Zyxel G.hn Powerline PLA6456 Network Adapter | Review

Zyxel PLA6456

Depending on your living environment, you might not have the best Internet connection all the time. Connecting via Wi-Fi is the preferred method these days, but it sometimes isn’t the best. This is because some of you might still have older devices that don’t take advantage of the faster speeds capable on 5ghz networks. That’s the boat I’m in with some of my older desktop computers and my original, launch day PlayStation 4. These sadly are only capable of connecting through the slower 2.4ghz bands and while using a LAN cable would surely be better for these, I have these set up in locations where I can’t just run a cable to the router. That’s where something like the Zyxel G.hn Powerline PLA6456 network adapters comes into play. These allow you to take advantage of your home’s existing power outlets and transform them into a high-speed network.

For starters, I’ve used Powerline Adapters before, but on the HomePlug AV2 standard. This standard can hypothetically hit Gigabit 1000 Mbps transmitting speed. However, that isn’t really the case through most of my testing with it, even though I’m on gigabit fiber. At most, I’m hitting around only 20 Mbps max on my desktop as well as on my PS4 when running a speed test. This isn’t terrible however and is pretty good for what I need, however it could be faster, and it is with the G.hn standard.

The Zyxel G.hn Powerline PLA6456 isn’t standard G.hn adapter however. It is based on the new Wave 2 standard which means a hypothetical max speed of 2400 Mbps. Basically, all you need to know is that it’s faster and much, much faster than what the old HomePlug AV2 standard is.

Zyxel PLA6456

Like a normal HomePlus Adapter, the Zyxel G.hn Powerline PLA6456 installs with very little effort. Plug one into an outlet near your modem/router and connect your modem/router into the Ethernet jack at the bottom. Then take the other adapter and place it anywhere in your home that needs a cabled Internet connection. It’s that simple. You don’t have to configure anything like you would with a WiFi connection and it’s pretty much entirely plug-n-play. I also love the fact that there is a power plug pass through so you don’t end up losing use of a plug.

Now in terms of speed tests, what I will say is that my experience is going to differ from your experience with this. There are a lot of variables that can affect speeds and I don’t believe that any two homes are the same. All I can tell you is that my current Internet provider is AT&T and I’m on their 1gb Fiber network. With that said, below is the speed test using my old HomePlug AV2 adapter and below that is the speed from the Zyxel unit.

Zyxel PLA6456
HomePlug AV2


Zyxel PLA6456
Zyxel PLA6456

As you can see, the speed difference is pretty huge in my case. I ran these tests several times just to make sure I was getting about the same results each time. Again, your results will vary, but it’s plain to see that you’re going to get much better speeds with this G.hn adapter than you will with the older HomePlug AV2 one.

The only downside I see with using a G.hn certified devices is that if you own older HomePlug AV2 devices, they aren’t compatible with this, so if you were using a bunch of these before, you’ll need to replace them when using the Zyxel G.hn Powerline PLA6456. However, it is possible to use them both at once if you have one of each plug type hooked up directly to your router. That means one port is connected to a HomePlug AV2 adapter while another port is plugged into the Zyxel G.hn Powerline PLA6456. This is how I have my powerline network set up right now to make use of both standards.

The Zyxel G.hn Powerline PLA6456 is exactly what I needed to boost my home network speeds, especially with my devices that don’t have the option of connecting to my 5ghz WiFi network. This is a great solution for those with older desktops as well as gaming consoles. With that said, if I ever need more adaptors or want to replace older ones, I’ll definitely be looking for ones that features the G.hn Wave 2 standard, like the Zyxel G.hn Powerline PLA6456.

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