Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Nexus Link GPL-2000PT Powerline Kit Review: A Slow Cord-cutting Time Saver

Nexus Link GPL 2000PT 1
The Nexus Link GPL 2000PT kit includes two identical adapters. Note the pass-through sockets.

The Nexus Link GPL-2000PT-KIT is a testament that Powerline is still relevant today.

Sure, I’ve been recommending folks to run network cables of late. That’s the only way to truly get the best home network in this age of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G. But for certain homes with a modest broadband speed, Powerline adapters can still be a viable, time-saving alternative.

For a cost of around $110 for a kit of two (or $60 for a single unit), this new adapter sure will conveniently extend your wired network to a place you can’t run a network cable or out of your router’s Wi-Fi range.

And it’ll do that in (close to) an instant. All you have to do is plug it in. So it will work out. It’s just a matter of how well. And in that sense, don’t expect the world.

Nexuslink GPL-2000PT-KIT Wave 2 G.hn Powerline Adapter Kit

$109.99
7

Performance

6.5/10

Features

6.5/10

Design and Setup

8.0/10

Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Plug-n-play design
  • Pass-through socket
  • Short boot-up time

Cons

  • Slow performance
  • Bulky design
  • No web interface, software, or user manual

Nexus Link GPL-2000PT: A slow performer in a convenient, albeit bulky, design

The Nexus Link GPL-2000PT is a large straightforward snap-on plug, measuring 5.50 x 2.75 x 1.54 in (140 x 70 x 39 mm) when you don’t count the prongs. The good news is when plugged into the wall, and you’ll note right away that there’s a passthrough socket on top. So you can reuse the receptacles it occupies.

The adapter is so thick, though, you’ll still have a hard time finding a good place for it, especially in a tight corner. And if you have a multi-outlet wallplate, be prepared to lose at least one adjacent socket. However, that’s the case with most powerline adapters.

Nexus Link GPL 2000PT 8
The Nexus Link GPL 2000PT powerline adapter works right away when you plug it into a wall socket.

Nexus Link GPL-2000PT: Hardware specifications

Technically, the Nexus Link GPL-2000PT features the latest Powerline standard with up to 2000Mbps of networking speeds between adapters. However, that number doesn’t mean much, considering it has a 1Gbps network port, which is the cap of its networking output.

But even then, considering the nature of Powerline, it’s safe to say you won’t get even close to 1Gbps. At best, you’ll get only half of that — more below.

Some oddities

Out of the package, I noted right away that the adapters look different from the picture shown on the box itself. Specifically, there’s no Nexus Link logo on the front. The adapters themselves look polished and feel solid, however.

Another thing is Nexus Link says you can manage the adapter via “web interface” but there was none I could find, nor was there any software or manual to download.

By the way, the package only includes a Quick Install Guide poster, and Nexus Link (formerly Comtrend)’s support website is just a contact page. So don’t expect any help. Chances are, though, you won’t need any.

Instant plug-n-play

The GPL-2000PT comes in a kit of two (model GPL-2000PT-KIT). That’s because you need at least two adapters to form the first Powerline connection.

READ NOW:  No Wi-Fi at that Corner? Maybe Consider a Pair of Powerline Adapters

All you have to do is plug them both into a wall socket, then connect the first one to your router (via a network cable). Now connect your wired device to the other, and you’re all set. In fact, the time you spent reading this paragraph is about all it’d take to get your network extended.

Indeed, in my testing, the two adapters worked almost instantly when I plugged them in. So if you want to move the far adapter from one power socket to another, that’d take just a second or two for the connection to be re-established.

So with the kit, there’s nothing to setting it up at all. However, if you get an additional adapter, you’ll need to sync them up. And in this case, there’s a security button on the right side that helps link them securely via AES 128 bits encryption.

Nexus Link GPL-2000PT: Detail photos

Nexus Link GPL 2000PT Box
The Nexus Link GPL 2000PT KIt’s retail box.

Nexus Link GPL 2000PT 3
Each adapter comes with a 1Gbps network port. Note the missing logo.

Nexus Link GPL 2000PT 5
The front and back sides of the Nexus Link GPL-2000PT adapter.

Nexus Link GPL 2000PT 6
On the left side, the Nexus Link GPL 2000PT has a Security sync and reset buttons.

Nexus Link GPL 2000PT 10
The first Nexus Link GPL-2000PT in action. Note how large the adapter is. The network cable (bottom) connects to an existing network, like a router.

