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Linksys Powerline AV Bridge Kit PLK300 review: Linksys Powerline AV Bridge Kit PLK300

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Like all other HomePlugAV powerline adapters, it was easy for us to set up the PLK300 kit. We first connected the PLE300 to a router and then plugged it into the power source. At the far end, we connected the PLS300 to a computer and then the power source, and voila! A network was now established. We tried connecting another three computers at the far end and they all were connected immediately.

Each of the adapters in the PLK300 kit has a security button on top that allows for setting up passwords between them. The process of setting up the password requires pressing this button on both units alternatively. The details of this rather involved process can be found here . This is similar to the security setup of the Netgear XAV2001 , though a little more time-consuming. Nonetheless, it's fairly easy. To avoid having your neighbors procure your connection for their own purposes, using this security measure is a necessity. Otherwise, they'll be able to tap into your network just by using another HomePlug AV adapter.

The PLK300 kit was the fastest kit we've seen when it comes to throughput performance.

The kit consistently registered more than 32Mbps compared with the Plaster Network PLN3's 22.6Mbps or the Netgear XAV2001's 22.9Mbps. At this speed, the kit could finish transferring 500GB of data in about 2 minutes, which is about the same as a 2.4Ghz wireless-N router. Note, however, that these speeds depend on the electrical wiring of the house/building where the kit is used, so results may vary in your particular situation.

Though far from the speeds of a traditional wired Ethernet connections, the PLK300 proved in our anecdotal tests to be a viable solution for general networking needs--including hi-def media streaming--as long as you don't do multiple streaming jobs at a time.

CNET Labs' powerline adapter performance (in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Service and support
Cisco backs the PLK300 with a generous three-year warranty, which is longer than most others. The company's toll-free phone support is available 24-7, as is online chat with a support representative. The company's Web site includes software, drivers, and firmware downloads as well as an FAQ section.

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