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ICY BOX Powerline Network Adapter Kit Review

To test the ICY Box Powerline network adapter kit, we plugged one adapter directly into our Buffalo AirStation Nfiniti Dual Band Wireless Router (WZR-HP-AG300H) and connected our test system directly via a wired Gigabit Ethenet connection.

We then used a SONY Vaio VGN-NW21Z Laptop as the receiving device which was connected  in a number of ways, either connected directly to the router, using its wireless N connection or plugged into our powerline kit. This should allow us to be able to compare the transfer speeds over the 3 connections. As our test system, laptop and router all use Gigabit Ethernet any compromise will be from the connection type used (i.e. wireless or Powerline).

Our test comprised of transferring a single .zip archive, which was 474,144 KB in size.

We performed all tests in both directions and 3 times each to gain a reliable average time.

For the first set of tests both powerline adapters were in the same room, but we also repeated the test with one powerline adapter plugged in downstairs (in our lounge – approx. 10 metres away) to show how distance affects the speed.

Same room

Gigabit – Gigabit: 5.48 (86.5KB/s)

Gigabit – Wireless: 28.75 (16.5 KB/s)

Gigabit – Powerline kit: 42.5 seconds (11.2 KB/s)

Distance of 10m:

Gigabit – Wireless: 58.75 (8.1 KB/s)

Gigabit – Powerline Kit: 51.51 (9.3 KB/s)

The results of the testing are quite interesting, firstly when the powerline units are in the same room as each other, the data transfer speed was 2/3 slower than our wireless speed. The transfer speed of the powerline kit didn't however slow down much when we were downstairs in our lounge, but the wireless speed had slowed down considerably.

Of course, a direct gigabit network is clearly the way forward, but this is often not practical. If you have a large distance to cover with several walls in the way, the powerline kit becomes more favourable than a wireless network connection, as it is more likely to offer good performance. 

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