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Devolo dLan500 AVtriple +: Review of this PLC

Technical characteristics:

  • Supported standards: IEEE1901
  • Interface: Gigabit Ethernet (up to 500 Mbps)
  • Main PLC LED indicators: PWR, PLC, ETH
  • Supplemental PLC LEDs: PWR, PLC, ETH
  • Extra PLC button: dLan network encryption
  • Main PLC dimensions: 125 x 65 x 40 (mm)
  • Supplementary PLC dimensions: 140 x 70 x 40 (mm)
  • Security: 128-bit AES encryption

External analysis

Let’s start by taking a look at the outside of the box that contains the PLCs. On the back of the box we find the image of both devices, where you can already see that the extension has a 3-port gigabit ethernet switch. On the back of the box we can find the description of the devices and some of their operating characteristics in different languages. In addition, there is also a small diagram with an example of application in a home. On one of the sides of the box we find some technical specifications that make these devices more ecological than others in the same segment. On the bottom side of the box we find the indications on the compatibility with the different operating systems (it is compatible with all those that exist up to now), indications on the encryption standard used to encrypt the data of the dLan , and we can also find a brief diagram that explains some details regarding the auxiliary PLC and that we will discuss in depth later.

He list of compatible equipment with this pair of PLCs to expand the dLan network are:

  • dLan 500 AVmini
  • dLan 500 AVplus
  • dLan 200 AVsmart +
  • dLan AVplus
  • dLan 200 Aveasy / AVmini
  • dLan AV Wireless G / N
  • dLan 200 AV USB extender

On the upper side of the box we can find a comparative table with the performance of each of the products in the devolo dLan family. Although there are not many, there are more than enough to cover the needs of many of the users.

Using a QR code located on the box, we can go to the manufacturer’s page and obtain more detailed information about the products that appear in the table.

As soon as we open the box, we find the pair of PLCs. If we open the upper part of the area where the devolo dLan500 Avtriple + are located, we find the RJ45 CAT5e category cables. In this case, the cables are approximately two meters long, which more than one will appreciate if the plug is a bit far from the location of the router or the receiving equipment (computer, TV, IPTV decoder, etc. .)

For some of you they may seem excessively large, but the size is normal considering that both have a built-in plug, and the auxiliary PLC has the switch with three ports.

The equipment is quite well ventilated thanks to the lateral gills that they have. It is clear that since they are not hermetically sealed, they will not overheat after long hours of intensive use.

The inside face of the PLCs, where the plugs can be seen in greater detail. It can also be observed that the sticker, in addition to containing technical operating specifications referring to the electrical network, also contains the password that the system has to encrypt the dLAn network.

The lower face of the devices where we can see in greater detail the ports that each of the PLCs has.

Comparing them to PLCs TP Link TL-PA511, that we have already tried and that did not leave a bad taste in our mouths, it can be seen that the difference in size is significant but justifiable due to the inclusion of a plug in each of the devolo PLCs. This has a clear advantage, and that is that the plug is not unusable when the PLC is connected and other equipment can be connected, or even a plug thief. The difference in “width” in the PLCs is not so great, and both opt for the incorporation of lateral gills to ventilate the equipment. It can also be a strategy when designing devices so that their internal components are not so close together and this favors air flow. We will check it when we disassemble the case.

Referring to the status LEDs that the device has, its operation is as follows:

LED Power– Lights up green when the dLAN 500 AVtriple + is operational. Flashes when the dLAN 500 AVtriple + device is in Standby or Power Save mode.

DLAN LED: flashes whenever there is a data transmission.
Green: The connection to the computer network is suitable for HD-Video-Streaming.
Orange: The connection to the computer network is suitable for SD-Video-Streaming.
Red: The network connection is suitable for simple data transfer as well as Internet access. Very low quality.

Ethernet LED: if there is a data connection, it remains green. When there is data transfer it flashes.

The operation of the LED indicators is the same for both devices, although their placement is different in both.

