I recently got a pair of Aztech Powerline Networking adaptors to hook up additional network devices. Powerline networking is great if you do not want to run messy LAN cables around your place but yet want to plug in that spanking new toy (e.g. Apple TV2) to the network.
The Aztech Powerline Adaptors (HL115EP) are advertised to have connection/data rate up to 500Mbps (megabits). So how do they really perform in reality? The Aztech 500Mbps Powerline Networking adaptor (HL115EP) managed to have a sustained network throughput of 94.12Mbps and 89.24Mbps for writing and reading respectively.
Just to set the expectation right, Wireless-N technology have connection/data rate up to 300Mbps but in practical scenario, it manages throughput of ~82Mbps (taking reference from SmallNetBuilder’s ASUS RT-N56U review). So comparing the Aztech HL115EP and Wireless-N, the powerline networking adaptor is not that bad after all.
I’ve quickly put together some hardware to conduct the speed test, they are:
- IBM T43 laptop – to execute the LAN Speed Test software
- iMac 27″ 2011 – to act as the network share for reading/writing the test files
- D-Link DGS1008D – 10/100/1000Mbps switch to hook up the devices
- Aztech 500Mbps (HL115EP) – one side to the switch and power, the other unit to the laptop
Setting the test scenario
In the following tests, we will be reading and writing 1GB (1000MB) size files to the network share. This will be able to accurately measure the sustained average network throughput. Too small a file size might result in inaccurate throughput due to speed burst and too big a file might incurred too much hard disk read/writes.
Baselining the equipments
After hooking up the equipments, I first did a test to baseline the equipments in terms of network throughput without the Aztech HL115EP in place. This will tell me the maximum throughput I will get with the test set up.
The baseline test reflected that this set up is capable of measuring throughput up to 691.44Mbps and 424.72Mbps for writing and reading respectively.
Speed testing the Aztech 500Mbps Powerline Adaptors (HL115EP)
Hooked up the laptop to the Aztech HL115EP and conducted the network throughput test with the same settings. The Aztech 500Mbps (HL115EP) managed to have a sustained network throughput of 94.12Mbps and 89.24Mbps for writing and reading respectively.
Managed to find the speed test result of the Aztech 200Mbps powerline networking adaptor. Below are the network throughput of the Aztech HL115EP, Aztech 200Mbps and a Wireless-N setup:
|Equipment||Writing (Mbps)||Reading (Mbps)|
|Aztech HL115EP 500Mbps||94.12||89.24|
|ASUS RT-N56U 300Mbps Wireless-N Ref: SmallNetBuilder||80.3||85.6|
The Aztech HL115EP (500Mbps) adaptor’s performance is better than its 200Mbps counterpart but its performance is no where near 500Mbps (at least for me).
However, do not be dismay with the number because the performance of the Aztech HL115EP is sufficient for streaming 1080p and blu-ray videos as their (usual) bandwidth requirements are 4~8Mbps and 25~35Mbps respectively. The numbers also means that you can almost hit the max theoretical speed of that new 100Mbps Fibre plan.
As highlighted earlier, Wireless-N technology have data rate up to 300Mbps but in practical scenario, it manages throughput of ~82Mbps . So comparing the Aztech HL115EP and Wireless-N, the performance of the powerline networking adaptor is not that bad after all.
So if you need to wire that new toy of yours and don’t want to mess up the nice cabling in your apartment, do give the Aztech HL115EP a shot. Who knows, yours might perform better because the performance of the powerline networking adaptors depends on condition of your electrical cabling too.