Netgear Powerline 1200 (PL1200-100PAS) review: Disappointing MIMO performance

Netgear PLP1200
Credit: Netgear
At a Glance
  • Netgear PL1200-100PAS

    TechHive Rating

    The Netgear PL1200-100PAS is speedy enough for most high-bandwidth tasks, but it’s significantly slower than competing HomePlug AV2 MIMO adapters that don’t cost much more.

When you shop for HomePlug AV2 MIMO powerline adapter, you’ll find that the street price of Netgear’s Powerline 1200 (PL1200-100PAS) is about 49 percent lower than that of the king-of-the-hill D-Link DHP-701AV. But take a look at our benchmark charts and you’ll see that the Netgear is also about 43 percent slower than the D-Link. And 30 percent slower than the ZyXel PLA5405. And 25 percent slower than the G.hn-based Comtrend PG-9172.

It seems the street has yet to figure this out, as Netgear’s kit costs more at retail than Comtrend’s, and only slightly less than ZyXel’s.

Powerline networking adapter table

The street price of Netgear's PL1200 HomePlug AV2 MIMO powerline adapter is out of line with its performance.

Now the D-Link DHP-701AV achieves its high speed via proprietary enhancements, but the ZyXel PLA5405 is pretty stock. As for the Comtrend PG-9172, we’re recommending consumers wait for additional G.hn products to ship before jumping on that particular bandwagon.

Gigabit powerline Ethernet

Netgear's PL1200 couldn't keep up with any of the high-end powerline adapters we tested.

The physical size of Netgear’s adapter is another reason to leave it on the shelf, too; it’s tall enough to block the top tap in your wall outlet. You could spend an additional $10 per pair to buy the Netgear Powerline 1200 + Extra Outlet (Netgear model PLP1200-100PAS), which provides a pass-through electrical outlet. That’s a feature none of Netgear’s competitors currently offer, surprisingly enough, but the extra cost won’t deliver any extra performance.

This story, "Netgear Powerline 1200 (PL1200-100PAS) review: Disappointing MIMO performance" was originally published by TechHive.

At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    The Netgear PL1200-100PAS is speedy enough for most high-bandwidth tasks, but it’s significantly slower than competing HomePlug AV2 MIMO adapters that don’t cost much more.

    Pros

    • Relatively inexpensive
    • Faster than powerline adapters based on older HomePlug standards
    • Available sister product offers an electrical pass-through

    Cons

    • Chunky form factor
    • Significantly slower than the competition
    • Poor price/performance ratio