Technologies such as Mesh networking and increasingly powerful radios are giving WiFi the ability to cover more of your home than ever before. But you still might be worried about the reliability of the throughput. This an area where a wired LAN using powerline networking has always had something to offer. But what if you could get the best of both worlds, using powerline to extend your WiFi? This is the idea behind the devolo dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac.
This isn't the first time we have come across this concept. In fact, we looked at the similar Asus PL-AC56 almost exactly a year ago. But devolo is the leading powerline brand. On paper, the devolo option is similar in specification to ASUS's. The starter kit consists of two different devices – one for installation near your broadband connection, and one with a WiFi access point built in. But you can also purchase extra WiFi-enabled devices to further extend the WLAN around your house.
The WiFi unit isn't particularly potent where WiFi is concerned, as it only sports a 2×2 antenna configuration. This allows it to offer AC1200 WiFi, consisting of 866Mbits/sec of 5GHz bandwidth and 300Mbits/sec at 2.4GHz. The powerline aspect runs at a nominal 1,200Mbits/sec, although obviously no single device is every going to receive that throughput, because the fastest client connection available is from the Gigabit Ethernet wired LAN ports. The broadband connection device has one of these, and the WiFi unit two.
However, even if the WiFi is nominally nowhere near as fast as a top-end router such as the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 R9000, the idea is that you can put your hotspot right in the room where you most need it, thanks to the powerline networking. You can also add further hotspots where you need them for £90 each, making this potentially a great way to serve a large house. We were sent one of these single units as well as the starter kit, so let's find out how the devolo dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac can give you a house-spanning WLAN.
Starter Kit Price: £139.99
Additional WiFi Units: £90
Wireless protocols: MU-MIMO with 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz
Performance: AC1200 (866 + 300 Mbits/sec); Powerline 1200
Antenna Configuration: 2×2 External Antennas for 2.4/5GHz
Ports: Base unit: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet; WiFi unit: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet; Both: AC mains plug passthrough
Modem Support: via router
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