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I have two netgear powerline AV 500 ethernet adapters that give me near ideal internet access on my media computer (FIOS 25/25mpbs tests out at 8ms 25.4/24.7) and perhaps 100-140mbps to my router, printer, drive, etc. I now want to add a few wifi points and instead of having the mess of a powerline adapter + a wifi router I think it will be neater to have an all in one solution. Most of the ones that I find are 200mbps, however. I know that 500 is backwards compatible, but will a mixed solution slow everything down like it can for a mixed wireless g/n network?

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3 Answers 3

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200 and 500 Mbps adapters can be mixed. If you have for example

  • Adapter 1: 500 Mbps
  • Adapter 2: 500 Mbps
  • Adapter 3: 200 Mbps
  • Adapter 4: 200 Mbps

then adapters 1 and 2 will have an up-to-500 Mbps connection. All other connections (with at least one 200 Mbps adapter involved) will be up to 200 Mbps.

The only impact of 200 Mbps adapters on a 500 Mbps network is that 200 Mbps adapters are blocking the shared medium power circuit longer than 500 Mbps adapters would do, thus traffic on 200 Mbps adapters takes longer than if 500 Mbps adapters where used. This reduces the overall network performance a little bit. I don't know if this effect is really noticeable in a standard real life scenario.

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They will work together - however most of the documentation I've seen suggests that they will run at the lower rate thats available if one of those devices is active. On my mixed network, the 500 mbps device usually shows an amber signal strength, rather than a green one/amber strength like my 200 mbps gear does. As an aside, some newer equipment comes with enhanced noise correction, and if you have that, your devices must all support it.

You can generally check this through the devices option on your configuration software

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Bought some and tried it out: For the purposes of sharing my FIOS internet connection, mixing 200 and 500 is fine. I don't know what the theoretical impact is, but for my particular structure nothing goes over 200mbps regardless even if I am only using AV 500 devices. Adding more devices barely impacts the speed of any device (other than with increased usage). Powerline AV 200 wireless access points in multiple rooms give superior performance over any n router I have tested from a few rooms away.

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