Question TP-Link AV600 vs AV1200 or AV2000 powerline or similar comparison


Well-known Member
Hey guys,

Live in a very large old think walled house. At the moment I'm running:

BT Smart hub >> ethernet >> AV600 >>mains>> AV600 + wifi >> wifi & ethernet >> ethernet to Server (TimeMachine, Network Storage, Homebridge, VPN etc) and wifi to MacBook, iPhone, iPad etc. I also have a few AV600 ethernet only plugs around the house for the PS4 and TV's. At the moment its all running well for internet usage but then again we only get 16.2Mbps but file transfer etc is slow around the house which is mainly due to the AV600 units running at 100mbps and wifi at N.

The Smart hub is downstairs and provides Wifi to some of downstairs, it doesn't really reach half of it but enough really. The AV600 wifi upstairs again, doesn't cover as much as I would want at all to be honest but its the best I can do really.

So I just wanted to see if anyone has upgraded from the AV600 to the AV1200 or the AV/2000 and what speed difference it makes via wi-fi and ethernet.

One reason is because I would like to ditch all the AV600 and do the following which would be in better places around the house for max speed via wi-fi and we are shortly able to connect to the B4RN ( which give an amazing 1000mbps download and 1000mbps upload for £150 connection fee and then only £30 a month. Rural broadband can be amazing!

The second reason is that I would like more control over my network and being a Apple lover I think I would go for 2 x AirPort Extreme 6th Generation. One centrally downstairs and one in the main usage area upstairs. This would mean I could connect my Server directly to the downstairs one which just so happens to have a nice cupboard to tuck all the stuff away in such as external HD's etc.



Distinguished Member
Other peoples experience of HomePlugs is no predictor of your usage experience. Everyone's mains electricity environment and equipment mix differs and the mains was never designed for high frequency signal transmission as used by HP's. Some people have excellent results (and we rarely hear from them) some people have dreadful results (and whinge on endlessly on Internet forums) and everything in between. (Same for Wi-Fi BTW.)

All we can say for sure is that faster HP's should be faster, but no-one can say by how much. Many advocate buying from a supplier with a good returns policy in case the new ones don't cut it, which seems like good advice to me.

Even with perfect conditions, it's unlikely that AV2000 would outperform a 1000mbps Internet service, (sounds suspiciously like they are delivering GBit ethernet over fibre,) because of HP operating paradigm and protocol overheads - I doubt even 2000mbps HP's would keep up:

HP's have a protocol efficiency usually cited in the range of 45-55% which mean only about 45-55% of the headline link rate achieved is used for user data - the rest gets used by encoding, error correction and various other mechanisms used to "make them work."

Then, HP's use a "only one thing at a time can transmit" paradigm (called Half Duplex) so the more HP's you have, them more data they need to transmit, the more they have to compete with each other (I don't believe it's "fair") for some "transmit time." (Also, incidentally, just like Wi-Fi.) Though IIRC, HP's appoint a "master" plug whose job it is to determine who's turn it is to transmit, (unlike Wi-Fi which uses a different mechanism.)

There's no reason to believe Apple do Wi-Fi any "better" than anyone else, all vendors are subject to the same transmit power laws and select from the same Wi-Fi standards (in the Wi-Fi standards there are a lot of "options") but equally there's no reason to think Apple do it any worse if you're happy to pay the price premium to have an Apple logo on your kit. (200 GBP seems pretty expensive for a basic SOHO router.) However, if they include other feature that integrate better with your other Apple kit, that may sway the argument.

If you really do have a "big" house (and/or lot's of Wi-Fi devices) you may be better off deploying more (than 2) AP's than hold out hope for a "magic" router that's so much better then everyone elses. The 5GHz radio frequencies used by the A/AC and some N variants don't penetrate stuff (walls, doors, air) as well as 2.4GHz so the speed at a given distance ("rate at range") drops off quicker, though that's mitigated somewhat by having a faster link rate to start with.

The Airports look like they are "3-stream" Wi-Fi devices: Bear in mind you only get the link rate (speed) benefits of that with "3-stream" clients. If your client are "only" 2-stream, rates are cut by 1/3rd and with 1-stream clients, by 2/3rds in N/AC (all "A/B/G" protocols are 1-stream by design, though hardly anyone uses them any more.)
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