German manufacturer Devolo wants to reintroduce U.S. consumers to powerline networking. But it’s not using the HomePlug AV2 standard you might be familiar with from 10 years ago. Devolo’s Magic 2 series of products is based on the ITU G.hn standard that’s more widely popular in Europe. Devolo is also launching a series of hybrid devices that use both powerline networking and mesh Wi-Fi to blanket a home with coverage.
The basic technology isn’t radically different from HomePlug: You’ll plug one component into an outlet near your router and connect the two using an ethernet cable. You’ll plug a second and subsequent adapters into any other outlets in your home where you need network coverage. The one component connected to your router can support up to eight adapters. Depending on which kit you buy, the second and subsequent adapters will have one, two, or three gigabit ethernet ports for hardwired connections, and some will also function as Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) access points in a mesh network.