Powerline Adapter - TL-PA8033P vs TL-PA9020P

Gerard

Standard Member
I need to install a powerline in a house as there is no possible path to route the network into attic without exposed cables - or chasing walls.

I've pretty much narrowed it down to the TLPA8033P and the TL-PA9020P - both from TP-Link. Based on specs alone the 9020 seems to be miles ahead - 200Mbps versus 1300Mbps.
However, I read up on both of them and seen reviews done by TechAdvisor and the results between them seem minimal to me. There is always the risk of chasing unnecessary spec, but to me it seems that the 9020 is almost twice the price and quotes almost twice the speed, but in a real world test its just not much better.

Am I overlooking something here?

I should say that I'll be using this to power an IP PTZ camera in a shed initially and maybe later I'll add some security cameras. For that reason I want to avoid WiFi. The PTZ I have uses H.265+ compression and when I complete the setup, all cameras will be hardwired in the shed into a network switch which is then connected to the NVR in the attic which will record any data directly onto its drive. Any issue with powerline adapters will be internet connectivity - which could be an issue with the PTZ as I'll not be recording it - it will be used for a live feed.

However, that is beyond the point - question is, is there any point in opting for the 9020 ahead of the 8010?


This is a review for the TL8010P:

https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/review...eview-3610443/

We do two tests on Powerline. One is not very real-world but is tested in a house. We put both Powerlines on the same wall power socket and transfer a large file from one computer to another.

On this test the TP-Link AV1200 equalled our previous top speed of 410Mbps, by transferring a 1GB file between PC and laptop in 20 seconds.

But a more realistic test is with the second Powerline adapter a couple of floors away from the first one that’s connected to the router.

In this tougher test the TP-Link AV1200 managed just over 100Mbps, which is only slightly slower than the other Gigabit Powerlines we have tested: the uglier but cheaper Solwise SmartLink 1200AV2 (107Mbps) and larger but more costly Devolo 1200 (104Mbps).

This is the new one from TP-Link:

https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/review...eview-3643494/

In our first Room Test we check speeds when both adapters are in the same room – which is not how you use Powerline! We use this to test its top speed and The AV2000 did very well, scoring 432Mbps by transferring a 1GB file in 19 seconds.

When we positioned the second adapter in a room two floors down and about 30 metres apart speeds naturally dropped. This time the AV2000 scored 117Mbps way below the 2,000Mbps on the box but still the fastest we’ve seen from a Powerline.

In general the 500Mbps Powerlines are faster than the 200Mbps, and the 1,200Mbps adapters are faster than the 500Mbps – so use the speeds as a gauge of speed between models.

Not sure how they can say this as the AV1200 is not ~40% slower than the AV2000 - unless I'm missing something?

So to me it seems that there is no point in opting for the more expensive AV2000 as in the real word the difference is not startling between both items.

Comparison:
Compare Product

TL-PA8010P = £54 (Amazon)
TL-PA8033P = £68 (Amazon)
TL-PA9020P = £103 (Amazon)


Is there any point even considering the PA9020P? Specs look good, but the real world test says otherwise.

I'll be using these for a calving camera and maybe some additional security cameras (note the link for sheds to the NVR will be okay - the NVR to internet may have blips, but any footage should be recorded onto NVR).
Calving camera may have dropouts, but I'll just have to deal with that until I figure out how to get the cabling into attic.

Is there no shielded network cabling on the market that would allow it in same conduit as power cable?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Most people - even in the trade press - do not have the equipment, laboratories facilities (not to mention the methods) to properly "test" this sort of equipment. Mostly what happens is "Dave" (or whoever's turn it is to write the reviews this month) takes the test subjects home and has a play for a week end and runs a few "speed tests." So what you get is a comparator of what happened in that guys house on that weekend with whatever the prevailing traffic mix was happening that day. With his sloppy (and generally unpublished) testing methods. His mains environment and mix of equipment attached to it is completely different to yours and is no predictor of what you can expect. Take it all with a massive pinch of salt. (I would, ignore it.)

HomePlug performance is highly dependent on your mains environment. Some people report excellent result (in these columns I've see anecdotes of poeple using 1300mbps plugs that got pretty close to it,) some pople have dreadful results and everything in between.

All we can say for sure is if you buy 200mbps plugs, you will never get faster links than 200mbps whereas if by some miracle you have really good mains circuits if you buy faster plugs you may get better performance. There is literally no way to predict.

Don't fall for the myth that "these things don't go as fast as they say they do" - it would be illegal (in the UK at least) to sell them if they were not capably of what they claim. But you probably need a laboratory environment and all sorts of oscilloscopes to prove it.

Be mindful that HomePlug technology (like Wi-Fi) is "Half-duplex" which mean only one plug at a time can transmit across the mains. I talk, you listen, you talk, I listen. If we both want to talk at the same time we get collisions, congestion and so forth which hits the throughput for any given source-sink pairing. (This is true of all half-duplex transmission technologies, not just HomePlug.)

The "protocol efficiency" of HomePlugs is not particularly good at around 45-55% (due to all the overheads for things like error correction, background management "chatter" and so on) before we even factor in the effects of half-duplex operation. (BTW - the "half" in half-duplex does not mean "divide by 2" - it's simply a description of the operating paradigm as described above.)

When it comes to sizing networks - black art that it is - things like video CODEC's picture quality and so on are not directly relevant: All that matters is the bit-rate needed which informs the amount of data you need to convey which informs the throughput which informs the bandwidth required which informs the operating paradigm and the link rate ("speed") of the solution you need to under pin it. That said, a video streaming - even an HD one is not particularly big, especially if you are using a CODEC with good compression, but the jumping off point is to see what the bandwith requirements are.

For something with so highly variable such as HomePlug, no-one can predict it's performance for any given use case. You've basically just got to suck it and see. Received Wisdom is to buy your plugs from somewhere with a good returns policy in case it turns out pants. If you buy AV2000 plugs and they don't work, you may be able to return them for slower ones. If you buy AV200 plugs and they work really well, it's unlikely any vendor well let you return them because you say "these are working great, now I want to try some faster ones."
 
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Monster900

Active Member
Because of the uncertainties regarding performance that @mickevh describes in his post above, I decided to try to get some homeplugs as cheaply as I could, second hand. In the end, I was lucky. I managed to get four TL-PA8010P AV1300 for £63 from the well known auction site and even better they work well in my home with my mains wiring.

Just a possible alternative strategy to getting them from a retailer with a good returns policy. If they don't work for you you can always put them back up for sale for someone else to try and you shouldn't lose too much money and might even make a small profit.
 

Gerard

Standard Member
I've ordered the TP8033P AV1300 powerline adapters - will let you know how they turn out when I get them and test them.
 

Gerard

Standard Member
Actual Internet speed (Laptop connected into router)
Download: 49.69Mbps
Upload: 7.99Mbps
Ping: 20ms

Office (Laptop connected into Powerline - same ring)
Download: 27.7Mbps
Upload: 7.99Mbps
Ping: 22ms

Office (Laptop connected into WiFi)
Download: 48.63Mbps
Upload: 7.48Mbps
Ping: 22ms

Bedroom (Laptop connected into Powerline - Different ring)
Download: 24.09Mbps
Upload: 8.04Mbps
Ping: 23ms

Newish house, so electrics will be recent. Didn't have a second laptop to check rates across two points - will try that when I get access to a second laptop.
 

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