review

Devolo Magic 2 Mesh WiFi Network Powerline Adapter Kit

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Many of you will probably be familiar with powerline adapters that plug into your regular plug socket to extend wired connectivity throughout your house, using your house power circuitry. But, you can also extend wireless connectivity using wireless powerline adapters, mesh Wifi networks or a combination of both like found in the devolo Magic 2 mesh Wifi network powerline adapter kit.
Wireless powerline adapters and mesh Wifi networks do a similar job although mesh Wifi network deliver greater bandwidth and longer, more reliable wireless signal than wireless powerline adapters, Wifi boosters, Wifi repeaters and Wifi extenders because mesh Wifi networks do not create a new network, eliminating wireless deadzones and bandwidth bottle-necking.
With a mesh Wifi network though your home router becomes obsolete so for those of you who still want to make good use of your router, the Devolo Magic 2 Mesh kit is the ideal solution especially if planning to use the Magic 2 kit in a large house/building that has solid brick internal walls.
Considering the price you pay for just a mesh Wifi network, the Devolo Magic 2 kit is a sound investment because it incorporates both wired powerline connectivity, as well as wireless mesh networking connectivity!
Powerline connectivity provides speeds up to 2400 Mbps over distances up to 500 metres with 128-bit AES Powerline encryption security.
Mesh Wifi connectivity provides speeds up to 1200 Mbps via four antennas which cover the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi frequencies at the same time and use the full extent of the entire 5 GHz frequency band (Dynamic Frequency Selection, DFS). The Magic 2 mesh Wifi connectivity uses WPA2 AES encryption protocol which is the most secure wireless encryption security to date.
WPA TKIP, WEP 128, WEP 64 and even WPA2 TKIP are not secure options. If you do plan to connect older devices to Devolo Magic 2 though, you may have to choose WPA2 TKIP because some older devices can’t connect to a WPA2 AES networks.
The Devolo Magic 2 uses the same "node" principle of mesh Wifi networks so you get fast roaming (IEEE 802.11r), automatic Wifi band selection and airtime fairness which prioritizes bandwidth to high-speed devices over slower-speed devices.
illustration style guide
magic 2 LAN adapter measures 13cm high and 6.6cm wide
With this home kit, you get two identical devolo Magic 2 Wifi adapters and one devolo Magic LAN adapter which is the smallest of the three adapters and connects via its gigabit Ethernet socket to your home router via the included 2-meter long Ethernet cable. On the back of the devolo Magic adapters you find a 3-pin UK plug and printed security details.
magic 2 wifi adapter measures 15.2cm high, 7.6cm wide
All three devolo adapters also feature pass-through plug socket so you don't lose plug sockets when connecting the devolo adapters. The devolo Magic LAN adapter has a small led activity indicator on the front and a push button on the side to aid configuration.
The devolo Magic Wifi adapters have 2 gigabit Ethernet sockets for hard wiring devices like a game
console to your Internet router over the Powerline network so you can benefit from the full 2400 Megabit per second (2.4 Gigabits per second) connectivity speeds which is faster than the Gigagate High Speed Wifi Bridge.
Both devolo Magic Wifi adapters also feature a PLC (Power-line communication) button with LED status display and a Wi-Fi button with LED status display, both of which leds can be disabled. The devolo Magic LAN adapter automatically attempta to establish a connection within 3 minutes of plugging in a Magic 2 Wifi adapter into the mains supply.
The second Magic 2 Wifi adapter has to be added manually though and this is done via the PLC button. When adding more Wifi adapters, you will also need to use the PLC button to connect additional Magic 2 Wifi adapters that you want to add to your network.
There is also a reset button pinhole next to the two gigabit Ethernet ports on the Magic 2 Wifi adapters which is handy for quickly restarting and removing the unit from the network by holding the reset button down for longer than 10 seconds which effectively restores the unit to factory settings.
While the new Devolo Magic 2 adapters are identical in design to the older devolo dLAN powerline adapters, you cannot use Magic 2 adapters and dLAN adapters interchangeably because Magic 2 adapters use a different technology.
You can use dLAN and Magic 2 adapters side by side in the same home network but network performance does take a hit so it's best sticking with dLAN power adapters or Magic 2 adapters separately.
Setting up the Magic 2 adapters with your home network is straightforward and safe as communication is encrypted.
Controlling the Magic 2 adapters is done via the devolo home network mobile and/or the devolo cockpit desktop software available from the devolo Magic 2 WiFi downloads page for Windows 7 computers (32-bit/64-bit) and later, Linux Ubuntu 13.10 (32-bit/64-bit) computers and later, and Mac OS X 10.9 computers and later.
Devolo updates the firmware of their adapters regularly so it's worth keeping up to date. Just last year, devolo added OpenWrt.support for the dLAN 500 wireless plus so you can do cool things like connect your main router to another router as wifi extender using the powerline adapter.
From the devolo software interface, you can select either 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands (or one or the other), as well as gain access to parental controls, guest WiFi, time control and Config Sync.
The "guest account" feature is particularly handy when you need to give someone wireless access to your Internet without giving away the password for your Wifi router. You can set a time limit on the guest account as well. There is also an integrated PowerSave mode which reduces energy consumption automatically at low data traffic.

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