WD Livewire

Powerline AV Network Kit
Model: WDBABY0000NBK
Author: Jani 'Japala' Pönkkö
Published: 14.10.2010
Manufacturer: Western Digital
Product Group: Networking
In English In English
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WD Livewire - Powerline AV Network Kit


In use


WD Livewire - Powerline AV Network Kit

WD Livewire should have a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 200 megabits per second. As the graph above shows, the transfer speed on my appartment, with about 7 meters between the units (same mains line, same fuse) the speed was around 24.6 megabits per second. I still had the original cat5 wire installed and tested the same file with it and got the transfer speed of a 113.6 megabits per second (network interface on the laptop was 100 Mbps).

The reason why a single machine transferring a file from the other end only received such a low number is hidden inside the adapter. It is actually the way the HomePlug AV works that makes the files move so "slowly" or at least slower than advertised.

As you may remember, there was a Realtek's 10/100 Mbps chip inside the adapter. This alone limits the speed of a single ethernet port to a theoretical speed of a 100 megabits per second. The advertised 200 Mbps actually a speed that the two adapter can talk to each others. This means that you can run all the four ports at the same time and they all divide that 200 Mbps bandwidth together. But in any case, single port can get only the maximum of 100 megabits per second and in real life test not even near that. Sneaky advertising if you ask me...


  • Silent
  • Four ports per adapter
  • Low power consumption
  • Easy to install
  • Power switch

  • CONS 
  • Speed
  • Connectors on the sides
  • Price (?)
  • Award
    Silver Award!

    I'm sure many people will find this product interesting. It makes it so easy to add a connection between different rooms and floors in the building and in some cases even outside (a garage, workshop etc.).

    Even if you have an existing ethernet cable drawn between the rooms, you might still want to give the WD Livewire a chance as it offer four ethernet ports for your devices on both ends. And if your needs change, it is so much easier to move one adapter to a different room than start moving the existing ethernet cabling and the switches.

    The speed that we got in our test is enough to stream all your 1080p HD material but not something that you would want to use to transfer larger files between computers, digital video recorders etc. All in all, a worthy kit to anyone needing to expand their network.

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    Additional Information

    Western Digital

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