays less firmly in the socket. It'd also be better if the adapter used a power cord, as the WD Livewire adapter does, so that it wouldn't obstruct the adjacent power outlets the way it does now. Unlike the XAV5501, the DHP-500AV doesn't have a pass-through power socket on top, meaning you most likely can't use it in a corner that has only one power outlet. This is because generally power-line adapters need to be plugged directly into a wall socket and won't work with surge protectors or power strips. To make up for the lack of a pass-through socket, the DHP-500AV adapter is just about 40 percent the size of the XAV5501.

As with most power-line adapters, it's a no-brainer to create a power-line connection with the DHP-501AV kit. First you hook up one of the adapters to the network via the router (or the hub), using a network cable. Then connect the second adapter to an Ethernet-ready device, say at the far corner of the house. After that, you just plug both adapters into the power sockets. If the two locations share electrical wiring, which is the case in homes or apartment buildings, a power-line network connection is now established. This whole process takes just a minute and you can't make a mistake. After that you can add more devices to the power-line network by adding more adapters.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Weight 5.3 oz
  • Data Transfer Rate 500 Mbps
  • Data Link Protocol Gigabit Ethernet
  • Connectivity Technology wired
About The Author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.