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Lifewire / Jordan Oloman
Long Ethernet cables in the box
Incredible wired speeds
Doubles as a plug point
Generally good design
Some plug switching issues
TP-Link’s AV2000 Powerline Adapter is a good choice if you’re looking to expand your home network. It includes a plug point, delivers fantastic speeds, and is good value for money despite some minor configuration issues.
The TP-Link AV2000 Powerline Adapter does exactly what it says on the box giving users a simple, plug and play way to improve their speeds. Crucially, it claims to offer Smooth 4K streaming and gaming across multiple devices, with up to 2000Mbps in possible speed (2Gbps), easily beating out the standard Wi-Fi range extenders. We’ve put it to the test to see if it’s the ultimate introductory Powerline kit to upgrade your struggling network.
TP-Link’s AV2000 is, unfortunately, quite the bulky beast. Naturally, it houses some powerful technology, so the size makes sense, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. It’s top-heavy at 1.9 pounds and has a decent depth, which makes it quite obstructive in your plug socket, wherever you place it in your house.
It doesn’t mix well with established interior design aesthetics and sticks out like a glossy white sore thumb, especially in your living area. Its size means that you shouldn’t be moving it around the house on a regular basis. The bulk is the price you usually have to pay to improve your network. The only other option is snaking a terribly long Ethernet cable throughout your house, which isn’t an ideal solution.
The most useful design choice unique to the TP-Link AV2000 is the addition of a plug socket on the front of the device.
The good thing is that the plug part of the adapter is at the top of the plastic, which means that only the bottom of the device sticks out. With a typical two or four-socket plug setup, all you have to do is plug the adapter into the topmost row of sockets to avoid any obstruction.
The Ethernet ports are also situated on the bottom of the device, but you can orient the adapter upside down so they don’t get in the way of any other sockets you may have already filled. Yet the most useful design choice unique to the TP-Link AV2000 is the addition of a plug socket on the front of the device. This way you don’t completely lose the utility of a plug point, allowing you to plug in games consoles, TVs or other electronic devices into the front of the Powerline device (up to 16A) without sacrificing another wall socket.
Almost every Powerline kit on the market prides itself on its plug and play technology. Across the whole Wi-Fi extending market, speed and ease of setup is crucial, which is why it’s important that the Powerline kits understand this and get it right so they can be a viable alternative to a Wi-Fi extender or other similar network-enhancing kit.
You’ll be pleased to learn that the Ethernet cables you receive in the box for the TP-Link AV2000 are good and long.
With TP-Link’s AV2000, the operation is simple and clean. All you have to do is plug the first unit in as close as possible to your router, and connect the Ethernet cable from the router to the device. Once that is sorted, take the other device and plug it in somewhere close to the devices you want to improve the network speed on. If you have a collection of games consoles and a smart TV in your living room, it’s best to plug it in there so you can use both of the wired connections effectively.
You’ll be pleased to learn that the Ethernet cables you receive in the box for the TP-Link AV2000 are good and long. They’re not going to stretch across a room, but with your devices close to the plugs, you won’t have trouble connecting everything. Once that’s completed, all you have to do is click the pair button on both devices and the three green lights should turn solid, enabling the Powerline network. As long as you’re not obstructing anything, the process is golden.
Now let’s talk power. Using the TP-Link kit over the course of a month, we’ve experienced a few ups and downs. When it comes to raw performance, this Powerline adapter sings. With a 68.4Mbps download speed and 3.6Mbps upload, our home network was already fairly capable on a wireless connection.
If you’re energy-conscious, the TP-Link kit also has a power-saving mode which can reduce consumption by up to 85 percent.
When plugged in, the gigabit Ethernet connection on the TP-Link kit upped our speed to 104.9Mbps download and 6Mbps upload, with under 10-millisecond ping. This is a stunning result for gaming and streaming, almost doubling our capacity and smoothing out the streaming experience dramatically, especially at 4K. There’s a solid use case here if you’re planning to stream games from a home desktop across your network to another room on the TV, say for example using the Steam Link or Nvidia Shield system.
The Powerline system enabled the true power of our home network. We would often swap it between our home consoles and laptop, depending on our workflow. It made downloading files and multitasking very easy, and we could stream Netflix on one device and work on the other with no lag.
The device also has 128-bit AES encryption, so it’s very secure. The upper limit on speed is 2000 Mbps, which is much more than you’ll ever need, and it has a range of 300 meters, which is perfect in a house of two stories. You just have to make sure you have direct access to the electricity. Bear in mind that you can’t plug this into an extension. If you’re energy-conscious, the TP-Link kit also has a power-saving mode which can reduce consumption by up to 85 percent.
Unfortunately, we did have a few problems with the Powerline network, specifically with the plug sockets and maintaining a solid connection. After a few weeks, we hit a brick wall with the adapter when a solid red light appeared in the middle of the three green LEDs. The only way to fix it was to unplug and replug the wall socket.
When plugged in, the gigabit Ethernet connection on the TP-Link kit upped our speed to 104.9Mbps download and 6Mbps upload, with under 10-millisecond ping.
This wasn't anything to do with the placement of the plug in the house, just a strange error that reappeared after we’d returned from a few days away from home, even in a different plug socket. Sadly, this changed the experience from an adapter you can just leave to work on its own, to one you often have to tinker with infrequently to fix, which isn’t ideal. Naturally, your mileage may vary depending on your own electricity network, but we can only speak to our experience.
Out of the two adapter kits tested, the TP-Link AV2000 is priced at $80, and given that it includes a number of unique quality-of-life features like the Ethernet cables, plug point, and fantastic upgrade speeds, you get what you pay for. The design is quite bulky, but crucially you don’t lose the function of the plug socket so the price feels reasonable overall.
The TP-Link AV 2000 stands tall in the Powerline market, especially when compared to other adapters we reviewed, like the Netgear Powerline 1200. As well as enabling speeds of up to 2Gbps over the Netgear’s 1.2Gbps, it has double the Ethernet ports for device connectivity and a more pleasing design that won’t obstruct other plugs.
That said, we didn’t encounter any connectivity issues with the Netgear adapter, making it a bit more reliable during testing. Of course, your personal mileage may vary, and the issues we had were quickly solved, but they’re annoying when they crop up repeatedly.
A fast, well-built Powerline adapter at a reasonable price.
The TP-Link AV2000 is a high-quality Powerline adapter that is well worth the price tag. It offers good value, with included Ethernet cables, a plug point, and incredible speeds that will revolutionize the internet connectivity across your household. Unfortunately, a few small design flaws and intermittent, but frustrating connectivity issues hampered the experience. We still recommend it if you’re new to Powerline and want a kit that is easy to use and meshes well with your other electronic devices.