WD Livewire Powerline Networking Kit

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Test System #1:

Test System #2:

Networking Equipment:

File Transfer Suite:

  • Small Files: 1,250 small HTML, JPEG, and MP3 files totaling 871MB.
  • Large Files: Four large AVI files totaling 4194MB.

Testing consists of timed transfers of two sets of files between the test systems connected on the network in varying conditions. To prevent any drive bottlenecks we used two of the fastest desktop hard drives on the market, the WD VelociRaptor 600GB and the Seagate Barracuda 3TB.


The Livewire is essentially plug and play; the software provided is fairly simply, used primarily for diagnostic purposes, similar to the utilities included with wireless networking adapters.

The Diagnostic tab provides such information as the MAC address, network name, and firmware revision of the Livewire adapter. Additional powerline adapters connected to the network are displayed along with their rated speed. Under best conditions the utility reported 150 mbps but during testing we witnessed it going as low as 60 mbps. In either scenario the actual speeds were considerably lower.

For extra security, you can segregate the adapters onto their own private network. This is in addition to the inherent advantage of a wired network --- without physical access it is impossible to be broken into. WiFi encryption on the otherhand is hackable, even with the best encryption protocols available.

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