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PC PRO rated PE Sockets 4 out of 6

Power Ethernet Socket T1000 review by Dave Mitchell 31 May 2012

The Power Ethernet Socket T1000 builds on HomePlug adapters by embedding the circuitry into a standard wall socket and teaming it with a four- port 10/100 Ethernet switch. It’s a neat solution, with the electronics hidden in a plastic shell behind the faceplate, and installation is no different to a standard wall socket.

We installed the sockets a few metres apart, connected a dual-Xeon X5560 Windows Server 2008 R2 system to one, and linked the other to the network. With no further intervention, the sockets established a 128-bit AES-encrypted link between them.

The PowerPacket Windows utility monitors connections, and you can change passwords to allow selected sockets to be isolated into different groups. The integrated switch is also manageable and supports VLANs, QoS and SNMP, but the software for this is currently in beta testing.

For performance testing we used a Synology DS1812+ NAS appliance, and as a baseline we started with a direct Gigabit link. Iometer reported a 112MB/sec raw read rate for a mapped share, and copying a 2.52GB video clip returned 102MB/sec.

With all connections moved to the PE Sockets, Iometer reported 5.3MB/sec, and the video clip took just over eight minutes to shift across to the NAS. We then reinstalled one socket at a distance of 25m. We still had a green light for link quality, but Iometer reported 4.3MB/sec.

Real-world speeds will limit use to low-demand applications, but these are similar to other 200Mbits/sec powerline adapters. The sockets don’t support HomePlug AV 500Mbits/sec speeds, as the heat output of the current chipsets makes them unsuited to this design.

Speed aside, the T1000 offers reasonable value, as each provides four network ports and a power socket. The biggest advantage over standard adapters is the T1000’s integration with the building’s wiring, which makes them less likely to be removed – accidentally or deliberately.