review

Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next Review G.hn Powerline Adapter

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Chances are if you browse or stream content at home, your Internet is being delivered via a Wifi hub wireless router supplied by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). While most ISPs wireless routers provide a good reach, they are not powerful enough to overcome Wifi dead spots created by walls and multi-floors; hence the need for Wifi extenders.
The general idea of a Wifi extender is to extend the Wifi network in a home or office via three main ways: 1) Using a Wifi extender to boost the Wifi signal of the current router, 2) Replacing the current router with a Mesh Wifi router/satellite system and 3) Using powerline adapters to route the router's Internet connection via the home electrical wiring.
A Mesh Wifi system is probably the most expensive option out of the three mentioned above but, it is also very popular, especially tri-band mesh systems because of the integration of a third band (backhaul band) that allows the Mesh Wifi nodes (satellites) to talk to each other, freeing and speeding up the Internet bandwidth.
Most mesh Wifi systems work standalone, making an existing wireless router redundant. If you prefer keeping your existing wireless router and still benefit from Mesh Wifi technology, you can "have your cake and eat it too" with the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next.
The Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next is a powerline adapter system that integrates Mesh WiFi roaming technology for seamless Wifi reception, meaning your connected devices (i.e. smartphone and tablet) will automatically and seamlessly connect to the nearest adapter. This is all possible, thanks to neat feature called Config Sync, which lets you sync all Magic 2 WiFi next adapters to your router so, you can have all Magic 2 WiFi next adapters under a single SSID.
Unlike some, the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next roaming function will also remain connected to the most powerful adapter, which sometimes may not the closest to you. The Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next is a neat option for those wanting Mesh Wifi without the price tag.
Like all powerline adapters though, your home's electrical wiring has to be up to scratch, which might not be the case if you live in an old building with an antiquated electrical wiring system. You may also have issues using a powerline adapter if your building or home has two fuse boxes or circuit breakers.
Most newer houses use one circuit breaker box with switches that you can easily reset when it trips; whereas some houses still use fuse boxes that work similar to the fuse box of a car. This means, you have to replace the fuse when it blows, which is not as convenient. Most houses will typically have one circuit breaker box. The only reason a house may have two circuit breaker boxes is when there is a need to add more breakers (i.e. when adding another kitchen area); hence the need for a sub panel breaker box.
Mesh Wifi systems work great but, they have a weak point and that is wall structures. If you live in a multi level concrete built apartment, a mesh Wifi router may have issues communicating to the mesh Wifi nodes/satellites.
The Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next support IPv6 and DCHP; hence you can set up an IPv6 Internet connection with a DHCP server on your existing router as long as it supports it.

With a powerline adapter kit like the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next, you won't have this issue because communication goes through the electrical wiring of the house; hence bypassing concrete walls. One thing worth keeping in mind about the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next is multi plug electrical wall sockets. Most homes in the United Kingdom typically have "double pole switched sockets" rather than single pole switched sockets.
When fitting the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next to a double pole switched socket, you will have to leave the twin socket empty for better performance; hence losing a plug socket. Fortunately though, the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next adapters have a pass-through socket with an internal filter, which prevents interferences on the powerline connection.
If you currently use a Devolo dLAN adapter kit and are thinking to upgrade or perhaps use the Magic 2 WiFi next with an existing Devolo dLAN adapter, you actually can since both systems can run in parallel. This is great because it means you can use the same Devolo Cockpit software to manage the dLAN network and Magic network. That said, there is a drawback with running dLAN and Magic networks in parallel and that is a possible decrease in performance. This means, you will likely have to choose between having a dLAN network or a Magic network.
existing dLAN network
As far as being able to mix and match dLAN adapters with Magic adapters, you cannot. This is because dLAN adapters use a protocol called HomePlugAV, while the Magic adapters use a G.hn protocol. This means, all Devolo dLAN adapters are compatible with each other and, vice versa all Magic adapters are compatible with each other; hence you can use this new Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next with other Devolo adapters from the Magic series such as the previous Magic 2 Wifi. All Devolo G.hn adapters are also certified by the HomeGrid Forum.
Regarding latency for gaming, both mesh Wifi networks and powerline adapters add latency, although mesh Wifi systems add considerably worse latency, making mesh systems not good for gaming. If you don't want to drill and run Ethernet wires, powerline adapters are the next viable option for gaming but as mentioned earlier the quality of the home electrical wiring is very important.
cat5e Ethernet cable included
Just like other Devolo powerline adapters, the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next comes with a Magic 2 Wifi next LAN adapter (which has to be wired to your wireless router) and two Magic 2 Wifi next adapters. The WiFi adapters can be installed in any electrical socket anywhere in your house after initially setting them up with your router.
The Magic 2 WiFi adapters integrate two Ethernet ports so, you can have hard wired connections to achieve twice the speed (up to 2400 Mbps) of the wireless connection speed (up to 1200 Mbps). You can buy the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi next kit from amazon, as well as additional Magic Wifi adapters. You can have up to a maximum of eight Magic Wifi adapters. The Wifi adapters are larger (7.6cm wide x 15.2cm tall) than the LAN adapter (6.6cm x 13cm tall) and will perfectly fit UK double pole switched sockets. Check out the review of the dLAN 1200 Triple Plus and the GigaGate 2Gbps High Speed WiFi Bridge.
Gadget Explained disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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