D-Link DHP-307AV pumps the Internets through your powerlines
With everything from Blu-ray players to toasters demanding access to the Internet these days, it's helpful to provide access everywhere in your home -- powerline adaptors are the answer
The D-Link DHP-307AV powerline kit is simpler than Prince Harry's wordsearch collection. It contains two little white boxes that plug into your mains electrical sockets. You connect one to your broadband router, and the other to a device somewhere in your house that wants to talk to the Internet. And that's it. The Internets then stream all over your home mains system without the need to mess about with dreadful Wi-Fi or messy cabling.
D-Link's hardware is very smart. The pure white that has recently been eluding Apple is used for these adaptors, and looks good as well as helping them fit, stylistically, with your mains sockets. There's a simple button on the side that initiates the encryption between two of these adaptors. You shouldn't even need to use this, as they should work together out of the box. There's also an Ethernet jack on the side, which is fine, but we'd prefer it on the bottom.
All of which sounds perfect, until you encounter some of the problems powerline networks typically have. Firstly, you have to be careful which manufacturer's products you buy. There are a couple of competing systems that simply don't work with each other. Even within the same standards, there are different devices that don't work with each other.
There's also an issue with your home wiring setup too. Powerline systems can't work on sockets that have any filtering built in and they aren't at their best on extension leads either. You'll also run into problems if your home wiring is old -- this will reduce the throughput speed you'll see.
Don't get us wrong: despite its issues, powerline is a superb way of networking devices that you'd otherwise struggle to get online. It's also second to none for things that don't require especially high speeds. If you're in a new-build home, or your house has new electrical wiring, you'll see pretty decent speeds anyway.
Expect to spend about £85 on these little adaptors. Pretty much everything you need is in the box, and you can have them up and running in just a few short minutes. You can add extra sets of adaptors if you want, which is useful if you have lots of hardware around your home that needs to see the Internet.