TP-Link AV2000 Powerline Starter Kit Review


TP-Link is synonymous with networking products. Today I have the TL-PA9020P 2-Port Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit for review, which highlights 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports per adapter and pass-through power plug. Let’s take a closer look and see if these are for you…

TP-Link AV2000 (9020P) Starter Kit Specifications

HARDWARE FEATURES
plug type EU, UK, US, FR
standards and protocols HomePlug AV2, HomePlug AV, IEEE 1901,
IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.3ab
interface 2 * Gigabit Ethernet port, power outlet
button Few
power consumption Maximum: 5.8W (230V/50Hz)
Standby: 0.5W (230V/50Hz)
LED display Electricity, Powerline, Ethernet
Dimensions ( W x D x H ) 5.2 × 2.8 × 1.7 inches (131 × 72 × 42mm)
area Up to 300 meters/1000 feet over existing electrical wiring
Power output to integrated socket 13A
compatibility Compatible with all AV2000, AV1200, AV1000, AV600, AV500 &
AV200 Powerline Adapter
transfer speeds Powerline: up to 2000 Mbit/s
Ethernet: 10/100/1000 Mbit/s
SOFTWARE FEATURES
Service quality ToS
Supports QoS with up to 4 levels
Supports up to 8-level VLAN priority
security 128-bit AES encryption
modulation technology OFDM
OTHER
certification CE, RoHS
package contents AV2000 2-Port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Adapter, TL-PA9020P*2
2 meter RJ-45 Ethernet cable * 2
Quick Installation Guide
system requirements Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Mac OS, Linux
Surroundings Operating Temperature: 0°C~40°C (32°F~104°F)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉ ~158℉)
Operating humidity: 10% ~ 90% non-condensing
Storage humidity: 5% ~ 90% non-condensing

Product page: HERE

TP-Link AV2000 (9020P) Starter Kit: Unboxing and closer look

TP-Link’s traditional two-tone box makes a reappearance. This time with a smaller picture of the units and lots of information on the outside. Note the large AV2000 sticker that advertises the theoretical 2000Mbps this kit is capable of.
The back shows how you would typically use the powerline kit to share the internet connection between floors in a home, highlighting the use of 2x2MIMO, dual gigabit ports, pass-through and built-in power saving modes.

Opening the box, it’s great to see how TP-Link uses a molded cardboard box to keep the powerline kit safe. The box also has plenty of padding in key areas like corners to ensure the powerline kit arrives in pristine condition.
Two 1m Cat 5e Ethernet cables are included in the box for your reference along with a quick installation guide, the only document required by law. It’s nice to see that TP-Link is also saving paper where it can.

If we take the PA9020P kit out of their sleeves we can take a closer look. The kits have a plastic construction typical of energy-related products and are white in color. The plugs measure 131 × 72 × 42 mm or 5.2 × 2.8 × 1.7 inches.
On the left side there is a small PAIR button and 3 green LEDs that indicate the operational status of the connector. The right side is completely blank.
A small TP-Link logo can be seen on the front, along with the model and speed, in this case the AV2000. AV indicates standard, AV/AV2 and 2000 indicate theoretical maximum throughput/rated speed.
Underneath is the pass-through plug. In our case, the UK plug is appropriate, but you can easily get a suitable one for your geographic location.
The back of the plug shows us the plug that plugs into the outlet. For best performance, plug it directly into the wall and avoid using extension cords of any kind.

A look up reveals the location of the dual gigabit ports, and the bottom is completely empty.
Just plug the kit into the wall, power it up, connect one of the included Ethernet cables, and you’re good to go. I really like the pass-through feature as you don’t lose a wall plug in the process.

TP-Link AV2000 (9020P) Starter Kit: Try it

POWERLINE MYTHS:

Before we begin, let’s dispel some myths about powerline networks. The rated speeds on the box are nowhere near what you actually get when testing/using the products. The manufacturer’s rated ratings are the theoretical maximum speeds promised by the processors using Powerline technology (AV/AV2/G.hn) and there are far too many environmental factors slowing this down by an order of magnitude.

That doesn’t mean they’re completely useless, although it’s generally better to get a powerline kit with a high speed rating than the slower ones.

To (hopefully) prove this point, today I’ll be testing the AV2000 against TP-Link’s AV1300 kit, which I’ve had in a drawer for comparison for a while.

TEST METHOD:

I will run a Speedtest.net internet speed test on the best automatic server and take the average result of three recorded tests in a row.
I have a BT fiber connection with 500 Mbit/s and 70 Mbit/s upload. So it will be interesting to see where the kits perform.

TEST ENVIRONMENT:

I should also note that the test environment is from my router downstairs to my desktop computer in my office room upstairs, which is the typical usage expectation of these kits.

RESULTS:

TP-Link AV2000 (9020P)

Ping – 10ms
Download – 335.90 Mbps
Upload – 72.52 Mbps

AV1300 (8010P)

Ping – 11ms
Download – 320.01 Mbps
Upload – 72.56 Mbps

Results here are much closer than I expected between TP-Link’s AV1300 and AV2000 kits, with 1300 and 2000 Mbps ratings, respectively.
With only 15 MBit/s difference in speed tests, there is not much of it.

TP-Link AV2000 (9020P) Starter Kit: The Verdict

The results speak for themselves. The AV2000 kit is the fastest AV2 powerline adapter we’ve seen on the channel, but not by much.
We’re only 15Mbps slower with the AV1300, but with a single gigabit port versus the two gigabit ports of the AV2000 kit, the AV2000 kit has an ace up its sleeve. While this doesn’t improve speed (since gigabit ethernet is the limiting factor), the ability to connect an additional device to the adapter is a plus.

However, if you need more than 2 ports, you have to be content with an additional gigabit switch (or higher) with more ports for a surcharge.

The AV2000 also uses 2×2 MIMO and all 3 wires in the cabling system and selects the best 2 of them.

Another benefit of using the AV2000 kit is that the range will almost always go far beyond WiFi. So these are a great option for that, provided the adapters stay in the same wire circuit.

Aesthetics match other TP-Link products we’ve tested in the past, but the adapters are a solid block of white plastic with rounded edges. They have two gigabit ports on the top with the pair button and 3 indicator LEDs on the left. That being said, the front has a pass-through power outlet so you don’t lose a power outlet when introducing the AV2000 kit into your setup.

Priced at just £93.99 in the UK at the time of writing, the TP-Link AV2000 is on the pricier side, but it’s the fastest AV powerline kit they currently offer and is worth for the features it offers and services are priced fairly.

Many thanks to TP-Link for sending us the TL-PA9020P kit for today’s review.



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