Netgear Powerline Nano 500 (XAVB5101) – Extend your network over power lines!!

Extending the network using power-lines (even for high bandwidth connections/applications), has definitely been catching up of late. All you need to create a high-speed data link in your house is – Two network powerline adapters and two electrical sockets plugged to the electrical network. That’s it!! The Netgear Powerline Nano 500 powerline adapters may just be what you are looking for.

There are so many applications/situations where a network connection is required, but you don’t want to lay network cables/extend the wireless network (using Wi-Fi extenders), etc. In such situations, powerline adapters (a pair of them) might come in very handy.

The connection is simple – You connect the Netgear Powerline Nano 500 adapters (a pair) to electrical sockets. Each adapter has two connections: One end connects directly into the electrical socket and the other end has a gigabit (RJ-45) network port.

Let us consider a situation where you have a modem in your living room (ground floor) and a computer in another room on the second floor. There is no wired/wireless connectivity between the two, but you want to access Internet from your computer. Of course, you have electrical connections (power sockets) at both the places.

You connect one Netgear Powerline Nano 500 adapter to an electrical socket near the modem and also connect the provided Ethernet cord to the wired port of the modem. After this connection is complete, go to the other end, connect the other Netgear Powerline Nano 500 adapter to the electrical socket (near the computer) and connect the wired port of the computer with another Ethernet cable (also provided).

That’s it. You get a network connection between the modem and the computer!! You can also connect a gaming console, HDTV or any other network device, similarly. Data is actually taken via the power lines, instead of the normal network cables (Cat 6) or Wi-Fi.

Applications: You can connect any two network devices using the powerline adapters, to transfer data. For example, you can connect gaming consoles, smart TV’s, DVR’s, set-top boxes, printers, computers, laptops, etc. to the home network/Internet. You can extend the wireless network or wired network to any place where you don’t have any existing cables/Wi-Fi coverage. You just need powerlines/electrical sockets at these places.

The best thing about this particular powerline adapter – Netgear Powerline Nano 500 (XAVBN5101) is, you get a (theoretical) network connection throughput/speeds up to 500 Mbps. In practice, even though the actual connection speed is much lesser, you can still run high-bandwidth and performance demanding applications like HD/3D movie streaming, music, multi-player gaming, etc.

Important specs of Netgear Powerline Nano 500 (XAVB5101)

  • Bandwidth: Up to 500 Mbps (Theoretical)
  • Connectivity: Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet Ports & Powerline AV interface
  • Incl: 2 x Powerline Nano 500 adapters, 2 x Ethernet cables
  • Max distance between the two adapters: 1000 feet (approx); Can connect two points in a house of 5000 sq. feet, from anywhere to anywhere (approx)
  • Compliance: IEEE 1901 Homeplug AV Standard, IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard.
  • Backward compatible with other IEEE 1901 compliant adapters (incl. Netgear)

Further Info/Manufacturer’s web-page: Netgear Powerline Nano 500.

Advantages of Netgear Powerline Nano 500 (XAVB5101)

  • Extend your network/Connect your network devices to Internet from anywhere in the house that has an electrical outlet. No need to lay new network cables or buy Wi-Fi adapters/access points to create/extend the network. 
  • Each plug as two outlets: One electrical interface and one RJ-45 Ethernet interface.
  • A special LED is provided to identify the best electrical outlet to connect the adapters to, in order to get the best performance.
  • Plug and play installation. Installs within 10 minutes, in most cases. No special software required for installation.
  • Computer/device OS independent operation.
  • Push and Secure button to secure the network connection instantly.
  • Consumes less than 0.5W while not in use (stand-by).
  • It is possible to extend the network to connect more devices by buying additional powerline adapters. However, this might reduce the bandwidth available for each adapter.
  • Netgear Powerline utility software shows how the powerline adapters are connected and approximate connection speeds for each adapter.
  • Netgear Powerline Nano 500 adapter is one of the smallest powerline adapters in the industry. White color gives it a neat/aesthetic look.
  • It is possible to use one adapter in one floor (example ground floor) and the other in another floor (example second floor) to create a network between these two locations.
  • Depending on the distance and few other factors, powerline adapters can be faster than standard Wi-Fi connections.

Limitations of Netgear Powerline Nano 500 (XAVB5101)

  • Theoretical bandwidth supported by a powerline connection is 500 Mbps. Practically, you’ll be able to realize only a fraction of that speed. But, this speed is more than standard Wi-Fi speeds and is considerably higher than 200 Mbps powerline adapters. Hence, it is suitable for high-speed HD/3D movie streaming and other demanding applications.
  • The particular electrical outlet to which this adapter connects to, cannot be used to supply power to any other device.
  • More the distance between the two adapters, lesser the throughput/bandwidth.
  • Only one Ethernet port per adapter. Hence you can connect only one network device on both sides. In case you want to connect up to 4 network devices to an adapter, refer to this model.
  • May not work with power extension strips. Connect directly to the power outlet.

Price (USD)/Buy from (US): Amazon web-page for,

Netgear XAVB5101 Powerline Nano500 Set(XAVB5101)

Alternative models to consider:

Netgear Powerline 500 Nano PassThru Dual Port (XAVB5602-100NAS) (500 Mbps Powerline adapter with power pass-through port & Two Ethernet RJ-45 ports). 

Netgear XAVB2101 Powerline AV 200 Nano Adapter Kit(XAVB2101) (200 Mbps Powerline adapter).

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