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

Belkin gigabit powerline adapter firmware upgrade “increases the bandwidth”

Posted on: July 15, 2009

Last week, I sent an email into Belkin technical support asking for more information on the firmware upgrade for the Gigabit powerline adapter (F5D4076).

Today, about a week after I filed the tech support request — hmm, maybe the company and Verizon share customer values — I received a response.  The firmware upgrade “increases the bandwidth.” End of story.

In real world terms, this is water under the bridge, I installed the beta-labeled firmware a couple of days after sending the email to Belkin tech support, but haven’t had a chance to retest the adapters to see what the difference might be. *sigh*

My current dilemma is to either A) Go buy another two pack of Belkin adapters and run all my devices as such or B) Trash them, and go back to the Netgear 85 Mbps wall-plugged bridges.

The Belkin devices do perform better than the Netgear bridges, but the Netgear devices 1) Have four 10/100 Ethernet ports and 2) Brighter/more visible LEDs for device operation.  The F5D4076 has its status lights behind black tint plastic — looks good, but the uncovered LEDs on the Netgear are much easier to read at a glance.

Does the Belkin Gigabit powerline adapter perform faster/better than the Cisco 200 Mbps AV powerline ? Dunno. Anyone want to swap a couple of NetGear 85 Mbps bridges for a pair? 🙂


2 Responses to "Belkin gigabit powerline adapter firmware upgrade “increases the bandwidth”"

Did you test the performance with the latest firmware?

Let me “copy & paste” something I already posted on some other thread somewhere.

Right now, there are two powerline “no-standards” out there, one that (for some reason) is more popular in America (the so called “Homeplug”) and another one outselling the former in Europe (the so called “UPA-compliant devices”).

Both specifications cover 200Mpbs powerline speeds (and cannot talk to each other).

This new device from Belkin is a “Homeplug” based device (up to 200Mpbs) plus a “even-less” standarized anex that allows “in theory” speeds up to 1Gbps using a different (and bigger) band of the spectrum.

This is nothing but a marketing trick. The chipset inside those Belkin devices was developed by “Gigle” (a newcomer to the powerline game). You can check their webpage ( to understand how the “1Gpbs” trick works. Basically (even if they don’t tell you this with these words): they are sacrifying coverage for speed.

This means you get higher speeds on fewer places (only those who are very close one to another, basicaly in the same room).

Indeed (they don’t hide this fact) their technology is focused towards “in-room” network extension (now… why would anyone want to use 100$+ powerline devices instead of a gigabit ethernet cable to connect two devices IN THE SAME ROOM is yet to be known…)

In short. Do NOT expect to reach places you were not able to reach with the 200Mpbs Homeplug devices.

The “real” 1 Gpbs speed together WITH A GOOD COVERAGE won’t arrive until 2010, with the ITU Gh.n specification (there are major parties pushing for this almost-finished spec… being Intel one of them).

Anyway… for your particular case I would buy these from D-Link:

They are “UPA-compliant devices” that offer a much better coverage for media center extension. These are the ones I’m using myself after checking that there was no way I could send the signal over wifi or any “Homeplug” powerline device.

Right now I can stream HDTV from my room to the living room with no problems.

Hope this helps 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: