NETGEAR HDX101 / HDXB101 Powerline Ethernet Adapter

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Today I received my order for the Netgear NDXB101 Powerline Ethernet adapter so I thought I would write about my initial thoughts. The HDXB101 contains two HDX101 adapters which plug into the wall and allow you to connect a standard ethernet cable to them, once you connect the second device to a second plug socket in your house you have a network!

There are a number of reasons why I purchased this over Ethernet.

Firstly, speed was a concern.  I am using this to connect my desktop to my router at opposite ends of the house and there are a number of other wireless networks in the area and interface was affecting the speed.  Plus, streaming video or anything over wireless isn’t great.

Secondly, while security isn’t a huge problem if you use WPA (compared to WEP) it still is a concern.  All the traffic sent between the two devices is encrypted.

I need to connect my XBox 360 to my router so how, which meant buying an overly priced wireless adapter.  Now, I can just buy a single one (buying the pair works out a lot cheaper) and use this to connect to my existing adapter which is connected directly to my router and have the speed advantage.

Plus, from the viewpoint of Vista, it’s connect to directly to my router.  No messing around waiting for it to detect the wireless access point or access keys.

While the adapters don’t need any software installed to work correctly (just plug in and go), Netgear provide some software to help manage your network. You can also use this software to rename the network ID, just incase of any other network is connected to the same power supply (like in apartments).  The software also provides an indication of the speed which you are likely to get out of the connection.  While it isn’t 200Mbps (and I never expected to get that), it is better than wireless.  No problems with the software, or the devices, working in Vista.


However, I did have two problems when I was setting up the kit. They don’t work correctly (slow speed) if you connect them via a surge protector, so I need to go buy something from Tesco’s on Saturday as running out of normal plugs now.

Secondly, I needed to plug the Ethernet cable into Ethernet port 2 on my BT Home hub, Ethernet port 1 didn’t work.  Apart from that, they seem to be doing the job. 

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4 thoughts on “NETGEAR HDX101 / HDXB101 Powerline Ethernet Adapter”

  1. Many thanks for putting this up for all to see. I was looking at a wireless connection but during my research came across the ethernet adapter idea. I have no technical knowledge so articles like yours are proving invaluable. My wife is technophobic and I intend to get her a laptop to sit downstairs in comfort and (hopefully) she can join the 21st Century. Thanks again. Paul

  2. Hi,

    Was ethernet port 1 faulty or did it just have a problem with the Powerline device? I am helping a friend to install a Philips powerline system with a BT Home Hub and it didn’t work. The adapters work perfectly elsewhere, e.g. with my Linksys router. I was wondering if you have discovered some quirk of the BT Home Hub.



  3. Nice that your article came up in Google. Trying to keep a Vista 64 machine connected to my cable modem via a Belkin wireless router *and* a Belkin range extender. Sort of works, and sort of doesn’t work, if you know what I mean. So, investigating alternatives, and PowerLine seems like it’s preferable to embedding cables in the wall!

  4. Thanks for great post. Googled as had same problme with the adapters not working on our BT Home Hub. My Linksys hub died yesterday so plugged back in BT one for tempt solution, never expected to have a problem. Thanks to you I now dont and just need to wait for my new hub to turn up.

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