Corinex Powerline router
Most wireless networks are so easy to set up that installing a power-line network, which merely requires plugging the networking equipment into your home's or office's existing power lines, might seem unnecessary. But products like the Corinex Powerline Router still help in tough times, such as when your computers reside inside buildings made from materials that wireless signals can't penetrate. The compact Corinex acts both as a power-line adapter and, with its three RJ-45 jacks, an Ethernet router. It offers power-line throughput speeds on a par with other power-line products such as the . Its throughput and features make the Corinex a solid solution for environments that just can't make a go of Wi-Fi. But beware: Its setup guide is poorly written, and getting tech support means paying for an international phone call.
If you're new to computers, installing the Corinex Powerline Router will be a chore. The quick-start guide lacks helpful images that map out which cords to plug in where, relying mostly on text descriptions that have words missing here and there. Old computer pros familiar with the lingo will find setup a snap: just plug your broadband device into the router's WAN jack, plug the router directly into an AC outlet, then connect your computer to one of the router's LAN jacks. After you've outfitted other systems throughout the building with power-line adapters, you can run the router's setup tool to ensure that each computer is recognized by the network.
The Corinex Powerline Router offers some security features found in the typical Wi-Fi router, including NAT firewall protection, DHCP, and IP filtering. Like the , the Corinex also provides VPN pass-through support to help you telecommute to the office. Finally, the Powerline router includes a wired version of Wi-Fi's WEP: 56-bit DES encryption that protects packets transmitted over the HomePlug network.
The Corinex Powerline router's maximum bandwidth is 14Mbps, but real-world throughput in CNET Labs tests yielded an acceptable 5.1Mbps, a hair slower than the . To put these speeds in perspective, they're faster than broadband but much slower than the fastest Wi-Fi throughput with mixed 802.11b and 802.11g connections, which can top 18Mbps or faster.
As its benchmark, CNET Labs uses NetIQ's Chariot 4.3 software on a console system with clients running NetIQ's Performance End Points 4.4. Our throughput tests measure the transfer speed of a file that a user might send across the network. This is known as the payload throughput and does not include packet errors and other data that might be transferred over a network. Payload throughput can vary widely from the bandwidth speeds vendors advertise and is a much better gauge of what you're likely to experience with a standard file transfer. For more details on how we test networking devices, see the CNET Labs site.
The Corinex Powerline router is exceptionally weak in service and support. Its tech-support number is answered only on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT and points to Canada, so unless you live in that country, you must pay an international toll when you need support. The company also provides a meager seven FAQs for the router on its support Web site.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Throughput (in Mbps)|