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Wi-Fi Dead Spot Eliminator

HomeGear rating
HomeGear.com 4 Lights On rating 4 Lights On: Excellent and Highly Recommended

Click here for the HomeGear Rating System key.

Where to Buy
The links* below go directly to the product pages for the Actiontec Wi-Fi Dead Spot Eliminator, saving you time. HomeGear.com makes it easy for you to compare prices.

Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit amazon.com
Actiontec 500 AV Powerline Ethernet Adapter Kit TigerDirect
Actiontec Powerline Adapter & Wireless Booster Kit wal-mart.com


Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit
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Review of the Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit (PWR51WK01): The Wi-Fi Dead Spot Eliminator

The Actiontec Powerline Adapter 500 Kit uses a powerline network adapter with your home's existing electrical wiring to establish an Ethernet connection with your main router. The Actiontec Wireless Network Extender then wirelessly transmits the Internet data packets it receives from the primary router via the mains wiring to any corner of your home where you have an outlet to plug it in, thereby eliminating any Wi-Fi dead spots. This combo is also known as the Wi-Fi Dead Spot Eliminator. Let us see if it lives up to its name.


What is in the box?

The box contains a 500 Mbps Powerline Ethernet Adapter, one Wireless Network Extender, Ethernet cables, and a Quick Start Guide.




Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit
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Design and features

The Actiontec powerline Ethernet adapter is compact and durable. It has three LED indicators (Power, Link, and Ethernet) on its top, a security switch, and an Ethernet port on its back. It also comes with an Ethernet cable, which is about four feet long. The adapter does not take up much space on the power outlet, and if your power outlet has more than one socket, you will most likely be able to use the others without any difficulty. The wireless extender, on the other hand, is twice as big as the adapter, and it may block the surrounding sockets when it is plugged in. Still, both units are smaller than many other powerline networking products. In fact (at approximately 2Wx3Lx1D inches), the adapter in this kit is the smallest of the powerline adapters that we have reviewed so far.

The extender has five LED indicators (Power, Ethernet 1, Ethernet 2, Link, and Wireless), a security button, a reset switch, and a WPS button. It also has two Ethernet ports, each with a 100 Mbps data transfer rate. Like the adapter, it is solid and durable.


Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit
Click for full size picture

Setup

Setting up the powerline adapter and the network extender is a breeze. First, plug the adapter into an electrical outlet near your router. Then plug one end of the Ethernet cable into your router, hub, or modem and the other end into the adapter. The LED indicators will turn green in a couple of minutes. Once the lights on the adapter have turned green, plug the extender into an electrical outlet near the Wi-Fi dead spot, or wherever you want improved Wi-Fi coverage. The indicators on the extender will turn green in about two minutes, and the Actiontec-1925 network name will appear on your computer's screen. Now you need to enter the password, which you can find on the back of the extender. Once that is done, the extender will start transmitting data wirelessly from your primary router via the house wiring.

You can also use the 100 Mbps Ethernet ports on the back of the extender to connect your Ethernet-enabled devices. For example, if you install the extender near a TV or home theater, you can use Ethernet cables to connect your network to your TV or to other Ethernet-enabled devices in your home entertainment system.



If you want to build an open network in your home and do not want to have to enter a password for access, you can easily turn off security. You just need to open the dashboard (control panel) by typing "myextender". The password is "admin". In the Wireless Setup/Wireless Basic settings, change the Wireless Security Mode to "none". Instructions for changing the default encryption key and accessing other features are available on the Actiontec website.

Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit
Click for full size picture


Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit
Click for full size picture

Performance

We connected the powerline adapter to the main router and took the extender to a room at the north end of our office building. This room has been a Wi-Fi dead spot, and we have been using a wireless repeater to cover this area. With the repeater, we have been able to achieve a maximum download speed of only about 7 Mbps.

We plugged the extender into a power outlet and waited a couple of minutes for the lights to turn green, at which point we had a new wireless network that was running independently of our main wireless network. We used the Speedtest app on iPad to test the upload and download speeds of the new Wi-Fi network. The download speed we received was 29 Mbps. The speed was excellent and the connection remained uninterrupted, so long as we stayed within 17 feet of the extender. As we moved further away from the extender, Wi-Fi reception became weak and the connection abruptly dropped. All in all, however, the Actiontec equipment effectively eliminated the Wi-Fi dead spot and gave us a great Wi-Fi data connection rate.




Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit
Click for full size picture

Conclusion

The Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit is also known as the Wi-Fi Dead Spot Eliminator, and rightfully so. Together, the two devices in the kit allow you to use your mains wiring to create an Ethernet network and wirelessly expand it to cover any dead or weak Wi-Fi spot that is near a power outlet within the same electrical circuit. The Actiontec equipment provides great Wi-Fi data transfer speed, a reliable connection, and decent Wi-Fi signal strength. This kit is available at a much lower price than powerline adapters and extender from other manufacturers. HomeGear Lab gives it the highest rating: 4 Lights On: Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Specifications

Adapter
•Fast networking speeds (up to 500 Mbps on powerline and up to 100 Mbps on Ethernet)
•Easy way to extend a fast Internet connection to Ethernet-enabled set top boxes, HDTVs, gaming consoles, wireless access points, and other devices in the home
•Ideal for those locations where wireless cannot reach or has a weak signal
•Ideal for bandwidth-intensive applications such as online gaming and HD video streaming
•Works over the existing electrical wiring in your home or dorm
•Safe and secure
•Fast and easy...setup in less than 5 minutes
•Complies with the HomePlug AV standard

Actiontec Wireless Network Extender and Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit
Click for full size picture
Extender
•Fast 802.11n Wi-Fi wherever you need it
•Twice as fast as typical wireless repeaters
•Uses power outlets to connect your network
•Fastest Powerline speeds available
•Safe and secure
•Auto sync with designated wireless gateway/router
•Two Ethernet ports
•Fast and easy…setup in less than 5 minutes


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