Doug on IP Comm – An independent voice on VoIP, telecom, and IP Communication

Belkin plays catchup on gigabit powerline networking adapter

Posted on: July 6, 2009

Hello! Belkin! Hello!

I have been encouraged by my more recent speed tests with the Belkin gigabit powerline network adapter, but the company is still playing catchup in terms of its support issues, me thinks.

On July 1, Belkin posted a “beta” firmware upgrade for the F5D4076 … but doesn’t tell you what the firmware is supposed to fix/improve on the Gigabit adapter. No documentation or release notes, just an .exe to download and run.  And the Mac and Linux crowd will be ticked because you need a Windows box to run the firmware upgrader… but they should be used to that by now.

Running the package installs the Belkin “upgrader” with three little icons; one starts the flash for the firm ware, one is a blue “I” giving the version — a most reassuring v0.6.0, and and an exit icon.  I’d like to know more before I flash it in.

FYI, the CD shipped with the device only provides a user’s manual. As I noted before, the NetGear guys provided a software client to access its 85 Mbps Powerline bridges to give you an idea about actual speed connections without having to stare at the blinky lights on the outside of the box.

ANOTHER improvement both Belkin and NetGear could provide is a speed utility to test throughput between devices both from device to network and peer-to-peer between devices.  Doubly so for Belkin, since they’re bragging Gigabit speeds under some optimum configuration setup I have yet to witness.

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7 Responses to "Belkin plays catchup on gigabit powerline networking adapter"

[…] Comment! UPDATE: Belkin has issued a firmwire update for its Gigabit powerline adapter — but it is beta and there are no release no…. […]

Hi, there.
What about the in-room powerline test? How much speed did you get?

Getting 30-40 Mbps from the 50Mbps cable modem was quite awesome, but … what about RAW speed between two in-room computers ??

Thanks 🙂

Haven’t had a chance to run in-room tests yet for two reasons: 1) Need to install the *gulp* beta firmware upgrade and 2) Get a solid P2P testing protocol between machines.

Looking at later this week, if disaster doesn’t strike.

Well… the way we test that kind of things here is by using iperf. It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Check these URLs:

* http://www.noc.ucf.edu/Tools/Iperf/default.htm
* http://sourceforge.net/projects/iperf/

Once installed on both PCs, you can run the following tests (one for TCP and another one for UDP):

TCP
====
On PC#1 (server): iperf -s -w 128k -i 1
On PC#2 (client): iperf -c -w 128k -i 1 -t 60

UDP
====
On PC#1 (server): iperf -s -u -i 1
On PC#2 (client): iperf -c -u -b 300M -i 1 -t 60

It would be nice if you could post the results 🙂

John, can you email me directly at moo@vegascommando.com?

I’ve got iperf loaded and running, but the client can’t seem to find the server; do I have to specify a server name/address/port?

I’ll give it another go later today..

Ups… I forgot the IP address in those commands. I just emailed you the details. In short:

On PC#1 (server): iperf -s -w 128k -i 1
On PC#2 (client): iperf -c 192.168.x.x -w 128k -i 1 -t 60

where 192.168.x.x is the IP of PC#1

[…] I’m not quite sure what it fixes, because Belkin’s support page doesn’t say and the firmware upgrade is labeled beta.  I emailed an inquiry earlier this week to Belkin tech support– it’s been at least a […]

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