Powerline Adapter Final Thoughts
I think powerline adapters meet a critical need for anyone who has found that they are reliant on WiFi in their homes. That’s pretty much everyone these days. The WiFi is great for my smartphone and tablet, considering that it is really my only option, but for my HTPC or laptop, I am constantly left wanting for better speeds. Maybe 802.11ac will go a long way towards fixing my WiFi problem. I hope that it will. However, for a fraction of the cost of an 802.11ac router and adapters, I can get quite a few powerline adapters and fix my problem now.
The only problem with powerline adapters is that there are now several dozen different options. They come with plenty of different options and features. To find which one is most worth the money, I’ll just have to test them all. For now, however, I can make some pretty good judgements based on what I’ve seen from the Rosewill RPLC 200P Powerline Adapter Kit.
Although the Rosewill RPLC 200P Powerline Adapter Kit didn’t come close to the 200Mbps that it touts, the performance is still very solid. Don’t be fooled by the numbers on the box. 802.11n routers consistently tout 300 to 450Mbps without breaking a sweat, but those numbers just don’t happen. For that reason, the 40 to 50Mbps showing by the RPLC 200P is nearly double what I get out of my wireless n router from one side of my house to the other. Unfortunately, for a little less money, the Trendnet TPL-406E does quite a bit better.
The Rosewill RPLC 200P Kit looks decent enough. I’m not a huge fan of the look, especially the blue circle around the pass-through plug. Of course, there is only so much you can do to snazzy up a plug. In terms of pure appearance, I am a bigger fan of the smaller powerline adapters.
The RPLC 200P is very sturdily constructed. The three-pronged plug design helps the adapter stay firmly attached when plugged into the wall. The Trendnet TPL 406E, on the other hand, only has a two-pronged design. While that allows you plug it in upside down, it also sits much more flimsily in the socket. The casing of the RPLC 200P is solid. The seams are well-fit and there are no apparent weak spots. The RPLC 200P is constructed as well as you should expect and it should hold up under any falls or drops.
What the Rosewill RPLC 200P Kit lacks in umph and appearance, it makes up for in functionality. While the look of a bulky adapter doesn’t suit my fancy, the functionality of having a pass-through plug certainly does. I am a big fan of being able to use the plug as well as the adapter. The RPLC 200P also features 128-bit AES encryption. That isn’t uncommon, but the fact that you can enable a secure network without fussing with the software is actually a big plus to me. That little security/reset button makes a huge difference in functionality.
The Rosewill RPLC 200P Powerline Adapter Kit costs $54.99 (Newegg / Amazon). At that price, the RPLC 200P is somewhere is the middle-range of 2 piece powerline adapter starter kits. That’s not a bad price, but it is more expensive than TPL 406E kit I tested it against. The TPL 406E also performed quite a bit better in the speed tests. It doesn’t have the pass-through plug that the RPLC 200P has, or the security button, though. I think $54.99 is a decent price, but not an outstanding one.
As for powerline adapters in general, I highly recommend getting some if you have multiple computers (laptops, HTPCs, etc.) that you use in different rooms around your house. The Rosewill RPLC-200PKIT is a good kit, works well, and has a lot of features.
+ Pass-Through Plug
+ 128-bit AES Encryption
+ Security button makes secure setup easy
+ Faster than my WiFi in most rooms
- Slower than similarly priced options
- Construction: 9.00
Final Score: 8.40 out of 10.
COMMENT QUESTION: What features are most important to you in a powerline adapter?