ZyXEL PLA401 review
Nor were we overly impressed with ZyXEL’s PLA401 set, although with a firmware upgrade ensuring compatibility with other manufacturers’ devices this pair of plugtop adapters represents a better buy than when first released.
If style matters to you, go for a pair of these – the chrome-effect surround and glossy white plastic bodies look much nicer than the others in this roundup. If not, there are better choices; in terms of pure practicality, they don’t come up to scratch.
The big problem is that there’s no external switch for setting up an encrypted network. Instead you install software on a PC and assign a key manually. It’s pain to set up initially and means that adding further devices is awkward.
But at least performance was more impressive. We recorded throughputs of between 34.1Mbits/sec and 36Mbits/sec – on a par with the rest – and in our stress test that rate was all but maintained, with the speed dropping from an average of 35.1Mbits/sec in the house by just 5.6Mbits/sec to 29.5Mbits/sec 40 metres away.