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TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review

TRENDnet's 1200AV2 gigabit powerline networking kit shows great promise as an alternative to running miles of wiring in your home.

@TylerBernath
Published Thu, Apr 9 2015 11:20 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 85%Manufacturer: TRENDnet
TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 99 | TweakTown.com
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Over the past couple of years, we have seen Powerline technology emerge as a way for consumers to connect multitudes of devices without running additional infrastructure within their homes. What started with simple 500/600Mbps capabilities, has now grown into gigabit devices that promise both an increase speed and coverage.

The TRENDnet 420E2K is a Powerline AV2 1200 kit that like most kits offers pre-encrypted security enabling these devices to be plug and play solutions. Setting this solution apart from the other we have tested, the TRENDnet TPL-420E2K is our first look at 1.2Gbps Powerline. Additional features include the use of the third wire or ground to enable both MIMO and Beamforming technology giving these adapters a 5,000 Sq. Ft or 980 linear ft. coverage range.

MSRP of the TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Powerline kit is set at $131.99 with a three-year warranty.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 02 | TweakTown.com

Packaging for the TRENDnet 1200 AV2 kit carries an image of the adapters with marketing information down below.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 03 | TweakTown.com

Scope of delivery includes the adapter, Ethernet cables, and reading materials.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 04 | TweakTown.com

Looking over the adapter, we find it similar in appearance to most solutions we have seen. The front of the device houses three LEDs denoting power, Ethernet, and powerline connectivity.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 06 | TweakTown.com

The backside of the adapter carries a tag below with regulatory information. Above, you can see these adapters are utilizing all three available power connections.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 07 | TweakTown.com

This being our first AV2 1200 powerline adapter in the lab, we decided to take a look inside to see what chipset the device used. Here we found the Qualcomm Atheros QCA7500 SoC.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 05 | TweakTown.com

Above, we decided to pull out our original TRENDnet adapters to get a size comparison. As you can see the new AV2 1200 solution has gained a little weight and has shrunk by a few mm.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 09 | TweakTown.com

Included with the Powerline adapter kit is a software utility that allows you to monitor the connection rate of your adapters.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 10 | TweakTown.com

Unfortunately, after moving adapters around along with using the older 408E kit from TRENDnet, we couldn't get the utility to work at all.

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In testing, we set up the TRENDnet 1200 AV2 kit three rooms apart or about 60ft with line of sight. The test period was over 15 minutes with a 10GB transfer size. As you can see over our previous solutions, TPL-420E2K nearly doubles network throughput peaking at around 400Mbps.

Like most of the powerline solutions we have seen come through the lab, the TRENDnet TPL420 offers a stable connection for those that need to connect devices in remote locations from the home router. What most solutions don't have is the ability to utilize technologies like MIMO and Beamforming to create a stronger signal, hence resulting in higher throughput for the end-user.

Build quality of the TRENDnet TPL420 kit was quite good, the plastics certainly feel like they are able to take some abuse, and upon opening the unit, we found all the solder connections to look solid. Performance of the unit was solid as well, it's certainly the quickest powerline solution we have tested, and it rivals performance seen from many 802.11ac wireless solutions.

The only downfall with I found with this kit was within the software solution that refused to work at all no matter how many times I reinstalled and rebooted. Of course, the software utility doesn't affect the performance of the adapters at all, but it does take away from the kit as a package since you lose the monitoring capabilities. TRENDnet will likely offer a fix for this soon.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K Gigabit Powerline Networking Kit Review 100 | TweakTown.com
TweakTown award
Performance89%
Quality including Design and Build82%
General Features87%
Bundle and Packaging88%
Value for Money79%
Overall85%

The Bottom Line: TRENDnet's TPL420 is a great solution for those that want to connect multiple devices in remote locations without sacrificing too much performance. The only caveat is you will need your home wiring to be fairly modern to take advantage of this boost.

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Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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