devolo Mesh WiFi 2 Review G.Hn MIMO Powerline Adapter

Friday, March 05, 2021

For those who don't want or can't run Ethernet cables through their house will find powerline adapters the easiest solution to get Internet to each far-reaching corner of the house! Powerline adapters use the electrical wiring of the house as antennas to transmit Internet signal with similar (or even faster) performance to a direct Ethernet connection; hence no latency issues! 
The latest powerline adapter technology on the market is Mesh WiFi 2 - powerline + mesh technology. The Mesh WiFi 2 can connect up 100 devices and can be bought as a starter kit (two adapters) or as a whole home Wifi kit (three adapters). You can potentially add up to 8 adapters as a joint network, depending on how many devices you want to connect, as well as the coverage area required. For instance, if you want to extend Internet coverage to an outside annex house or up in a third floor loft.
The devolo Mesh WiFi 2 powerline system is compatible with Windows computers (Win 7 and higher), Ubuntu-Li and MacOS (OS X Mavericks version 10.9 and higher). Since the devolo Mesh WiFi 2 adapters use the electrical wiring of the house, how well it works will depend on the actual wiring. If your house was built before 1980, it is likely to have aluminum electrical wiring, while newer houses tend to use copper wiring, which is better at conducting signal.
Unlike other powerline adapters, which exclusively use the electrical wiring to distribute Internet throughout the house, the devolo Mesh WiFi 2 adapters use both powerline (electrical wiring), as well as fast wireless mesh (Wi-Fi ac/802.11ac), which is basically Wifi 5 wireless (up to 3.5 Gbps speeds). The current fastest Internet is Wifi 6 wireless (capable of 9.6 Gbps speeds). Thanks to mesh integration, each devolo Mesh WiFi 2 adapter shares the same SSID; hence devices automatically and seamlessly connect to the strongest signal from the closest adapter.
In terms of security, nothing beats the safety of a wired connection which is one the advantages of using a powerline solution. While the devolo Mesh WiFi 2 integrates mesh  wireless, it uses banking encryption level security (WPA/WPA2/WPA3 Personal) to prevent anyone from hacking the transmission.
Like other devolo adapters, devolo Mesh WiFi 2 is supported by devolo's Cockpit desktop software and the devolo Home Network app, which lets you enable features such as parental control and guest access, as well as Wifi timing to restrict Internet usage. If you only want to use powerline connectivity, you can also disable Mesh Wifi from the app. The transmission speed via powerline is 2400 Mbps via MIMO and 1200 Mbps via SISO. The transmission range is 500 meters. There is also a neat feature called "Airtime Fairness" that you definitely want enabled to prevent slower devices (i.e. 802.11n Wifi 4) from slowing down faster devices (i.e. 802.11ac Wifi 5). If most devices on your network use the same Wifi speed, it's best to disable "Airtime Fairness".
Each devolo Mesh WiFi 2 adapter also integrates a 13A fused electrical socket (Type G BS1363), which means you can plug in a larger appliance such as a heater without blowing the fuse and/or damaging the adapter. The devolo Mesh WiFi 2 adapters also integrate a frequency filter circuit, which works like a broadband network filter to help filter out some of the interference noise generated by the adapter. On top of each adapter, there are two Gigabit LAN RJ45 ports, which allows you to turn the Mesh WiFi 2 adapters into hardwired access points.
Devolo Mesh WiFi 2 supports simultaneous dual band too, which is also known as dual-band-dual-concurrent (DBDC). This basically means, you can have two separate wireless networks (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and use them both at the same time. This is great, not only because it prevents over-crowding and interference but, it also doubles the bandwidth and lets you have a dedicated 5Ghz network that you can use for gaming and streaming. With a selectable dual band powerline adapter, you can only have 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz, not both.
Indoors, the devolo Mesh WiFi 2 supports channels 1-13 via 2.4 GHz and channels 36-48 (Band A UNII-1 Lower) via 5Ghz. When enabling Dynamic frequency Selection (DFS) and Transmit Power Control (TPC), you can use 52-64 (Band A UNII-2 Middle) and 100-140 (U-NII-2C) for an extra 16 non-overlapping and overlapping channels (20MHz and 40MHz).
As far as compatibility with other devolo adapters, the Mesh WiFi 2 adapters are not compatible with devolo dLAN adapters but, they are compatible with devolo Magic adapters. This is because Mesh WiFi 2 uses the protocol; whereas dLAN adapters use the HomePlugAV protocol. As far as consumption, you are looking at between 9 watts to 12 watts when the adapters are working at maximum speed. In stand-by, the consumption is 3 watts. The Mesh WiFi 2 adapters are designed to run on 196V-250 V AC (50 Hz) power supply and can operate under 0°C to 40°C temperature. The dimensions of the Mesh WiFi 2 adapters is similar to most devolo adapters (15cm long, 8cm wide and 4cm deep).
As well using the G.Hn standard, the devolo Mesh WiFi 2 supports 2x2 MIMO, which allows the Mesh WiFi 2 adapters to coordinate more efficiently and faster. Set up is easy via the devolo Home Network mobile app, which integrates a QR scanner that automatically picks up the exact adapter you have without having to select from the list manually. Then, it is just a matter of following the on-screen prompts, which guide you clearly through the entire setup. You will have to connect one adapter nearby your Internet router and connect both using the included Ethernet cat5e cable. All adapters are the same so, you can use any of them as the connecting host to the router.
The app is very in-depth in terms of how much control it gives you over the adapters. You can even check the current temperature, turn off the leds off, enable a powersave mode and update firmware. You can buy the devolo Mesh WiFi 2 from amazon.

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