We will continue with the rest of the contents of the box. As we indicated previously, the box contained among other things, two CAT5e category RJ45 cables. In addition to an installation disc, a short installation manual and a small document to contact the manufacturer in the event of problems or failure of the PLCs. The installation disc, which has the Cockpit program and which we will see in detail later.

Internal analisis

Both devices are very easy to open and it is very easy to separate the two into three parts: the external housing, the internal one and the board that contains all the logic of the devices. The chipset that has been used is an Atheros, both for the main and supplementary PLCs.

Once we have opened the devices is when we really realize why they are so large. And it turns out that the plug incorporated in each of them is quite large, which forces the device’s casing to thicken its size.

As we mentioned before, heat is not going to be a problem for these PLCs since, in addition to the side openings of the case, the components that are sensitive to overheating are equipped with a heatsink to avoid these problems.

testing bench

As we have done with the neutral routers, access points and other PLCs that we have had in our hands, these will be subjected to the JPerf with several concurrent threads.

When dealing with PLCs, we are going to check which is the quality of the transmission in different parts of a home. The test will be carried out using a router / access point TP-LINK WR1043ND with original manufacturer firmware. The tests will be performed on different sockets throughout the house and will be tested plugged directly into these.

This is the scheme of the house in which our tests will be located (it is a real house):

It is a two-story house. First, the location of the sockets where we will carry out the tests on the ground floor.

The upper floor of the house.

The approximate distance between plug 5 and 4 is 8 meters, and from 2 to 7 about 10 meters (in a straight line).

To make the performance analysis easier to understand, we have numbered the sockets we are going to test on. A priori, those furthest from the main PLC are those that should have a worse result. The electrical installation of this house is 20 years old and has not been modified or replaced.

Here is a table with the data obtained in the tests carried out:

LAN performance tests of the devolo dLan500 Av Triple +

To better see the differences of the devolo dLan500 Avtriple + With respect to other devices in the same segment, we have prepared the following table where you can observe the behavior of all devices with similar characteristics that we have tested so far. The speed indicated is in Mbps.

comparative_develop_speed_dlan500_av_triple +

To check the real performance of the devices, the manufacturer has provided us with a comparative table in which you can see the operation of the devices under ideal conditions, that is, put into operation in a laboratory.

In red we have the devolo dLan500 AVtriple + and in green the TP-LINK TL-PA511.

Making a brief explanation of the graph shown, we find that vertical axis shows us the speed, measured in Megabits per second (Mbps), which reaches each of the devices; Meanwhile in horizontal axis, we can appreciate the attenuation (dB) of the network, which reflects the distance. Therefore, the graph shows the relationship of the speed reached by each device in the different points of the network. Normally the attenuation in a typical home is between 60 and 80 decibels (dB).

First conclusions

Although transmission speeds may seem low, in a home With better electrical installation, we believe 180Mbps-220Mbps can be reached relatively easily. The PLCs have been quite stable in the sockets that are quite close to where the main PLC was connected (sockets 1,2,3,4). However, the moment we move away they lose transmission speed quite significantly, either with many or few threads concurrently.

Operation test with several IPTV streaming channels (Movistar Imagenio)

The advantage of having a 3-port ethernet switch is that it allows easy broadcasting of IPTV-related content and internet access. For this reason, we are going to see how the devices with streaming 2 channels in high definition behave. Although the video is short. The PLCs have been running with two HD channels continuously for more than two hours and the image display has been perfect at all times and they hardly get hot.

devolo dLAN500 AV Triple +: Final conclusions

PLCs devolo dLan500 Avtriple + with up to 500Mbps of LAN transmission speed are devices with which a very good performance in medium-short distances and with any number of concurrent threads. However, the transmission speed drops considerably when moving away significantly from where the main connected PLC is connected.

The devices offer a very good performance with HD video streaming and the image is displayed completely correctly.

The flexibility offered by this model of PLCs to be combined with many other devolo brand PLCs makes them the “cornerstone” if you want to create an electrical LAN network.

If what you are looking for is to create a LAN network, manage it and create private subnets within it, while also having good LAN performance in locations not too far away (50-100 meters of cable), these are the PLCs that we recommend .

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