There are many ways now to network your home and some are easier than others. Small homes are the easiest since most of the time, you’ll only need to rely on your Wi-Fi router to get good connections. If your home is larger, you may find that WiFi won’t cover your whole home and you’ll end up having tons of dead areas. Also, in larger homes, if you have devices that need Internet but don’t have Wi-Fi, the last thing you want to do is run cables everywhere. So what are your options? In my experience, these two options so far have been the best for me and that’s Powerline adaptors and Mesh WiFi. So what if, you could combine the two? That’s what Devolo has done with the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi Next which also works in conjunction with their Devolo Magic 2 LAN.
Let’s start with the Devolor Magic 2 WiFi Next because that’s their flagship product. You can either purchase it as a single unit or as a Starter Kit or the Whole Home Wi-Fi Kit. We got the Whole Home Wi-Fi Kit which included 2xMagic 2 WiFi Next adaptors and 1xMagic 2 LAN adaptor. So what makes this kit unique is that it is both a Powerline adaptor and a Mesh Wi-Fi system in one.
How this works is as follows. The one Magic 2 LAN adaptor gets plugged into where your router sits with a LAN cable attached to the router. This acts as the brain for the whole system. Next would be the Magic 2 WiFi Next adaptors. You want to place them about 30ft apart from each other such as in different rooms or different floors. While plugged into the power outlet, they function as Powerline adaptors for devices that might need a LAN connection. These have two LAN ports so you can use up to two devices like this on each unit.
Of course, the “magic” here comes from the included mesh network that can be formed using Multi-User MIMO technology and Access Point Steering. Basically what this means is that as you move through your home, your device will connect to the strongest Wi-Fi signal automatically so it’ll connect to whatever one of your adaptors has the strongest signal at the time. That’s basically how Mesh systems work and it works pretty well.
Setup is also pretty simple and just requires that you sync up devices to the original device that is connected to your router. It’s a simple process that just requires a couple of button presses. You can mix and match any of these Devolo adaptors so if you have a really large house, just purchase more of the units you need.
In terms of actual usage, Powerline speeds are about as expected. In my home, they’re about as fast as any other one I’ve used in the past. Meaning, even though speeds on these can theoretically hit 2000Mbps, that’s not really what you’re going to get. There are a ton of factors that can determine actual speeds and even if you have gig-Internet, you’re not going to get those speeds most likely. Instead, what you’ll get are steady, consistent speeds throughout your whole home. Speeds will vary from home to home and in my case, I was getting anything between 40Mbps to around 90Mbps.
It’s a different story with the Wi-Fi though as you’ll be getting much better speeds there. With the mesh WiFi active, I get roughly around 300-400Mbps around the house which is good, since we normally get less than that in some parts. The only way I get more is if I’m literally standing in front of my WiFi router, so I’m happy with these results.
An interesting aspect of these Devolo adaptors is the fact that they seem to go into a kind of sleep mode when not in use. I noticed that units not being used after a period of time will disappear from the network and the lights on these units will turn off. As soon as someone connects to one of these units, however, all the lights will come back on and the unit will reappear on the network. This seems to be a feature that can be set in the app as either standby mode or power-saving mode.
Speaking of which, you’ll want to download the Devolo app. It’s called Home Network and it’s available for Android and iOS. The app is simple to use and will let you customize all aspects of the network, such as tuning the Mesh WiFi network, Powerline network, and renaming of adaptors. You’ll be able to see the entire network at a glance as well as the devices connected to them. What I like is that you don’t even have to register or create a login. It just works as soon as you install it. You’ll want to play around with this app because there are a lot of settings you can play with.
With that said, Devolo has a really great system here with their Magic 2 WiFi Next and Magic 2 LAN adaptors. Whether you want to build a Mesh WiFi network or one run on a Powerline or a combination of both, Devolo has you covered. I’m a fan of how flexible the devices are and how easy they are to set up. So if you live in a large home with spotty Wi-Fi, the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi Next and Magic 2 LAN are a great solution to a problem many of us have.
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