This is the first time that we've had a chance to try out power line networking and the 200Mbps Powerline AV Fast Ethernet Adapter Kit from TRENDnet manages to impress.
The asking price is under $120 USD according to the online retailers visited at our online price search website. It is not super cheap nor a real bargain - don't get us wrong - but you are paying for a convenience in not having to run potentially messy cabling all over your floors or wire up your house with networking cable, which will cost you MUCH more than this solution.
The TRENDnet kit will cost you a little under double the price of a basic 802.11n access point, but as we saw from the results, the wireless connection on our third floor was not solid, dropped out now and again and offered hardly enough bandwidth to do anything useful with - such as streaming media or downloading files. We only managed 22KB/s over 802.11n on the third floor while the TRENDnet power line kit provided a network connection capable of 1.5MB/s. And while it is nowhere near as fast as a CAT5e or CAT6 Gigabit wired connection, it is simple and quick to setup and a network connection can be created wherever there is a power point - and this is exactly what impressed.
If you do want to extend the wireless range in your building, you could get a power line kit of this nature and also an access point and create a new area in your building for wireless clients. In our case, we would plug the power line into the router on our first floor, plug a power line adapter into a power point on the third floor and then simply plug an access point into the third floor adapter - Hay presto; we have very solid wireless connections on the third floor.
If your house or office is not wired up with networking cable and you don't want network cables running all over your floors, or wireless is not a viable solution for you due to dense building construction or security concerns, you have the choice of power line networking. While this is the first power line solution we have looked at so far, TRENDnet has provided a package that while not super cheap, won't break your bank account. It's also easy and very quick to setup and the adapters aren't ugly looking, either. Performance is not spectacular and very well under the 200Mbps labelling on the retail box, but it beats wireless 802.11n in our testing hands down.
Do keep in mind that TRENDnet told us that their next product to be released will be a 400Mbps power line kit with 200Mbps adapter and Wireless N access point built in. While this product will inevitably cost more than what we reviewed here, it will be cheaper than buying this one now and an additional standalone access point. We'll get this product in for review when it will be released, as it is what the 200Mbps Powerline AV Fast Ethernet Adapter Kit from TRENDnet should have been in the first place.