The Zyxel PL-100 uses the same Intellon INT 5500CS chipset that Netgear’s XE104 uses (reviewed May 2006), and the results are predictable: In our bandwidth tests, we managed a mere 1.2Mb/s—slower than our DSL line.
Surprisingly, the PL-100 wouldn’t even work in some of the rooms where the XE104 connected easily. We were unable to connect two adapters if they weren’t plugged into the same electrical circuit in our test home—a recently remodeled flat in San Francisco. Shockingly, the software that comes with the adapters reported our performance as an astounding 85Mb/s.
To add insult to injury, the PL-100 had the exact same problem passing Universal Plug and Play packets that the XE104 had. Because it won’t pass the UPNP packets, this device is virtually useless for streaming video or even audio from one room to another. The lesson is to just stay away from any hardware using the Intellon INT 5500CS chipset. --Will Smith
Month Reviewed: October 2006
+ LEAD WEIGHT: Neither man nor computer was harmed during testing.
- LEAD PAINT: Couldn't connect in many rooms; pathetically slow when it worked.