Actiontec MegaPlug AV 200 Mbps Ethernet Adapter

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When it comes to solid, reliable networking connections, nothing beats copper at the moment.  It's not the most convenient, as most people (particularly wives and girlfriends) don't want cables running across the floor, or even jacks in walls throughout the house.  That leaves wireless, and although most people have wireless-G at this time, 54 Mbps (when you consider actual throughput) pales in comparison to standard 100 Mbps wired Ethernet.  Even when you consider wireless-N, which still hasn't even been fully ratified, and its up to 300 Mbps speed, throughput isn't that fast by any means.  Let's not forget the issues with distance and signal drop that exist in both current wireless solutions.

The only other option, short of snaking CAT5 cables inside walls and around your home or office, is powerline networking.  It's not new, but only recently have products entered the market which have the potential to meet or even exceed 100 Mbps wired Ethernet.  One such product is the Actiontec MegaPlug AV 200 Mbps Ethernet Adapter, which we are evaluating here.


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Image Courtesy of Actiontec


The kit comes with two oversized wall adapters and two Ethernet cables. The idea is simple in concept: you plug one adapter into your router with a cable, then into a wall socket.  Next you plug the other adapter into another wall socket and from there run the cable to your PC.   Sounds simple?  In principal it certainly is.

Standards
IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, HomePlug AV

Additional Protocols
CSMA/CA channel access scheme(upgradeable to TDMA); CO device generates a periodic beacon carrier
for channel access scheme
Forward Error Correction (FEC)
Automatic Channel Adaptation

Data Rate
PHY Rate: Up to 200 Mbps over standard home power lines and 10/100 Mbps over Ethernet*

Operating Range
Up to 300 meters in wall power lines
Capable of passing through circuit breakers
 Security
128-bit AES Link Encryption with Key Management

Frequency Band
2 MHz – 28 MHz

Modulation
OFDM Symbol Modulation on Line Synchronization
QAM
QPSK
BPSK
ROBO Carrier Modulation
CSMA/CA channel access scheme(upgradeable to TDMA); CO device generates a periodic beacon
carrier for channel access scheme
Forward Error Correction (FEC)
Automatic Channel Adaptation

Data Rate
PHY Rate: Up to 200 Mbps over standard home power lines and 10/100 Mbps over Ethernet*
QoS
Integrated
Prioritized Random Access
Contention-Free Access
Segment Bursting

LEDs
Power, Link, and Ethernet

Power Input
100 to 240V @ 50/60 Hz internal

Regulatory Compliance
FCC Part 15 Class B
UL
HomePlug Certification

Environmental Ranges
Temperature: 0°C to 40°C
Humidity: 10% to 90% (Non-condensing)

Warranty
See Product User Manual

Operating Range
Up to 300 meters in wall power lines
Capable of passing through circuit breakers

Security
128-bit AES Link Encryption with Key Management
 Frequency Band
2 MHz – 28 MHz

Modulation
OFDM Symbol Modulation on Line Synchronization
QAM
QPSK
BPSK
ROBO Carrier Modulation

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