The ICY BOX Powerline Network Adapter Kit is extremely easy to use; it is as simple as plugging in both adapters and linking up the computers. We were very impressed with the speed at which each adapter locked onto the network they were connected to, something that Windows 7 seems to take forever with.
In terms of design, they are very small, in fact not much larger than a plug. They even fit next to each other in a double socket, but they won’t fit together in a multiple socket extension lead.
The 3 LED’s on the front are useful as you can instantly see why the network isn’t working. The adapters do get quite warm but as the socket features grills on 3 sides, we suspect ICY BOX were more than aware of this. Even after leaving them running for several hours we could still unplug them without any problems.
The performance of the ICY BOX Powerline Kit is not brilliant when compared with Gigabit networking, but this isn’t exactly a surprise as you just can’t beat a good wired Ethernet connection. However, in the same room, our wireless signal was 50% faster than this powerline kit.
When we moved to a larger distance of around 10 metres (with several walls in the way), the powerline kit was over 1 KB/s faster than our wireless connection. In this instance it seems a good solution, but only if you cannot possibly get a wired connection to that point. Of course a wireless router can be connected to by several devices and as such may be more favourable in certain scenarios.
We now turn to price, and Powerline kits have never been cheap. The ICY BOX IB-PL510D has a retail price of £38.99. Their closest competitor on the market is the ZyXEL PLA-4201 which retails at the same price and offers very similar specifications.
- Plug and Play network Solution.
- Small footprint both in terms of energy usage and size.
- Features AES 128-bit encryption.
- Gives adequate performance in hard to reach network areas.
- Less freedom than a wireless connection.
- Could buy a good wireless repeater for this price.
- Performance is easily beaten by a good wired connection.
- Can’t be used in a multiple socket extension lead.
Kitguru says: A very simple product that works effortlessly