Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapter full review
The Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapter – also known strangely as the PL-600AV-SMT-PIGGY – is a Powerline adapter with Pass-Through socket so it won’t take up a valuable power socket in each room when creating a home network over your existing power circuit.
Powerline adapters transmit data from your Internet router between rooms in your house via the power sockets in each room – as if you were hooking up different rooms by Ethernet cables. It’s an ingeniously simple technology that’s easy to set up and results in fast home-network speeds that are required nowadays with multiple devices (maybe another PC or laptop, games consoles, a smart TV or a set-top box for catch-up TV such as Sky+, Tivo and Apple TV) all benefiting from faster–than–Wi-Fi speeds. Read: What is Powerline?
Simply plug one adapter into a power socket near your router and connect that via the supplied Ethernet cable to the router, and in another room plug another adapter to a power socket, and you’ve got yourself a fast home network.
You can forget about slow Wi-Fi performance because now you can connect that second (or third, fourth, etc) adapter to the TV, console or Sky box using another Ethernet cable.
Powerline adapters come in various speeds, usually 200Mbps and 500Mbps. Several are now claiming 600Mbps – such as the PIGGY or Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapter.
Don’t worry yourself too much about the speed claims. Both 500Mbps and 600Mbps Powerlines are faster than 200Mbps versions but none will get much above 70Mbps in real-world usage. Why? You name it, your house is resistant to speed: complexity of mains wiring, electrical “noise”, conflicting devices, and the distance between adapters.
70Mbps, however, is much faster than you’re likely to get using a far-off Wi-Fi signal. Like I said, forget the claimed speeds and enjoy Powerline for what it is: as close as you’ll get to normal wired connections without running miles of ugly cables around your house.
We have tested a large range of Powerline products to help you chose the best adapters for your home. See our favourites in our Best Powerline adapters round up.
Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapter: performance
We tested the Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapters (you need two to build your network) in a Victorian house with fairly old wiring and the usual array of electronic devices (TV, Sky+, Hi-Fi, lamps, microwave, computers, etc) plugged into the power lines. The Internet router was situated in the office on the second floor, and we used Powerline to test data speed on the ground floor.
If your house was built more recently you may well achieve faster speeds than we did, but we use this house to get consistent speeds for a proper Powerline comparison.
How did the Solwise PIGGY perform? In our best-case scenario – where two adpters are placed next to each other in a double wall socket, which is a core test on performance but not very realistic in terms of everyday use – the Solwise was super-fast, scoring a pretty amazing 155Mbps, which is the fastest we’ve seen. This is probably helped by the adapters using Gigabit rather than 10/100 Ethernet ports.
In the more real-world case – with one adapter on the second floor by the router and the other on the ground floor next to the TV and other networkable devices – the Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapters reached 57Mbps. This is about average for Powerline adapters.
Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapter: features
We applaud the use of Gigabit Ethernet but the solitary port on each adapter might cramp those with multiple network devices in the second room. Some other Powerline adapters feature two or three ports. If you need only one then the Solwise is fine, and you can always swap out the Etehrnet to whichever device you need if you sometimes want the TV and other times the games console connected to yourhome network.
Some other Powerline adapters include Wi-Fi functionality, which can create a new, fast Wi-Fi hotspot in the second room – handy if you use smartphones and tablets away from your main wireless router. The Solwise adapters lack this function.
The Solwise adapters do, however, feature Pass-Through sockets so you can still use the socket that the adapters are plugged into for other devices, which is handy unless you have tons of sockets where you most need them.
The Solwise 600AV adapters have a configuration push button for a simple way of creating a secure HomePlug network without the need to use extra software. This is useful if more than one residence used the same mains wiring in a building.
Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapter: price
Each Solwise 600AV2 Powerline adapter costs £31.15 (including VAT and delivery). Remember that just one adpter is no good on its own so you’ll need to buy at least two – setting the starting price for a Solwise Powerline home network at £62.30. We’ve seen cheaper but this is a reasonable price.
Check out all our Powerline adapter reviews and also our group test of the best Powerline adapters we've tested. You can get more information on Powerline including explanations of Powerline speed myths and lots of tips and trick in our feature What Is Powerline.
Solwise 600AV2 HomePlug Adapter: Specs
- 600Mbps Powerline adapter
- one Gigabit Ethernet port per adapter
- Connect Push Button (Set up network password automatically)