Hands On: Plaster Networks PLN3 Powerline AV Ethernet Adapter

A few weeks ago, I published an article discussing my latest acquisition, a Linksys PLK300 powerline adapter.  It was not exactly a review as much as it was a discussion about my personal experience with it.

Today, I take a look at another powerline Ethernet adapter solution, Plaster Networks PLN3 Powerline AV Ethernet adapter.


Like the Linksys device, the PLN3 is a 200 Mbps powerline kit with a more “traditional” power brick type design.  Each adapter does come with 2 Ethernet ports thus giving one an increased capacity of 3 ports.

The Company

Per my norm, I always like to know a little about whom I am dealing with.

Plaster Networks provides local area networking (LAN) solutions designed to deliver reliable, high-performance connections over existing wiring. The company develops advanced hardware and software technologies for low-cost, high speed networks in the home or small office. Plaster Networks’ vision is to bring home networking to the mass market by automating or eliminating the complexities inherent in maintaining reliable connections, at the same time dramatically reducing support requirements. As a result, the company delivers a cost-effective platform to enable a myriad of high-value services that require consistent, high-performance network connectivity: video streaming, IPTV, remote home patient care, home automation, online gaming, and more.

About the Founder

Paul Baran is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur widely known as the inventor of packet switching, the foundation technology for the Internet. Based on his technology ideas over the years, he has started eight ventures, of which five went public and three reached a market cap exceeding $1 billion each. He is an IEEE Life Fellow, an Inductee of the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He recently received the Presidential National Medal for Technology and Innovation.

If you wish to learn a bit more about Paul, this Wikipedia article is a very short primer.  Very impressive credentials for an individual!

Regarding Plaster Networks, the company is in its first year of existence.  When comparing Plaster Networks (12 employees) and Linksys, we are truly comparing David vs. Goliath.  These devices first started shipping in October.

The Unboxing

Before I get to the actual unboxing, I simply had to include a pre-unboxing picture.


I have never received a parcel like this one until today.  The picture was not taken for the review; it was taken just in case I had damaged contents.

But it does make a nice “UPS advert of the day”, right?

Back to business…

The PLN3 adapter comes in a 5” x 6” x 3” heavy-duty cardboard box.  Heavy-duty to withstand the abuses of UPS!


Inside you will find what appears to be a power brick, an Ethernet cable

pn3 pn4 pn5

and a bit of documentation.


Please note that there is no dedicated sender and receiver.  Connect one adapter to your router/switch.  Plug cables from your connected devices into a second adapter.  Use it!  If I were to have a separate Installation section, those four sentences would be it.


  1. Hi. I believe that the reason you saw 100 on your NIC is that although these adapters claim 200 mbits, they only have 10/100 ports on them. So…. They only interface with the rest of your network at speeds of 100.

  2. I suspect that they say 200Mbs because the ports are 100 Mbs "full duplex". Ethernet is 10Meg, 100Meg, or 1000Meg (aka 1Gig).


  3. FYI…..Every circuit in your house is connected to the breaker pannel…..you would have no power a circuit that did not connect to it. I'm not familiar with how the powerline adaptors work but the panel uses two seperate phases from the transformer comming into the house so you might have a problem if one computer was plugged into one phase and the other computer was on the second phase similar to X10 devices. They make a signal bridge (repeater) for X10 devices that fixes the problem. That being said, seems like it worked fine. Thanks for the review!

  4. I have struggled with Homeplug assorted in my 10 year old house for years. I have spent hundreds of dollars on devices from Iogear, Actiontec, Zyxel, Netgear and Linksys. All suffered from constant link breakdowns and were unable to reestablish without being reset (power cycled!). Many outlets would never work at all. I bought 4 PNA3’s. They have worked flawlessly for over a week. Excellent data rates and no drops or disconnects. I even tested with the old devices in the same double outlet. They still do not work, but the PNA3 do. I had given up on Homeplug and used Actiontech coax assorted, which are reliable. But I don’t have coax all over my house. Plaster Networks has a product that just works out of the box, and they have fantastic support ( evening answering my tough questions on competing products long before I made a purchase). They have restored my faith in what has previously been a flaky and undeniable technology. I give the the highest recommendation!

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