D-Link DHP-300 review: D-Link DHP-300

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The Good Good looking plugs. Simple plug and play operation. Comparatively inexpensive.

The Bad Proprietary. Plugs are still huge. Slow performance.

The Bottom Line D-Link's take on HD powerline adaptors manages to look a lot better than the competition, but the same old network performance woes bring the whole package down.

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6.3 Overall

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Networking over your home power lines is an attractive concept -- there's no drilling, no insidious networking waves to be picked up by your neighbours, and adding a network port is as simple as plugging something in. The latest crop of power-based networking products -- models such as Netcomm's NP200AV and Netgear's HDXB101 Powerline HD -- add the very promising cherry of HD video streaming capabilities, putting them well ahead of the wireless networking crowd. You can add D-Link to that group with its claimed 200Mbps-capable DHP-300 Powerline HD Ethernet Adaptors.

Before seeing the DHP-300 in action, we would have said that there was little you could do with the basic power plug design to make it attractive, but we'll give them their due -- D-Link's given it a really good shot. Admittedly, the plugs themselves are still huge and unwieldy, and you'll either have to employ a double adaptor or give them a wall socket to themselves in order to fit them into most household environments. Still, the basic white style and ring of icons (for power, connectivity and network transmission respectively) does make for a chunky power brick that's at least not quite as stark as either Netgear's similar all-white HDXB101 or Netcomm's bloated purple NP200AV Homeplugs.

The key offering of the DHP-300 isn't different from at all from its competitors. It gives you an ethernet port wherever plugged in with a claimed top data rate of 200Mbps, more than enough for the transmission of HD Video, or even just for pinging data files around awfully fast. For the paranoid (or those living in apartment blocks where the location of wiring may be difficult to ascertain), encryption and data prioritisation utilities are provided for Windows platforms only.

Installation of the DHP-300 is as simple as its competitors. You plug it in where you need the network port, and use standard ethernet cable to connect it up. You need at least two DHP-300s to form a network; D-Link sells a two pack labelled as the DHP-301 for those purposes.

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