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Jim Martin from PC Advisor gives PE Sockets 3.5 out of 5
We’ve seen a lot of Powerline networking adapters, but nothing quite like Power Ethernet’s T1000.This new British company aims to make Powerline networking a lot more socially acceptable by ridding sockets of the unsightly ‘wall warts’ you'd traditionally associate with HomePlugs.
Power Ethernet T1000: features
The T1000 fits into a standard UK double gang wall box (as long as it’s 35mm deep) and has a four-port managed switch along with a single mains socket. Software will be available shortly to manage the switch, including QoS settings and VLANs.
When you install two or more in your home, they automatically create a network using your mains wiring, just like any other HomePlug adapter. The difference here is that it’s a lot prettier than the bulky adapters traditionally associated with Powerline networking, and there’s no chance someone will unplug or turn off an adapter and prevent devices from connecting to each other and the internet.
Those are the advantages, then, but whether they outweigh the high price is another matter. Each socket costs roughly the same as four standard HomePlug AV adapters. Also, bear in mind that you’ll lose one mains socket and the T1000’s socket doesn’t have a power switch.
Most HomePlug adapters have only one Ethernet socket, so you can connect only one device. Depending on the location of your mains sockets, you might be able to install a Power Ethernet T1000 near your TV. More and more home entertainment kit has a network port, but not as many devices support Wi-Fi, so a single HomePlug adapter is unlikely to be enough for most people.
You can, however, connect an inexpensive 5-port switch to any Powerline networking adapter but it’s hardly an elegant solution.
Power Ethernet T1000: installation
Installing the adapter is relatively straightforward, as it’s merely a case of replacing your existing double gang socket with the T1000. However, since the adapter uses all the space in the wall box, there’s no space to fold the power wires behind it.
We had to trim our wires to leave as little spare as possible in order to get the T1000 to fit, but it’s possible to buy shims which hold the adapter proud of the wall box for compatibility with shallower wall boxes.
Power Ethernet T1000: performance
In our tests, a pair of T1000 sockets managed 65.3Mbps when transferring a 1GB video file. A basket of small files totalling 1GB were copied at 56.5Mbps. Both rates are roughly what we’d expect from a HomePlug AV device such as this.
We’d like to see a 500Mbps version, but the chipset currently runs too hot to work in an enclosed design such as the T1000’s.
The PowerEthernet T1000 HomePlug AV socket is a novel idea. It’s neat and can’t be unplugged like a traditional powerline networking adapter. However, it’s very expensive compared to alternatives such as Western Digital’s LiveWire kit. That kit costs just £65 and both adapters have four Ethernet sockets. Since they don’t plug directly into the wall, there’s no ugly focal point as with most HomePlugs.