D-Link PowerLine AV2 600Mbps Gigabit Adapter DHP-600AV Review

D-Link DHP-600AV 600 Mbps PowerLine adapters based on the Homeplug AV2 standards.
D-Link DHP-600AV 600 Mbps PowerLine adapters based on the Homeplug AV2 standards.

In this article, I will be reviewing the D-Link DHP-600AV 600Mbps PowerLine adapter that is based on the HomePlug AV2 standard. In the US, this product is marketed under the model DHP-601AV for the US power socket. The PowerLine/ HomePlug trend is still going strong and required as wireless technologies still have issues reaching every nook and cranny of the house. With PowerLine technology, you can have Internet at that dark far corner of your house where wireless signal simply refuse to reach.

Review At A Glance
Product D-Link PowerLine AV2 600 Gigabit Adapter (DHP-600AV) [product link]
SummaryThe D-Link DHP600AV PowerLine AV2 600 Gigabit Adapter uses your home electrical wiring to create a network or extend connectivity to devices in the furthest corner of your home.
Pros + Faster than Wireless-N 2.4 GHz (40 MHz)
+ HomePlug Av2 standard
+ Backward compatible with HomePlug AV standard 
+ Hassle-free plug & play installation
Cons – Data throughput could be better
SRP S$55.00

For those who are unfamiliar with HomePlug standards (like me), the PowerLine/ HomePlug standards have come a long way since 2001.

  • HomePlug 1.0 in 2001 promising speed up to 85 Mbps.
  • HomePlug AV in 2005 promising speed up to 200 Mbps.
  • HomePlug AV2 in 2012 promising speed up to 1000 Mbps.

Just in case you are wondering if you have to chuck away your older HomePlug (AV standard) in order to use the newer D-Link DHP-600AV. The answer is No. The AV2 and AV standards are interoperable. Although the general recommendation is to stick to the same vendor (and chipset) but it seems like the D-Link DHP-600AV works perfectly with my existing Aztech HL115EP 500Mbps PowerLine adapter.

 

Package Contents

Package contents - The D-Link DHP-600AV PowerLine adapter, Ethernet patch cord, Quick Installation Guide and Warranty information.
Package contents – The D-Link DHP-600AV PowerLine adapter, Ethernet patch cord, Quick Installation Guide and Warranty information.

Within the package, you will find the following:

  • D-Link DHP-600AV PowerLine adapter.
  • Ethernet patch cord.
  • Quick installation guide.
  • Warranty information.

Personally, I felt that the entire package could be smaller as there are plenty of air pockets in the molded cardboard container. Like most of its products, D-Link have a brown molded cardboard shell that holds is product in place. Usually the pockets (of air) hold the power adapter (for products like routers) or accessories. But in this case, power adapter is not required so I would really prefer a smaller compact package.

 

The D-Link DHP-600AV itself

I quite like the simple no-fuss design.
I quite like the simple no-fuss design.

D-Link have adopted a simple and no fuss design for the DHP-600AV PowerLine adapter. The top surface (with the ‘D-Link’ print) is glossy while the remaining surfaces are matte. As a friendly tip, do leave the factory plastic film on the surface if you don’t want it to be full of fingerprints and smudges. For the sake of the photo shoot, I have removed the plastic film on the adapters. Good thing is that I did not chuck those protective films away.

Three LED indicators for Power, HomePlug connectivity, Ethernet status.
Three LED indicators for Power, HomePlug connectivity, Ethernet status.

Near the lower right corner of the top surface, you will find the LED status indicators for Power, PowerLine network connectivity and Ethernet connectivity status. When all three are showing green, you are good to go! The synchronization to the PowerLine network is pretty much instantaneous.

The Gigabit LAN port and the connect/reset button.
The Gigabit LAN port and the connect/reset button.

At the bottom edge, you will find the Gigabit LAN port and the connect/ reset button. The Gigabit LAN port is where you will connect the patch cord to your equipment (e.g. network switch, laptop, computer). As for the button, you can use it to pair up the PowerLine adapters or reset the unit to factory default.

