25 October, 2010

Bewan Powerline S200Maxx adapters

I've had a pair of Bewan adapters on test for the past few weeks.

On the face of it, they look like common or garden powerline adapters. But they do have a couple of advantages over the more basic models.
For one thing, the units have a "pass through" electric plug. That means you can plug the adapter directly into the wall socket and then plug a multi-plug power strip into the adapter's outlet. So the powerline adapter is connected closer to your home's power wiring.

The units worked straight out of the box. Just plug and play.
I tried to install the Windows software utility, but got an error message because a different version of the Microsoft Net software was already installed. No option of up/downgrading, it just refused to install.
So I grabbed the equivalent software from rival manufacturer LEA's web site. That worked fine and detected my whole home powerline network (DSL box, two routers, three computers, IPTV box, network printer, Fonera, Pogoplug). It also gives the option of renaming each gadget with a label that is easier to understand than a MAC address.Then I noticed that the Bewan software had in fact been installed, so I opened that too. It came up with all the network adapters

Readings and compatibility
200 MB Bewan and Netgear CPL units mixed together with no problem. There was a slight loss in overall performance but the speeds between pairs of the same make were better.
Power consumption was very low, under 2W in use or around 1.5 W disconnected (my power meter reads to the nearest 0.5 W). This is much better than the Netgear, which comes in at 3 W disconnected or 3.5 W in use.