Siemens SpeedStream Ethernet Powerline Adapter - Practically Networked Home Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation
Welcome to PractiallyNetworked
Product Reviews

 • Routers
 • Hubs/Switches
 • Wireless Gateway
 • Wireless AP
 • Wireless NIC
 • Network Storage
 • Print Servers
 • Bluetooth Adapters
& Tutorials

 • Networking
 • Internet Sharing
 • Security
 • Backgrounders
 • Troubleshooting

 • PracNet How To's
User Opinions
Practicallynetworked Glossary

 Find a Network Term  

  Most Popular Tutorials

• Microsoft Vista Home Networking Setup and Options
The most daunting part of upgrading to Windows Vista may be trying to figure out where in the layers of menus the networking and file-sharing options are hidden.

• Do It Yourself: Roll Your Own Network Cables
It may not be something you do everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a network cable on the spot can be very handy.

• Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router and by extension, your network is as secure as possible.

  Most Popular Reviews

• Microsoft Windows Home Server
If you have a home network, you'll welcome the easy file sharing, remote access and the image-based backup features of Windows Home Server.

• Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive
Iomega's fourth generation StorCenter Network Hard Drive brings many of the features found in higher-end storage devices down to an attractive price.

• MikroTik's The Dude
This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.

 Siemens SpeedStream Ethernet Powerline Adapter

 Author: Joseph Moran
 Review Date: 2/10/2003

Model Number: SS2502 ($99)


  • Compact wall-wart design
  • Great performance


  • Ethernet cable is too short

Like most HomePlug products, the Speedstream SS2205 Powerline to Ethernet Adapter shares many things in common with its competitors. It has a speed rating of 14 Mbps, supports 56-bit DES encryption for security and privacy, and is compatible with the HomePlug 1.0 specification. That being the case, it looks like Siemens is seeking to differentiate itself in product design, as it is the only HomePlug adapter out of the four I've looked at that is a self-contained unit that plugs directly into the wall -- no power cord needed.

This form factor is great for any place where desk space is at a premium. Since any HomePlug device is going to plug into a power outlet anyway, why not put everything into a compact brick format? The device measures about 3" long, 2" wide, and 1" thick, and all of the requisite indicator lights reside on the front of the unit (though admittedly, you're not likely to be able to see them from where you're sitting). The bottom of the device sports the RJ-45 port.

Installation of the SpeedStream adapters was quick and painless -- because they're bridge devices, no drivers are necessary. It would be nice if the product came with a CAT5 Ethernet cable longer than 3 ft. The fact that the adapter hugs the wall probably necessitates at least a 6 or 7 foot cable, in my opinion.

Another differentiating feature is the software that comes with the SpeedStream. Whereas many HomePlug products come with no software or minimalist applications that do little more than let you specify a password, the SS2502 comes with a useful configuration utility that reports the link quality and an approximate throughput level of your Powerline network (as well as letting you set the encryption password). The SpeedStream software is compatible with any version of Windows beginning with Windows 98 SE, but it's not compatible with the MacOS.

To test performance, I linked two notebooks together using the SS2502 Ethernet adapters (a USB version is also available). The computers were several rooms apart (about 40 feet and on the same floor) and were plugged directly into wall outlets rather than surge protectors. Like most vendors, SpeedStream reminded me that surge protectors could hider performance and aren't even necessary since surge protector technology is integrated into each unit. In the event of a power surge, the SS2502 will take a bullet, but the computer it's connected to will remain unmolested.

The performance of the SS2502 was almost as good as any HomePlug product I've seen to date. With TCP throughput rates of 5.6 Mbps and UDP throughput of 4.6 Mbps, it was just about on par with the equivalent Netgear HomePlug adapter, which provided only slightly better performance. Response time and streaming performance were excellent as well.

Even though the chances of encountering problems either during installation or afterwards are probably remote, it's worth noting that SpeedStream provides a toll free technical support line. Also, the product is covered by a one year warranty, which SpeedStream will double if you take the time to register the product with them.

Of course, to set up a HomePlug network or add a HomePlug segment to an existing wired or wireless network, you need at least two Powerline adapters. However, SpeedStream is now offering routers and WLAN access points that incorporate HomePlug devices, potentially making them excellent companion products for this adapter.

The intelligent space-saving design of the SpeedStream SS2502, along with its impressive performance, make it one of the most compelling cases yet for utilizing a Powerline network. And, with a $99 price tag and a high ease-of-use quotient, you'll have a difficult time finding a better HomePlug product.

 Add YOUR Opinion  

 Opinion Summary:     61.5%   |   38.5%  |   out of 13 reviews  
 Read Reviews by Users  

Print this Page Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

Home | Networking | Backgrounders | Internet Sharing | Security | HowTo | Troubleshooting | Reviews | News | About | Jobs | Tools | Forums