TP-LINK AV1200 Gigabit Passthrough Powerline (3 – Port) Review

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[section_title title=”Performance and Testing”]

Performance and Testing

So far, the A1200 is looking to be a rather useful utility but how does it perform? In this section, we will run through some basic and more sophisticated testing methods to see how the A1200 by TP-LINK performs as a powerline pass through network extension device.

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For those of you curious, our testing platform is a very basic topology with in-line from BT (35Mbps up 10Mbps down – On a quiet period) to a Home Hub 4, then a Cat 5e line to the transmitter and the house wiring to complete the circuit to the receiver. This contributes to a full closed loop transmission and furthermore, the platform we will be testing the TP-LINK A1200 on. For further details on how to correctly set up, configure and troubleshoot the A1200, consult your Quick Start guide.

To keep a solid testing ground, I will be using my personal PC for testing both the Wi-Fi and LAN. Specification as follows:

CPU: i7 – 4770K @ 5.0 GHz
GPU: Gigabyte Titan X
MOBO: MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC with INTEL WI-FI 802.11 AC and Killer E2200 LAN
RAM: 16GB Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Pro
BOOT: 1 x Sandisk 480gb
STORAGE: 1 x Sandisk 480gb and 1 x 2tb HDD
PSU: 650W Corsair RM Series
CASE: Phantek Evolv ATX
COOLING: Corsair H100i (CPU) and H75i (GPU)

Please note that all Speedtest.net by Ookla results provided came from a connection to the same server, in this case, the server was situated in Manchester.

Wi-Fi Testing – 2.4 Ghz

Wi-Fi is split up into 2 different bands, in this test we will be focusing on the 2.4Ghz band. This band offers better overall coverage at moderate speed, good for reaching rooms and locations furthest away from your home router.

Standard Wi-Fi Connection

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Using TP-LINK Powerline Passthrough

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As we can see from the results above, we saw a much larger increase in download speed due to being situated much closer to the access point and with 2.4Ghz offering such a large radius of Wi-Fi output, we have also increased our coverage. We cannot see much of an improvement in upload speeds but with 10Mbps being the cap I usually see, there was not much to improve overall. I am very happy with these results and every little helps when you live off of such a small digit of a download speed.

Wi-Fi Testing – 5.0 Ghz

Wi-Fi is split up into 2 different bands, in this test we will be focusing on the 5.0Ghz band. This band offers better speeds but lacks in the larger distribution of signal like 2.4Ghz offers. 5.0Ghz is better for close proximity use, for example being used in the same room as your router.

Standard Wi-Fi Connection

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Using TP-LINK Powerline Passthrough

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Again we saw a much larger increase in download speed but not much for upload, as mentioned earlier this is something that cannot easily be corrected with a capacity of 10Mbps on a very quiet evening. The leap has turned comfortable streaming capabilities from afar to a comfortable gaming speed, simply as the much more powerful band of Wi-Fi is situated closer to myself.

LAN Testing

A LAN or “Hard-Wired” connection is the use of a live network cable between workstation and router. I was able to test this by using the powerline to its full capabilities in a building that offered superb wiring, an important factor when contemplating the use of powerline pass throughs and similar network based adapters to extend the field of use.

Standard LAN Connection

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Using TP-LINK Powerline Passthrough

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Here we are able to see the results, almost identical and certainly impressive. The powerline passthrough has allowed for a near mirror result between a router-to-device connection and using the structures wiring as an alternative source of network extension. The slight ping difference is understandable and not a factor that would equate to much in real world terms.

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