Review: GameNet Powerline Ethernet

Jake Ludington here beat me to doing a video review of this product but I can safely say that it’s a pretty cool solution for those of you who might not want to poke along on a ratty Wi-Fi connection.

Wi-Fi is great if you’re in range and the connection quality is good. When I’m in my living room, where my Buffalo N router is sitting quietly, Wi-Fi is strong and fast. When I’m upstairs in the attic with my Mac Pro, I have to use a Buffalo AirStation wireless bridge. Because I’m so far away from the base station the network is usually acceptable but quite slow.
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I kept thinking about powerline networking and when Corenix send me the GameNet Powerline kit I thought it wouldn’t work. Our wiring is old and ratty and I couldn’t imagine that it would carry a good signal. This $169 package comes with two base stations and two cables. You plug one into the wall near the router and another near the computer or console you want to network. It immediately begins transmitting.

With the GameNet I was getting 6 Mbps down and 456 Kbps down with 14ms latency. With the Wi-Fi connection I got 24ms latency with about the same Mbps. However, with Wi-Fi I was getting fairly regular connection failures while I’ve never seen a failure with the GameNet.

If you can’t get Wi-Fi to your PC or console, try powerline. I’ve been avoiding it for years after a bad experience in the early days of powerline networking but it looks like GameNet is ready for prime time.