powerline
Gift Guide 2008
Gaming

Review: Corinex GameNet powerline networking kit

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A little about me; I don’t like the word “buffering” to be quite honest with you. It’s not the word itself, it’s that I used to see that word all the time when I’d try to use my Xbox 360 to stream HD videos from my PC.

As this is a review of a powerline networking product, I’m happy to report that said product – the Corinex GameNet – works really well. If you want to get the Ethernet experience on your gaming console without having to run wires all over your house then the GameNet is a solid option, especially if you’re concerned about lag.

Overview and Features

Setup involves plugging the two powerline modules into separate outlets and then plugging Ethernet cables into each one. Really easy stuff here. I plugged the one next to my router into a surge protector and everything still worked as planned. The one behind the TV was plugged directly into the wall outlet, like so…

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After getting everything set up and before bringing my Xbox 360 online, I did some informal speed testing using my computer’s web browser to see how fast I could surf. Corinex promotes the GameNet kit as “4x Faster Than Wireless” and I found that it wasn’t four times faster than MY wireless but it was indeed faster. In fact, it was somehow even faster than a direct connection between my computer and my router.

That’s right: if I had my computer plugged directly into my router, I got about 1,580 kbps down for my internet connection. When my computer was plugged into the GameNet module, I got almost 1,800 kpbs down. Go figure. I retested each connection three times and always got the same results. My wireless connection ran at about 1,350 kbps down, so the GameNet was definitely faster although it wasn’t four times faster. However, streaming video from my PC to my Xbox 360 was way, way better with the GameNet. I’d been using a wireless connection before and it involved a lot of waiting and swearing. This time around, there was no buffering, no sputtering, no disconnecting, no nothing. It just worked.

Pros

  • Corinex promises two-minute installation. It didn’t even take that long. Plug one module in next to your router and run an Ethernet cable into it, plug the other module into an Ethernet cord coming out of your console.
  • It works when plugged into surge protectors.
  • It’s not just for consoles. You can use the kit for computers or anything else that uses an Ethernet connection.
  • I’ve been using this kit for online gaming and streaming HD videos and it hasn’t hiccupped, sputtered, burped, barfed, or otherwise stumbled once.
  • Relatively inexpensive at around $130 on Amazon.

Cons

  • It’s about $100 more expensive than buying a super long Ethernet cable and discovering the satisfaction of DIY home improvement as it pertains to punching holes in your walls and running connections all over your house. Granted, that sort of thing is definitely NOT for everyone and could very easily end up costing you far more than $130 if you make too many mistakes.

Also, this isn’t really a con but I’m not sure how the GameNet would perform on an old, crappy wiring system. The guy who owns my building happens to be a local electrician with a pretty good reputation, so my place is wired really well. I’m not saying the GameNet wouldn’t be just as good, I’m just saying to keep that in mind if you live somewhere with old and/or poor wiring. That’s been one of the arguments against powerline networking in the past. Just saying, is all.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to get a powerline networking kit, the Corinex GameNet is a sure thing. The $130 price tag isn’t too bad, either, as far as these things go. The super easy setup and “just works” reliability make the GameNet a solid purchase.

Product Page [Amazon.com]

Product Page [Corinex.com]

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