Siemens SpeedStream 2501 power-line USB adapter

The Good Quick, easy to set up; inexpensive; small and unobtrusive.

The Bad Sluggish performance; limited range in some environments; no manual or cables included; doesn't work with Macs.

The Bottom Line The Siemens SpeedStream 2501 power-line USB adapter is a good solution for networking through USB connections, but it's not as fast as power-line Ethernet adapters we've tested.

Editors' Rating
7.0 Overall

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Review

Siemens SpeedStream 2501 power-line USB adapter

Siemens SpeedStream 2501

With its ability to transform any 110V AC outlet into a networking port, power-line networking is perfect for those who don't want to haggle with complex cables or problems with wireless interference. The Siemens SpeedStream 2501 power-line USB adapter makes a virtue of simplicity, with one of the quickest and easiest setups of any networking product, but it lacks the speed of other adapters. It's a good choice if you don't have an available Ethernet port on your PC and you need to connect via USB. At between $50 and $75, the SpeedStream 2501 is a bargain with comparable equipment from Linksys and Netgear selling for $15 more. For those who can put up with its sluggish performance and the lack of a true manual, the simplicity of Siemens's SpeedStream 2501 makes the connection.

Admirably tiny and light, the SpeedStream 2501 is no bigger than a typical small AC adapter for a cell phone, extends only 1.5 inches below the outlet, and is about half the size of the SpeedStream 2502 Ethernet adapter. Still, Siemens finds room for three LEDs, which show network activity, link status, and packet collisions, all of which can come in handy when monitoring or troubleshooting your network. Installing the adapter is a two-minute affair. Just run the installation wizard on the included CD-ROM, which installs the drivers and configures your computer; plug the adapter into the wall; and connect it to the computer's USB port. All you have to do is enter a power-line network name. When you're finished, the SpeedStream configuration utility adds an icon to your desktop.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Siemens
  • Type Network adapter
  • Data Link Protocol HomePlug 1.0
  • Form Factor external
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