CNET First Look
Here's a cheap way to extend your Wi-Fi with the ZyXel PLA5236KIT powerline kitCNET editor Dong Ngo extols the benefits of low expectations when it comes to Wi-Fi, with the affordable ZyXel PLA5236KIT powerline kit.
[MUSIC] Hi guys this is the Powerline AC900 1,000 megabyte per second wireless extender kit from Zyxel. Now instead of spending hundreds of dollar on a wi-fi system, you can spend just $85 on this kit here. It might just do the same thing, extend WiFi to that far, far corner of your galaxy, I mean your home. That's true. Now the kit comes in two hardwired units. You take the first unit here, which is a power line adapter, you connect it to your existing network using one of these two network ports right here. And then plug it directly into a wall socket. And then you take the second unit here, bring it to the far corner and then plug into into another wall socket. And then the magic happens. The two will connect to each other using the electrical wiring in between them allowing you to extend your network further. That means you can connect up to two wide devices to the network using this two port [INAUDIBLE] of the second unit. And because this [INAUDIBLE] has a built in access point you can also add many WiFi devices to your network. That's pretty cool, no? Well not entirely cool because the kit here is not perfect. Now, first it has kind of a clunky Either phase, which by the way doesn't work very well with Firefox. Take a look, what is this? Secondly the performance is much slower than what the vendor claims. Now supposedly the two of them can connect at 1,000 megabit per second or a gigabit connection. Now in testing at top it shows about 250 megabit per second. Not super slow, but hey gigabit per second Come on. As for wi-fi you have the three options. You can make this one work as a dual band access point for both 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz clients. Or as a single band for range or high performance. But here's the deal, doesn't matter what option you choose, in my testing I got at best 100 megabits per second when I'm close to it. And when I walk away, some 60 feet away, Just about 40 megabit per second. So if you want to share the internet, that won't do but if you want to do something heavier like local file sharing or backing up it's not gonna cut it. And finally keep in mind the kit only works in home with a single wiring system meaning the wiring is continuous with no breakers in between, also appliances like refrigerator and ceiling fan. When in operation might adversely affect its performance, but then again, for $85 it's still quite a good deal, so try it out. One thing, though, just because I'm talking of it right now, doesn't mean you should have a high expectation about it, so don't And that's because I'm **** Ngo, and this is the Powerline something something from [UNKNOWN]. [MUSIC]