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LAN & WAN Reviews

Performance - more

Adding more simultaneous streams adds a bit more bandwidth. With two up/downlink streams running simultaneously, total throughput moves up around 4% more to a tad over 500 Mbps. Note that uplink in each of the pairs is still favored over downlink. Also note throughput is fairly evenly distributed between the two streams in each direction.

IxChariot simultaneous up / downlink x2

IxChariot simultaneous up / downlink x2

I once again ran Location E noise tests. Location E is where most of my worst powerline noise sources (our smartphone and tablet chargers) live. The tests basically plug and unplug a particularly noisy wall-wart while an IxChariot stream is running and compare the results to a stream with all noise sources unplugged.

The composite plot below compares the baseline Location E downlink test, run with all noise sources unplugged with a run with the noise source plugged in then uplugged at the 30 second mark. Throughput recovers to the maximum no-noise-source value within a few seconds. Very impressive!

IxChariot Location E downlink compare - Noise source removed @ 30 seconds

IxChariot Location E downlink compare - Noise source removed @ 30 seconds

I also ran a test with all noise sources plugged in to see the adapter would try to compensate. The no-noise source plot makes a jump about 8 seconds in. But the lower plot with multiple noise sources plugged in shows no sign of trying to tune out the noise and improve throughput.

IxChariot Location E downlink compare - multiple noise sources

IxChariot Location E downlink compare - multiple noise sources

Closing Thoughts

Using the Powerline Ranker to get a bottom line shows the TRENDnet TPL-420E2K kit ranked #1 and the ZyXEL PLA5404KIT #2. The Ranker Performance summary for both devices shows the TRENDnet beating the ZyXEL on all three ranking qualities.

TP-LINK TL-PA4010 Ranker Performance Summary Comparison

Average Throughput comparison

Keep in mind when deciding whether to spend a bit more for the TRENDnet that AV2 MIMO technology is like wireless MIMO. You get the big throughput numbers only with strongest signals and throughput falls off pretty quickly with signal level.

The clip from the Powerline Downlink Chart below showing Location E (worst case) throughput also shows that there are cheaper non-MIMO alternatives that can also get you above 100 Mbps across an average-sized home.

TP-LINK TL-PA4010 Ranker Performance Summary Comparison

Average Throughput comparison

Still, the ability to get a 100 Mbps Ethernet port just about anywhere in your home for around $100 sure beats paying an electrician to fish CAT6 through walls!

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