Combining Powerline and WiFi 

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Well known as a home networking specialist, Devolo has recently updated its solution to curing the problem caused by a weak WiFi performance. This product, offering WiFi anywhere in the home, is the company’s dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac Starter Kit.

Devolo dLAN 1200 Wi Fi AC Powerline Starter Kit
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The develop dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac Starter Kit consists of a pair of dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac Powerline adapter devices, Ethernet cable and an Installation booklet.  With the appearance of 3-pin plugs on steroids, the pair of Apple White adapter devices form the main thrust of the Devolo network system by taking advantage of the home’s existing electric wiring system to stream data around the building. 

The larger of the two adapters, with dimensions of 152 x 47 x 74 mm (H x W x D), uses the home’s electric circuit to boost a WiFi signal throughout the house. The second, and slightly smaller adapter has dimensions of 132 x 47 x 65 mm (H x W x D) and provides the encryption to secure your dLAN network.  Both adapters offer a pass-through facility so that using these devices does not reduce the number of available wall sockets available to the user.

As you are provided with an Installation booklet, you might think that setting up the product should be straightforward.  In a way the process is straightforward but you do need to get your head around the fact that the illustrations in this booklet show the two adapters in an upside down position.  Whereas the illustrations in the booklet show the adapters with the 3-pin plug element at the top of the device with the available connection sockets (two on the larger unit and one on the smaller unit) on the base.  In actuality the reverse is true of the adapters.  The 3-pin plug is at the bottom of the adapter and the Ethernet ports are more conveniently located on the top of the adapter.  I am guessing that the illustrations were borrowed from an earlier version of the product when adapters were designed the other way round. 

Following the illustrated steps should take a little more than a few minutes as you make a note of the WiFi key printed on the inside face of the dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac adapter and use the supplied Ethernet cable to link to your router and apply data encryption to the newly formed network.  You just need to remember to mentally turn the illustration through 180 degrees.  LED lights will indicate as each stage is completed and you can move on. 

The combined presence of the three Ethernet ports on the two adapters means you could integrate three non-wireless supporting devices into the network.  WiFi devices, such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks, can be integrated into the network via WPS and you can download the free  Devolo Cockpit app to monitor your dLAN home network.  The Cockpit app can create a map of your new network while showing the current speed of each adapter.  You can also use the app to manage each adapter independently.

Along with its networking and WiFi enhancing capabilities by using all three wires found in the electric wiring circuit, this kit offers a WiFi Clone facility.  This state of affairs can be achieved by wirelessly pairing the dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac adapter with a router WiFi, initially within a distance of 10 metres.  The adapter can then be repositioned in another room to provide reasonable WiFi in that area.  This works in the same way as a Wireless Extender product.

The last time I looked at a Devolo dLAN WiFi Starter Kit it was rated at 500Mbps.  This latest offering is rated as a sizeable step-up in regards to possible performance speed.  However do not be misled by the 1200 part of the product’s title.  Somewhere, somehow this figure might have been obtained but it is very unlikely that you could obtain it in any real world situation especially if my experiences are anything to go by.  Influences, such as the distance between the source and its destination of the data stream along with the condition of the home wiring circuit, can play their part.  The data speeds I was able to achieve varied between 155 and 330 MB/s.  While well below the 1200 figure, these speeds were enough to deliver a reasonable performance for a variety of tasks.

Backed up by a three year warranty, the Devolo dlAN 1200+ WiFi ac Starter Kit is priced at £119.99.  While less expensive solutions might be available, the quality of the Devolo product (Instruction booklet apart) is worth the extra cost when setting up a dLAN home network.

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OverallDevolo dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac Starter Kit rated 76 out of 100

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