RPLC 200P Detailed Features
The Rosewill RPLC 200P Powerline Adapter kit is quite versatile. It should work just fine on nearly any plug in nearly any home. That being said, Rosewill does warn that older homes with outdated electric cabling may not work so well. I don’t know how old is too old, but everything seemed to work just fine in my house, which was built in 1992. Just to check it out, I took the RPLC-200PKIT to a friends house that was built in 1979. Everything still worked great, although he had no idea if the electric wiring had ever been changed in the house. Just make sure you plug in directly to the wall and not through a power strip. The network will still work, you’ll just notice extremely slow speeds.
Let’s go through some of the stats listed by Rosewill for the RPLC 200P Powerline Adapter Kit, since they can be a little bit confusing. First of all, the Rosewill RPLC 200P touts up to 200Mbps powerline speeds and 500Mbps peak PHY rates. The PHY rates indicate the communication between the powerline adapter and the access point, not transfer rates between devices. That is what the 200Mbps indicates.
Interestingly enough, like some entry-level powerline adapters, the Rosewill RPLC 200P, like many powerline adapters, does not have a GbE port, sporting instead only a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port. The 200Mbps is slower than many other powerline adapters, with 500Mbps ratings. Keep in mind, however, that those numbers represent the data transfer rates across the powerlines, not the network. Even many of the 500Mbps adapters only offer up to a theoretical 200Mbps over ethernet. That’s because the ethernet ports are 10/100Mbps. At full duplex, the fastest they could possibly get is 200Mbps. It wouldn’t be that much more expensive to put in a GbE port instead of a 10/100Mbps. In fact, a lot of powerline adapters have done it.
That’s ok, though. A typical WiFi 802.11n router might give you near 100Mbps speeds if you are right next to it, but throughout your house, you’ll probably be lucky to get anything over 30Mbps on the high end. Depending on the humidity, and other factors, you might be looking at 5Mbps or less sometimes. That is the real beauty of powerline adapters.
One of the nicest features of the Rosewill RPLC 200P is the encryption it provides. It uses 128-bit AES encryption. The device name and password for each adapter is located on the back label, but you won’t use those unless you set up the security manually through the included utility. The easiest way to set up an encrypted network connection between two adapters is to use the security/reset button. All you have to do is press the button on one adapter for less than three seconds, then, within 2 minutes, press the security/reset button for less than three seconds on a second adapter connected over the powerlines.
After you push the security/reset buttons, the power LED will blink at one-second intervals on both devices until the connection has been made. To add another device to the network, just repeat the process using one of the two adapters currently on the network to initiate.
The main page shows the device connected to your system. Click connect or scan to scan your home’s powerlines for any connected devices. This utility will show all connected devices, even if they are not Rosewill devices. The main screen shows off some of the details for each connected device, including the device name, password (if you have enterred it), quality of signal, PHY rate, and MAC Address. You can rename the devices however you like. I used the rooms in which the adapters were located. To begin setting up a secured network, press the enter password button.
Once you’ve added all your adapters and input their passwords into the utility, move to the privacy tab. Here you can choose to set up a private network by typing in a name, or you can use the default public network. You can then choose to isolate the device connected to your computer, or add all the devices with a password typed in to the new network. If you want to keep a device off the logical network, simply don’t enter the password in the main tab.
The next tab is the diagnostics tab. It gives you a basic rundown of all of the devices connected to your network and the information associated. Devices that are no longer connected to your network can be deleted so you no longer see the last known information.