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Corinex Wireless to Powerline access point review: Corinex Wireless to Powerline access point

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The Good Compact design; WEP and WPA security; flexible antenna.

The Bad Slow wireless performance; poor documentation; toll-based tech-support number; short warranty.

The Bottom Line The Corinex Wireless to Powerline access point merges the convenience of Wi-Fi with the practicality of a power-line network, but its manuals and support are abominable.

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5.8 Overall
  • Setup 5
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Support 4

Review Sections

Corinex Wireless to Powerline access point

If you have trouble getting Wi-Fi to work in your home or building, don't fret: Corinex may have the answer in its 802.11b Wireless to Powerline access point (AP). You can use this AP to wirelessly tap into a power-line network. The unobtrusive device provides both WEP and WPA security to defend your wireless data transmissions from hackers. Some things you won't get, however, are well-written documentation, a toll-free phone-support number, and 802.11g speeds: the AP mustered a mere 5.1Mbps throughput score in our Labs' tests.

Like the manuals for the Corinex Powerline router, the Wireless to Powerline access point's user guides could stand some editing. Networking newbies will likely be confused by the text-heavy setup descriptions and the missing words in the quick-start guide. More experienced users should soon discern that the physical setup simply entails plugging the device into an AC outlet and screwing in its antenna. To determine whether the AP is connected to your power-line network, install and run the Setup Tool from the included CD on a connected PC, then look for the AP's MAC address amid the other MAC addresses on your power-line network.

The Wireless to Powerline access point has a browser-based configuration tool that's similar to the tools of most wireless APs. The Corinex tool allows you to manage the AP's satisfying wireless security features, such as SSID, 64- and 128-bit encryption, up to four WEP keys, and WPA settings. The same tool lets you alter power-line network settings, including your NEK (network encryption key).

The Wireless to Powerline access point may have a similar software setup to that of other Wi-Fi APs, but its performance differs considerably. The device pushed data through our test suite at 5.1Mbps, which pales in comparison to the speeds shown by wireless access points such as the D-Link DWL-2100AP. On the other hand, 5.1Mbps is a fast score for a power-line network--only the 5.2Mbps score earned by the Netgear XE102 beats it.

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 that vendors advertise, and it's 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.

Corinex comes up extremely short in the service-and-support department. While many networking devices ship with two-year (or longer) warranties, the Wireless to Powerline access point's warranty lasts for one brief year. Tech-support calls must be made to the company's Canadian number, which is not toll-free. Your only other communication option is e-mailing tech support. Worse, the AP's online support consists of just five product-specific FAQs.

CNET Labs Chariot throughput tests  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Throughput in Mbps  

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