  • Press and hold the button for 1 ~ 3 seconds to connect to the PowerLine network; or
  • Press and hold the button for 10 seconds to reset the unit to factory default.

 

Speed Testing the D-Link DHP-600AV

The PowerLine adapters or HomePlugs utilises the electrical wiring as its communications medium. The electrical wiring is not as clean for data as most of us think of it to be. It can be very noisy (bad for data signals) due to chargers, AC motors and anti-pest equipment introducing electrical pulses through the wiring. Aging power cables exacerbate the issue. So bottom line is that the speed throughput can really vary from house to house.

In this speed test, I am essentially testing the performance of the D-Link DHP-600AV on my home electrical wiring.

 

Equipments

For the speed test, I decided to use the following equipment:

  • D-Link DHP-600AV 600Mbps Gigabit PowerLine Adapter – one adapter to the HP EliteBook and power socket while the other adapter to the Gigabit switch and power socket.
  • HP EliteBook 2560p – to run the LAN Speed Test software.
  • iMac 27″ 2011 – to host the network share which the LAN Speed Test software will be reading/ writing to.
  • D-Link DGS1008D – Gigabit switch to hook up everything to the home network.

 

Test scenario

The test is pretty straight forward – 4 consecutive sets of writing and reading 1GB (1000MB) worth of data to the network share hosted by the iMac 27″ desktop.

Why 1GB and not smaller? Well, if the test completes too fast due to a small data size, we will not be able to accurately measure its sustained reading/ writing speed. In fact, 1GB data size is quite huge for a PowerLine adapter test. I had a few cans of coke while waiting for the tests to complete.

 

Baselining the equipment

In every speed test, I felt that it is important to ensure the equipment are not causing any bottleneck. In this case, we are interested in finding out the throughput of the D-Link DHP-600AV so we need to be sure that the setup can handle approximately 600Mbps throughput.

The baseline test shows  that the combination of HP EliteBook 2560p, iMac 27″ and D-Link DBS1008D is capable of measuring throughput up to 600.52Mbps and 793.71Mbps for writing and reading respectively.

The baseline test (without the PowerLine adapters) of the equipments achieved 600.52 Mbps and 793.71 Mbps for writing and reading respectively.
The baseline test (without the PowerLine adapters) of the equipments achieved 600.52 Mbps and 793.71 Mbps for writing and reading respectively.

 

Speed testing the D-Link PowerLine AV2 600 Mbps adapter (DHP-600AV)

Connected the D-Link DHP-600AV adapters to both the laptop and iMac and conducted the speed test again using the same settings. The D-Link DHP-600AV managed to achieve an average network throughput of 67.36Mbps and 80.55Mbps for writing and reading respectively.

The adapters managed an average throughput of 67.36 Mbps and 80.55 Mbps for writing and reading respectively.
The adapters managed an average throughput of 67.36 Mbps and 80.55 Mbps for writing and reading respectively.

 

Conclusion

To be truthful, I am a little disappointed with the speed test results of the D-Link DHP-600AV PowerLine adapters. On the bright side, the D-Link DHP-600AV AV2 PowerLine adapter preformed better than Wireless-N (2.4 GHz, 40 MHz) and it guarantees that its signals reaches the far end of the house (as long as your have a power socket) where the wireless signals don’t.

Equipment Writing (Mbps) Reading (Mbps)
Baseline 1000Mbps 600.52793.71
D-Link DHP-600AV 600Mbps 67.3680.55
Aztech HL115EP 500Mbps 94.1289.24
Aztech 200Mbps - 55.22
ASUS RT-AC66U (Wireless-N 2.4GHz)
Ref: ASUS RT-AC66U Speed Test
66.5 64.6

If you new gadget requires connectivity and wireless simply doesn’t cut it, give the D-Link DHP-600AV AV2 PowerLine adapter a shot. Your mileage might be better than mine. Hope you enjoyed reading this D-Link PowerLine AV2 600 Adapter DHP-600AV Review.

 

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