I first purchased a Solwise 50Mbps AV HomePlug about 10 years ago. I was living in the UK in a 3 storey terraced house with three other gadget hungry lads with broadband, TV and phone supplied by Virgin Media.
I needed a better connection for Xbox Live and movie streaming.
The Wi-Fi worked in my first floor room but it wasn't great. I looked to extend the range of the Wi-Fi using a better router, a larger Wi-Fi antenna and other poor efforts before I became aware of the 'HomePlug'. The technology was not widely available at the time and the buy felt like a gamble. I purchased the cheapest wired HomePlug pair available which was about £70 for a 50Mbps AV HomePlug.
I plugged one end into a Virgin Super Hub router with the provided Ethernet cable and the other into my Windows PC. The PC was even connected to the power socket using a 10m 4-way extension. Initially I thought this may challenge the HomePlug signal but... It didn't.
The PC usually picked up an IP within 20 secs or so and returned a stable, reliable fast connection. Similarly, I had an Xbox 360 connected using a 50Mbps HomePlug and in 5 or 6 years didn't have a single connection issue.
The Solwise 200AV HomePlug Adapter
The comparable product in today's money would be the Solwise 200AV HomePlug Adapter available for just £12. This lower price point suggests a lot more competition on the market these days but I've never had any reason to change supplier. In fact, I did once try an alternative but the unit over-heated and had to be replaced. When a unit fails it is a complex problem to identify. The first thing you'll notice is that your PC is not connecting to the network for which there is many reasons before you consider changing the HomePlug. Now the first thing I do when experiencing connection issues is to reset the HomePlug.
I would happily recommend Solwise 200AV HomePlug Adapter for anyone with connectivity issues at home. In fact in my new house I now use 2 x 500AV HomePlug Adapter with Selectable Dual-Band 11n Wi-Fi and 2 x Solwise 500AV HomePlug Adapter to connect desktop, laptop, Xbox One and extend the Wi-Fi coverage for mobile devices. I have the devices an even distance apart so the Wi-Fi connection appears pervasive. That is, the device moves from the router connection to the connection of the Wi-Fi HomePlug depending on which room you are in.
Real World Performance
The quality of the wired or Wi-Fi signal is obviously dependant on the electrical circuits in your house. It is possible that with both houses I have just got lucky but Solwise does offer a few simple guidelines on the performance of the HomePlug - http://www.solwise.co.uk/net-powerline-real-world-performance.htm
> Solwise 200AV HomePlug Adapter
> 500AV HomePlug Adapter Dual-Band 11n Wi-Fi
> Solwise 500AV HomePlug Adapter