TP Link Gigabit Powerline Adapter TL-PA 7010 Kit Review


TP Link Gigabit Powerline Adapter 7010

We have already covered the basic entry level Nano powerline adapter in the TP Link range, but what about users who want higher speeds from a powerline adapter to stream in 4K definition and download files even faster?

For these users, the more advanced gigabit powerline models might be a better option, since they can provide much higher data transfer rates often up to several hundred megabits per second, if not up to the actual 1000 mbps often advertised with these models.

In this review, we will look at the entry level TP Link TL-PA 7010 Kit powerline adapter model, which is their cheapest and most basic gigabit model, capable of delivering higher transfer speeds over powerline than the more basic models.

See below for a very thorough unboxing and review of the TL-PA 7010 Kit. He goes into perhaps more detail than many users will need, doing multiple speed tests, but the video still gives a very good overview how reliable their performance is.

How A Powerline Adapter Works

Powerline adapters consist of a pair of adapter plugs. You plug one adapter into a wall socket and connect it to your router with a small ethernet cable, supplied with the kit. You then plug the other adapter into another wall socket and connect it to a device you want to use (like a games console, PC, streaming device etc) with another supplied ethernet cable.

The two adapters then almost always pair up with each other automatically, meaning they can now “talk” to each other through the house’s existing electrical wiring. You now have a strong, reliable ethernet connection between your device and your router without needing to run long ethernet cables through the house.

How a Powerline Adapter Works

 

The TP Link TL-PA 7010 Kit is their basic gigabit powerline adapter model, with just one high speed ethernet port and no passthrough. Click here to view on Amazon. It will provide a solid, high speed wired ethernet connection to your router using the existing electrical wiring of the house. Our Product Comparison Table compares all the different models by feature and functionality.

 

The Features of the TP Link TL-PA 7010 Kit at a Glance

Here are the main features of the TP Link Gigabit adapter at a glance. The video above goes into a super in depth review of all the features.

  • Kit consists of two gigabit powerline adapters, instruction manual and two short ethernet cables to connect the adapters at each end.
  • Transfer speeds up to 1000 mbps – actual speeds usually up to 300 mbps – perfect for HD and 4K streaming, downloading and online gaming.
  • One ethernet port to connect up devices – other models available with more ethernet ports and passthrough plug socket.
  • Ability to easily add more adapters to create a powerline network around the home – see our article on this.
  • 128 bit AES encryption possible by pairing the powerlines for a secure wired network.
  • Universal cross compatibility with all other TP Link models – can all be used together. See also our article on mixing powerline adapters.
  • Low power consumption technology, plus power save feature to switch the device off when not in use to further save power.
  • Plug and play devices – no configuration required. Just plug both adapters and and you are ready to go.
  • Up to 300m range over house circuitry – will be plenty enough for most houses
  • Delivers high speed wired ethernet connection to any room in the home.

In terms of transfer speeds, the claimed maximum of 1000 mbps is only a theoretical transfer rate under perfect “lab” conditions and is almost never going to be matched when tested in a home environment. When tested in reality, the gigabit models usually deliver a maximum of around 200 mbps, perhaps 300 mbps if you are lucky. The video above contains some very thorough speed tests.

However, even these speeds are still plenty good enough for most users and a vast improvement over the speeds entry level powerline adapters can provide. Most people do not have a gigabit internet package anyway so it does not even matter that the powerline cannot reach the 1000 mbps theoretical maximum. A 200 mbps speed is fine for most users.

If you download a lot of large files and are tired of slow speeds over wifi, a gigabit powerline adapter could be a great investment to extract the maximum bandwidth out of your internet connection even at distance from the router and get large movies and other files downloaded quicker.

They can also be useful for gamers who also like to download their games digitally. The transfer speeds are not actually that important for the gaming itself; rather it is the latency or ping that is the most important metric for gamers. However, the gigabit models are very reliable in this regard also as well as delivering high bandwidth for downloading larger games and patches more quickly.

Downsides to Powerline Adapters

In terms of negatives specific to the TP Link TL-PA 7010 Kit, there really are not many we could find. All reviews on the product are positive – the adapters do what they say in delivering a high speed, wired internet connection to any room in the home.

The caveat we mentioned on transfer speed could be considered a negative – since the promised 1000 mbps speeds never actually happen in reality, but even the best standard fiber optic internet packages usually top out at a few hundred mbps, so most people don’t need these speeds anyway.

