ZyXEL PLA-401 200Mbps Homeplug Recommended

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Bought two of these from Scan computers (because the twin set was out of stock) to replace two Powerline Ethernet Bridge devices which are something like 4+ years old.
I used the Powerlines to connect the wife's PC upstairs to the network as she flat refused to let me lay any cables.
My new purchase to replace the Powerlines was prompted by slow connections across the network.

I thought I'd test the speed using the old Powerline homeplugs by doing a broadband speedtest (www.speedtest.net). The result was about 1.5meg.

Installing the ZyXels was easy. The 3 blue lights indicated that they were both connected to each other and to the network.
The wife's PC runs Vista Home connected directly into the ZyXel, and my PC runs XP connected via a wireless internet hub.

Rerunning Speedtest using the ZyXels I got the full 20Meg which Virgin supplies us. Well actually 18 point something which is as good as I get using my normal PC downstairs.
And browsing the wife's PC from my PC is now super quick.

The units come with a CD which has a configuration utility to change the encryption password. I would avoid installing this unless you want to change the password since it doesn't uninstall properly on either Vista or XP.

Otherwise, and where it counts, I am very happy with these units. Recommended.
 

iandrews

Well-known Member
Thanks for that info, I was thinking of getting these myself. Just a quick question: How big are these unit's (i.e. do they fit into say a double socket without effecting the other).

I was also looking at the new Solwise 200 AV Push. Anyone had any experience with those.

Thanks,
Ian.
 

pomegran

Novice Member
Bought two of these from Scan computers (because the twin set was out of stock) to replace two Powerline Ethernet Bridge devices which are something like 4+ years old.
I used the Powerlines to connect the wife's PC upstairs to the network as she flat refused to let me lay any cables.
My new purchase to replace the Powerlines was prompted by slow connections across the network.

I thought I'd test the speed using the old Powerline homeplugs by doing a broadband speedtest (www.speedtest.net). The result was about 1.5meg.

Installing the ZyXels was easy. The 3 blue lights indicated that they were both connected to each other and to the network.
The wife's PC runs Vista Home connected directly into the ZyXel, and my PC runs XP connected via a wireless internet hub.

Rerunning Speedtest using the ZyXels I got the full 20Meg which Virgin supplies us. Well actually 18 point something which is as good as I get using my normal PC downstairs.
And browsing the wife's PC from my PC is now super quick.

The units come with a CD which has a configuration utility to change the encryption password. I would avoid installing this unless you want to change the password since it doesn't uninstall properly on either Vista or XP.

Otherwise, and where it counts, I am very happy with these units. Recommended.
Cool. So this is 1 plug (that connects to your router) and another 2 for connecting 2 devices to the network? If it is, £92 is a bargain!
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Thanks for that info, I was thinking of getting these myself. Just a quick question: How big are these unit's (i.e. do they fit into say a double socket without effecting the other).
Well not quite. They are quite wide, so I have mine plugged into the end of a 4-way gang. I had to relocate a fat adapter plug, but no problem otherwise.
The one upstairs is plugged directly into one of the two wall sockets. No problem plugging in a normal plug next to it.

Cool. So this is 1 plug (that connects to your router) and another 2 for connecting 2 devices to the network? If it is, £92 is a bargain!
No there are two devices. One plugs into a power socket downstairs with a network cable going to the router.
The other is plugged into a power socket upstairs with the network cable plugged directly into the computer.
It's simple. It's a box which plugs into the power which has a single network socket in it. The network signal is encrypted, sent along the ring main, is received by secondary homeplug units, decrypted and fed to another network elsewhere.
If you want another connection to the network in a different location, you *may* have to buy another pair rather than a single unit. I'm not sure.
 

Real_Ento

Standard Member
Can you tell me whether these units will work with a switch connected to the "remote" unit so that, in effect, you can provide a LAN extention for more than one device? (The Zyxel site doesn't make any mention of this approach)

Cheers
 
S

Steve Rainey

Guest
Hi, I purchased four of these PLA-401 about a year ago, but already two have failed! There are no blue lights on the front. Does anyone know what might cause these to fail? At the moment I'm not inclined to buy any more.

Steve
 

rcaudwell

Well-known Member
I purchased 4 of these when scan had them on offer (?6 months or so ago, and have one which cuts off randomly, and another 2 which have leds which don`t work anymore (although the unit itself still works). I`m beginning to realise why they were going cheap!
 
S

Steve Rainey

Guest
That's very interesting. My LEDs have gone but so have the units too! I think I will cut my losses and look for another solution. Many thanks for your helpful reply.

Steve
 

gvers

Well-known Member
One of my PLA401's has just gone. The power light has not worked for some time but the other's did. Now when I plug it in the 2 lights flash once and then go off. The PC connected to it can not see any connection on the cable. Guess it's time to RMA them to Amazon.

Bought them in december last year.
 

iandrews

Well-known Member
One of mine went about 3 weeks ago. Switch on the PC one evening to find no internet connection, looked and realised that it had no lights on the front (which had been working fine up to that point), the switch it was connected to did show a "link" light but the Zyxel config utility wouldn't "find" it.

I got mine Jan 2008 so they are 18 months old. Got the box down from the loft (I knew there was a reason I keep them!!!) and noticed that they had a 2 year warranty. So I went to the Zyxel site and followed the returns process, which involved logging a support call saying that one was faulty, then filling in a RMA form with the details (including putting in the support call number), then they send you the details to send the unit back to.

I did all this and sent the unit off, and about 1 1/2 weeks later I received a new on in the post. No note with it, and didn't get any more e-mails, but I connect it up and changed the password and it connects fine.

Ian.
 

Gerry

Active Member
When you plug one of these into a second PC/Laptop is there any need for software config on the pc/laptop. I'm curious if they would work on a PS3, just one ethernet cable going from the plug in the socket via ethernet cable into the ethernet socket on the back of the PS3(for online gaming).
 
When you plug one of these into a second PC/Laptop is there any need for software config on the pc/laptop. I'm curious if they would work on a PS3, just one ethernet cable going from the plug in the socket via ethernet cable into the ethernet socket on the back of the PS3(for online gaming).
No, you don't need any software config on the PS3, it'll just plug straight in :thumbsup:
 

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