TP-Link is synonymous when it comes to networking products. Today I have the TL-PA9020P 2-port passthrough powerline starter kit for review, highlighting 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports per adapter and pass-through power plugs. Let’s take a closer look and see if these are for you…
TP-Link AV2000 (9020P) Starter Kit: Specifications
|Plug Type||EU, UK, US,FR|
|Standards and Protocols||HomePlug AV2, HomePlug AV, IEEE 1901,
IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.3ab
|Interface||2 * Gigabit Ethernet Port, Power Socket|
|Power Consumption||Maximum: 5.8 W (230V/50Hz)
Standby: 0.5 W (230V/50Hz)
|LED Indicator||Power, Powerline, Ethernet|
|Dimensions ( W x D x H )||5.2×2.8×1.7 in. (131×72×42 mm)|
|Range||Up to 300 meters/1000 feet over existing electrical wiring|
|Power Output to Integrated Socket||13 A|
|Compatibility||Compatible with all AV2000, AV1200, AV1000, AV600, AV500 &
AV200 powerline adapters
|Transmission Speeds||Powerline: up to 2000 Mbps
Ethernet: 10/100/1000 Mbps
|Quality of Service||ToS
Supports up to 4-level type QoS
Support up to 8-level VLAN priority
|Security||128-bit AES Encryption|
|Package Contents|| AV2000 2-port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Adapter, TL-PA9020P * 2
2-meter RJ-45 Ethernet Cable * 2
Quick Installation Guide
|System Requirements||Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Mac OS, Linux|
|Environment|| Operating Temperature: 0°C~40°C (32°F~104°F)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉ ~158℉)
Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing
Product Page: HERE
TP-Link AV2000 (9020P) Starter Kit: Unboxing and Closer Look
TP-Link’s traditional 2-tone coloured box makes an appearance once again. This time with a smaller picture of the units and a whole host of information on the outside. Notice the large AV2000 sticker promoting the theoretical 2000Mbps this kit is capable of.
The rear side shows how you would typically use the powerline kit sharing the internet connection between floors in a house, as well as highlighting the use of 2x2MIMO, dual Gigabit ports, Pass-through, and power savings modes built in.
Opening the box, it’s great to see TP-Link using a moulded cardboard box to safely store the powerline kit. The cardboard also has plenty of padding in key areas like corners to ensure the powerline kit arrives in perfect condition.
Two 1m Cat 5e Ethernet cables are included in the box for you to use along with a Quick Installation Guide for your reference, the only legally required document. It’s nice to see TP-Link also saving paper where it can.
Removing the PA9020P kit from their sleeves, we can take a closer look. The kits have a plastic construction, which is typical for power-related products, and are white in colour. The plugs measure in at 131×72×42 mm or 5.2×2.8×1.7 in.
The left side has a small PAIR button and 3 green LEDs to indicate the operational status of the plug. The right side is completely blank.
The front side, has a small TP-Link logo, along with the model and speed, in this case, the AV2000 can be seen. AV indicates the standard, AV/AV2 and 2000 indicate the theoretical maximum throughput/rated speed.
Below that, the passthrough plug can be found. In our case, the UK plug is attached, but you can get one suitable for your geographical location with ease.
The back of the plug shows us the plug which attaches to the wall outlet. For best performance connect it straight into the wall, and avoid using extension leads of any type.
A view of the top shows us the location of the dual-Gigabit ports, and the bottom is completely blank.
Plugging the kit into the wall is easy, turn it on, connect one of the supplied Ethernet cables and you’re off to the races. I really like the pass-through capability, as it means you don’t lose a wall plug in the process.
TP-Link AV2000 (9020P) Starter Kit: Testing
Let’s bust some myths about powerline networking before we start, the rated speeds on the box are nowhere near what you will actually get when testing/using the products. The rated numbers given by the manufacturer are the theoretical maximum speeds promised by the processors, powerline technology (AV/AV2/G.hn) and there are way too many environmental factors that slow this by an order of magnitude.
That doesn’t mean they are completely useless though, in general, getting yourself a powerline kit that has a fast speed rating will perform better than the slower ones.
To (hopefully) prove this point, I will be testing the AV2000 on review today against TP-Link’s AV1300 kit I’ve had in a drawer for a while now for comparison.
I’m going to be running a speedtest.net internet speed test on the best automatic server, and take the mean result of three recorded tests in a row.
I have a BT fibre 500Mbps connection with 70Mbps upload. So it will be interesting to see where the kits top out at.
I should note too, that the test environment is going from my router downstairs to my desktop computer in my office room upstairs, which is the typical use expectancy of these kits.
TP-Link AV2000 (9020P)
Ping – 10ms
Download – 335.90Mbps
Upload – 72.52Mbps
Ping – 11ms
Download – 320.01Mbps
Upload – 72.56Mbps
The results are a lot closer than I expected here between TP-Link’s AV1300 and AV2000 kits, with 1300 and 2000Mbps ratings respectively.
With only a 15Mbps difference in speed tests, there isn’t much to it.
TP-Link AV2000 (9020P) Starter Kit: The Verdict
The results speak for themselves. The AV2000 kit is the fastest AV2 powerline adapter we’ve seen on the channel, but not by much.
The AV1300 results we’re just 15Mbps slower, but with a single Gigabit port vs. the two Gigabit ports on the AV2000 kit, the AV2000 kit has an ace up its sleeve. Though this won’t improve speeds (as Gigabit Ethernet is the limiting factor) but the ability to connect an additional device to the adapter is a positive.
For anyone needing more than 2 ports though, you’re going to have to settle for adding an additional Gigabit (or higher) switch with more ports for an extra cost.
The AV2000 also utilises 2×2 MIMO and all three of the wires in the wiring system and picks the best of 2 of them to use.
Another benefit of using the AV2000 kit is that the range almost always far exceeds WiFi, so these are a great option for that providing the adapters are kept on the same wire circuit.
The aesthetic matches other TP-Link products we’ve reviewed in the past, but the adapters are a solid white plastic block with rounded edges. They have dual gigabit ports on the top side with the pair button and 3 indicator LEDs on the left side. Other than that the front has a pass-through plug socket so you don’t lose a plug socket when introducing the AV2000 kit to your setup.
Priced at just £93.99 in the UK at the time of writing, the TP-Link AV2000 is on the more expensive side but is the fastest AV powerline kit they currently offer, and is priced fairly for the features and performance on offer.
Big thanks to TP-Link for sending over the TL-PA9020P kit for today’s review.