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LAN & WAN Reviews

Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit with Built-in Outlet
At a glanceAV2-MIMO Powerline Performance
September 2015
ProductTRENDnet Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit with Built-in Outlet (TPL-421E2K)   [Website]
SummaryHomePlug AV2-MIMO adapter based on Qualcomm's QCA7500 chipset with filtered pass-through outlet
Pros• Can provide >450 Mbps throughput with single traffic source
• Doesn't block second outlet
• Reacts quickly to line noise changes
Cons• Throughput falls off very quickly with distance

Typical Price: $70  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

For those disappointed by TRENDnet's TPL-421E2K first HomePlug AV2 MIMO adapter kit [reviewed], redemption is at hand. To cut to the chase, the TPL-421E2K Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit with Built-in Outlet has the performance the TPL-420E2K should have had, and it's only around $10 more for the kit of two. You can also buy individual TPL-421E adapters, but at around $55 a pop, you'll pay a premium.

TRENDnet TPL-421E in use

TRENDnet TPL-421E in use

The TPL-421E is fairly large as powerline adapters go. At 61 x 123 x 65 mm (2.4 x 4.8 x 2.6 in.), it's sized more like NETGEAR's PL1200 / PLP1200 than its smaller TPL-420E no-outlet sibling.

TRENDnet TPL-420E,  TPL-421E & NETGEAR PLP1200 plugged in

TRENDnet TPL-420E, TPL-421E & NETGEAR PLP1200 plugged in

As large as it is, the 421E won't block the second outlet in a U.S. grounded duplex.

TRENDnet TPL-421E plugged in

TRENDnet TPL-421E plugged in

The callout diagram below shows the adapter supports tri-color HomePlug link quality indication. The single Gigabit Ethernet port is on the bottom side of the adapter, with the Sync button and reset button hole next to it.

TRENDnet TPL-421E callouts

TRENDnet TPL-421E callouts

The User Guide says the adapter goes into power-saving mode "when there is no network traffic for more than 10~20 minutes". I found it was more like three minutes for power save to kick in. This was tested via the following procedure, which ran without a hitch.

  1. Plugged in two adapters, let them link up and started a long ping from the HomePlug connected machine to another machine on my Ethernet LAN.
  2. Unplugged the cable connecting one adapter to my LAN switch. Verified that ping showed no response.
  3. Waited until the Ethernet-unplugged adapter entered power-save.
  4. Plugged Ethernet back in and verified the adapter powered up and ping returns resumed within a few seconds.

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