Also the basic TL-PA 7010 Kit model does not have a passthrough plug socket, so you will lose the power socket you are using it for. If you are short on plug sockets, models with passthrough are available so you can plug something into the front of the adapter itself so you don’t lose the plug socket. See the section below where we go into different models.

The potential negatives to the gigabit powerline models are more general negatives which can apply to powerline adapters in general. There are some downsides to powerline technology which mean they may not be for everyone.

Here are some of the main downsides:

  • Powerline adapters may not work in houses where the circuitry is old, worn, or wired in such a way that the adapters cannot communicate. This tends to be very rare these days. In most houses they will work. See our article for the cases when they won’t work.
  • The gigabit transfer rate is only an absolute theoretical maximum and will never realistically be reached in reality, though most people don’t need these speeds anyway. The gigabit models usually top out at a few hundred mbps speeds.
  • Powerline adapters can be susceptible to interference if used close to certain appliances, like washer, dryers, phone chargers etc. Moving them away from these devices usually solves the problem. See our troubleshooting guide if you do run into this or any other difficulties with them.
  • You may get lower transfer speeds using them in certain parts of the house, where the power outlets they are plugged into are on different circuit breakers. The connection will still be reliable and solid, just with lower speeds.

The cases when they most often don’t work at all is in very large houses or annexes or extensions which run off separate meters or feeds. In these cases the adapters cannot “talk” across the different circuits. They can communicate across phases, but there may be a drop in data transfer every time they cross to a new phase. Most times they work fine.

The interference issue tends to be the most problematic, but can usually be worked around by simply moving the adapters away from the appliances which are causing the problem. They don’t like being used next to heavy consumption devices or devices with an alternating electric current or motor, like phone chargers and certain tools.

Other Adapters in the Range

The TL-PA 7010 Kit is the most basic gigabit powerline adapter in the TP Link range, with only one ethernet port and no passthrough. Other more expensive gigabit models are available if you want more features in your adapter.

Models are available with more ethernet ports to connect up more wired devices, and also an integrated passthrough plug socket so you don’t lose the plug socket you are using it for. The model range is logically laid out, with each progressive model slightly more expensive if it has extra features.

Here is a quick rundown of the TP Link wired gigabit powerline adapter range:

  • TL-PA 7010 Kit – the model we are reviewing right now – one ethernet port and no passthrough.
  • TL-PA 7010 P-Kit – one ethernet port, with a passthrough, so you don’t lose the plug socket.
  • TL-PA 7020 Kit – two ethernet ports, no passthrough. 1000mbps transfer speed spread over two ethernet ports – 500 mbps each theoretical speed.
  • TL-PA 7020 P-Kit – two ethernet ports and passthrough. 1000mbps spread over two ports.
  • TL-PA 9020P-Kit – Two ethernet ports and passthrough. 2000mbps spread over two ports – 1000 mbps theoretical max speed at each port. Super high performance powerline model.
  • TL-PA 8030 P-Kit – Three ethernet ports and passthrough. 1200 mbps spread over the three ports – 400 mbps theoretical max speed at each port.
  • TL-WPA 8630 P-Kit – Three ethernet ports plus passthrough plus wifi functionality at the receiving end. 1300 mbps transfer speed spread over 3 ports plus dual band wifi access point to connect smaller devices.
  • See our Product Comparison Table to see all these models compared side by side and for product links.

So you can see how the TP Link product range is logically differentiated in terms of features, so you choose only the model you need. If you are short on plug sockets, you can get a model with passthrough; if you need to connect more devices, you can get a model with more ports. The most expensive models have both multiple ethernet ports and passthrough plug socket.

Summary

The TP Link TL-PA 7010 Kit is a very reliable and high performing gigabit powerline adapter model, which is very capable of delivering a very high speed wired internet connection between a device and the router, even from several rooms away.

This can perfect for heavy streamers and downloaders who want to extract the very most out of their internet package. The actual download speeds usually max out at a few hundred mbps and not the advertised 1000 mbps, but this will still be more than enough for most internet packages anyway and will be a noticeable speed improvement over using wifi.

For users wanting some more features, like more ethernet ports and an integrated plug socket, then the closely related models in the TP Link gigabit range can help you out here, though they are slightly more expensive than the basic 7010 P Kit model.

Click here to check the current price of the TP Link TL-PA 7010 Kit on Amazon.

Oliver

Online gamer and general home networking enthusiast. I like to create articles to help people solve common home networking problems.

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