With the emergence of Powerline Ethernet technology as a viable option for expanding home infrastructure, it has never been easier to build a home network that fits your needs. In the last few months, vendors have been bringing to market the latest solutions feature Powerline 1200 technology, effectively taking your home's existing wiring over 1Gbps.
Comtrend has been in the market for over two decades, and specializes in advanced networking solutions. One of their latest products, the PowerGrid 9172, has hit our lab as our second Powerline 1200 solution. This solution supports the latest home grid certifications along with 802.1D and 802.1Q support. The 9172 adapter also supports standby operation and web based firmware upgrades over TFTP. 128-bit encryption is yet another feature along with its easy one button setup.
MSRP of the Comtrend PowerGrid 9172 is listed at $119.99 with a one-year warranty.
Each adapter for the Comtrend kit is sold separately, thus each adapter has its own packaging. The front of the packaging introduces an image of the adapters with the model number at the top right.
Scope of delivery includes a quick install guide, Ethernet cable and the powerline adapter.
Looking over the PG9172, the front of the adapter carries LEDs for Ethernet, powerline connectivity and security.
The bottom of the adapter houses the Ethernet port in yellow with a reset and Sync button next to it.
To get the full performance out of Powerline 1200 devices, they have begun to use the third or ground prong on US power outlets.
In testing the Comtrend kit, we found it to be quite a bit quicker than previous AV2 500 solutions, but not quite as quick as the TRENDnet 1200 solution we tested just a few weeks back. Peak results for the Comtrend came in at 270 Mbps.
The Comtrend PG9172 is a decent solution for those wanting to get into Powerline networking. The build quality is on par with similar solutions we have seen in the past and set up like most powerline solutions is a simple plug and sync and you are off and running. With that said, the Comtrend PG9172 does have all the features one would want in their powerline solution, such as 128-bit security and upgradability over TFTP.
Performance wasn't quite up to expectations, where we have seen the TRENDnet kit reach upwards of 400 Mbps, the Comtrend was only able to touch 270 Mbps. With the performance not being where we had hoped, it does put this Powerline kit in a bit of a hard spot with pricing being on par with solutions that are many times quicker.
|Quality including Design and Build||83%|
|Bundle and Packaging||84%|
|Value for Money||76%|
The Bottom Line: Comtrend's PG9172 is a solid performer when compared to AV2 600 solutions, but falls short in today's PL1200 market. There are just too many higher performing solutions on the market for this unit to be considered.
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