NetGear Powerline Av 200 Wireless-N Extender Kit XAVNB2001 review: NetGear Powerline Av 200 Wireless-N Extender Kit XAVNB2001

The second way is to use the adapter's Web interface, which gives you control to many more of the adapter's settings, such as the ability to change the network SSID, encryption method, upgrade the firmware, and so on. You can open the Web interface by pointing a browser on a connected computer to the adapter's IP address. However, it's a little tricky to figure out the IP address. You'll either have to find it from the list of connected clients from the router's Web interface or use the included software.

The included desktop software, called Netgear Powerline Utility, is the third way you can configure the router. Unfortunately, it doesn't work according to the instructions. It says you need to run the software on a computer directly connected to the XAVN2001 adapter using a network cable. In reality, we found that the software won't work in this case. Instead, the computer should be connected to the network without using the powerline connection for you to successfully change the settings. The software itself is also really slow and doesn't allow for changing many of the adapter's settings.

Other than the little misinformation, we had no problem setting up the XAVNB2001 kit. The two adapters worked very well together in our trials. As a wireless access point, the adapter works only in the 2.4Ghz frequency band and supports all variations of wireless encryption, including WEP, WPA, and WPA2.

Performance
The XAVNB2001 kit is the fastest powerline kit we've tested, scoring 56.2Mbps. This is the sustained throughput speed, and at this rate, it can transfer 500MB of data in slightly more than 70 seconds.

The kit also impressed us with its wireless performance. In the close range throughput test, it scored 41Mbps, right about the average when compared with regular Wireless-N routers. It scored 27.3Mbps in the 100 feet range test; in the mixed mode test, where it was set to work with clients of different wireless standards at the same time, it registered 37.6Mbps. These numbers were about average.

The most impressive thing about the XAVNB2001 kit, however, is its range. Its wireless signal could reach as far as 280 feet in our testing facility, which is among the longest of wireless routers. The device also passed our 48-hour stress test easily without disconnecting once.

Note, however, that the kit's throughput speed, though comparatively fast, isn't ideal for multiple high-def content streaming. In our anecdotal tests, the kit worked fine with a single streaming task, both with its powerline and wireless signal. When we wanted to stream the same movies to different players at a time, however, we experienced intermittent rebuffering.

CNET Labs' powerline adapter performance (in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Throughput speed  
Netgear XAVNB2001
56.2 

CNET Labs 2.4Ghz Wireless-N performance score (in Mpbs)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Mixed mode  
Range  
Throughput  
TrendNet TEW-691GR
60.4 
26 
70.7 
D-Link DIR-825
55.04 
40.4 
57.44 
Asante AWRT-550N
45.5 
28 
52.5 
D-Link DIR-685
43.2 
46 
51.7 
D-Link DIR-655
41.4 
38.4 
50.6 
Linksys WRT320N
40.8 
32.6 
45.3 
Linksys WRT400N
38.2 
37.4 
40.1 
Netgear XAVNB2001
37.6 
27.3 
41 
Belkin N+
36.16 
29.44 
55.44 
Apple Airport Extreme Base Station
35.2 
21.12 
40.6 
ZyXEL X150N
32.2 
17.4 
37.3 
Asus RT-N16
31.5 
36.8 
43.8 
D-Link DIR-615
25.8 
21.7 
33.2 
TP-Link TL-WR741ND
24.7 
21.7 
31.8 
Apple Time Capsule
20 
20.3 
32.2 

Service and support
Netgear backs the Powerline Av 200 Wireless-N Extender Kit XAVNB2001 with a one-year warranty. Other than that, we believe you won't need much support for the adapter. On the company's Web site, you'll find lots of support information, including troubleshooting, a knowledge base, and firmware, driver, and manual downloads. The company also has 24-7 free phone tech support.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Data Transfer Rate 200 Mbps
  • Data Link Protocol Fast Ethernet
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Weight 8.6 oz
  • Enclosure Type Wall-pluggable