Nexus Link GPL 2000PT 9
Here’s at the other end of the connection. You just need to plugged a wired device (in this case my laptop) into the 2nd adapter.

Convenient design

Powerline is tricky in terms of how far you can place the adapters from each other. That’s because we don’t know how the wiring is behind the walls. To help with this, the GPL-2000PT has a bunch of LED status light on top, including:

  • Power: This shows the power status, it’s solid green when the adapter is plugged in.
  • Connection: The network link status on quality between the adapter via the electrical wiring. Green means you have a fast connection (supposedly 40Mbps or faster). Orange: between 5Mbps and 40Mbps. Red: below 5Mbps. Off: There’s no link.
  • Security: Green: All is good. Blinking green: Sync is being established. Off: The link between adapters are not encrypted.
  • Ethernet: Green: Connection established. Flashing green: Data activities.

And in my testing, these lights worked as intended. You can count on them to figure out what’s going on. Well, almost.

Nexus Link GPL-2000PT: Comparatively slow performance

The Connection light proved to be a bit of an exaggeration. During my testing, it showed solid green almost all the time, and I could never get a sustained speed between the two of 40Mbps. So this adapter kit is quite slow, for its specs, that is.

Like all Powerline adapters, the GPL-2000PT-KIT’s performance fluctuated depending on where I place the 2nd adapter around my home. There are things with the wiring behind the walls that you can’t see.

Nexus Link GPL 2000PT Powerline Performance Chart
Nexus Link GPL 2000PT Powerline Performance Chart

But the kit sure worked, and I never got a speed lower than 5Mbps, either, which was quite impressive considering I have an old house with several junction boxes — some kits I’ve tested didn’t work at all at certain locations.

By the way, generally, you need to plug a Powerline adapter directly into a wall socket. I tried the GPL-2000PT with powerstrips, and it worked, but in this case, the connection speed was cut in half.

On the other side of the speed spectrum, when I use the adapters within my newly wired office purposely to get the best performance out of it, the GPL-2000PT-KIT didn’t wow me. The sustained speed was always lower than 40Mbps (or 320Mbps).

That’s not super-slow but slower than many other kits I’ve tested, including those of lesser Powerline specs, as you can see on the chart above. Throughput speeds aside, though, I used the kit for more than a week with no problems. So the kid is reliable. And that’s something.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a convenient way to extend your wired network for a modest broadband connection, the Nexus Link GPL-2000PT-KIT will work out well. Its ease of use and convenient design alone will make the investment worthwhile.

Considering the slow sustained speeds, though, use it only when you don’t need a high-performing network. And even then, don’t get more than one kit, even though you can use a dozen adapters or so to form a Powerline network, per the G.hn standard.

6 thoughts on “Nexus Link GPL-2000PT Powerline Kit Review: A Slow Cord-cutting Time Saver”

  1. My experience is that Powerline works well if both adapters are on the same circuit i.e. connected to the same fuse or circuit breaker. Otherwise there is, as Dong notes for power strips, a large speed loss. That said, there are two alternatives that often make more sense: cables where possible and wireless wherever cables are difficult to install.
    Powerful routers make wireless connections increasingly feasible, although possibly somewhat anti-social if you live in an apartment or condominium unit. Even there cooperative neighbors might be able to agree on who uses what frequencies and channels.

    Reply
  2. Dong, I did not see a logo from UL, ETL-Intertek, or any other third-party safety testing agency on the unit label (where it must be). While third-party safety testing is not required to be sold in the US and Canada, many retailers and Amazon require it. I did find some other similar equipment listed on UL’s certificate search site, like these:
    Powerline Ethernet Adapter, Model(s) PG-9172PoEv2, PG-9172PT, PG-9172v2, PowerGrid 9172PoE
    Perhaps they were still in testing when launching the product or it failed and they decided to proceed.
    Given this and the slow performance, would you consider give it a ‘no recommendation’?

    Reply
  3. Anyone that’s ACTUALLY USED AND TESTED a powerline kit knows that:
    1. needing a physical wall plug is a hassle
    2. locating them are an extreme hassle.
    3. if you pull the lan cable out of either powerline adapter, the scr inside tha adapter fails, now you need a new kit.

    you don’t have enough experience with networking to be charging people for reading your column!

    Reply
    • Not sure what you mean by “anyone,” Tim.

      1. You’re right. I did mention that in this post (link was in this review, too.)
      2. A bit of exaggeration here.
      3. This is just false unless you damage the adapter in the process.

      This makes me laugh. (I’m still waiting for your payment!) Thanks for the rant. 🙂

      Reply

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