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LAN & WAN Reviews

Inside

Both of these little suckers didn't yield to my arsenal of prying tools, so no inside photos. I asked TP-LINK to ID the chipsets used, but they didn't respond. That's ok, since it's pretty obvious that the TL-PA4010 uses the QCA7420 / AR1540 combo and the TL-PA6010 the QCA7450 / AR1540. This makes the former an AV500 class and the latter an AV2-500.

Linksys PLE500 and ZyXEL PLA5205 inside

Linksys PLE500 and ZyXEL PLA5205 inside

For a brief overview of how HomePlug AV2 works, hit the HomePlug AV2 Head-to-Head.

Admin

Like HomePlug AV, AV2 devices are protected with 128 bit AES encryption and come set with the same default key, so you can just plug and play.

All AV2 devices have buttons that can be used to change the security code. Setting the code works like setting up a Wi-Fi WPS connection. You press the button on one device until a LED starts blinking. You then have two minutes to press the button on a second adapter to complete the setting.

Each adapter kit came with a utility that is the same we found in the TL-WPA4220KIT Range Extender kit. The Device Information screens for the TL-PA6010 on the left and TL-PA4010 on the right show the firmware revisions.

TP-LINK Utility Device Info

TP-LINK Utility Device Info

The TL-PA6010's utility is newer than the TL-PA4010's and you can't have both versions installed simultaneously. But I found that each version will see only its flavor adapter and will show only the adapter directly connected to the computer running the utility. So the Utility's Network tab isn't that useful.

The screenshot below shows the link rate I got from the TL-PA6010 when it was connected to another TL-PA6010 plugged into the same outlet. The Modify button doesn't adjust link rate; it just lets you change the device name.

TP-LINK Utility Network tab

TP-LINK Utility Network tab

The Advanced tab lets you mess with QoS settings; proceed at your own risk. I left settings at the defaults shown.

TP-LINK Utility Network tab

TP-LINK Utility Advanced tab

The System tab holds housekeeping functions.

TP-LINK Utility System tab

TP-LINK Utility System tab

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