The new devolo Magic, available in two versions, Magic 1 and Magic 2, has finally arrived to markets across Europe, and is the ideal Christmas gift for anyone wanting to change their home network. The new product promises the best possible user experience for all of today‘s multimedia applications and provides resources enough to run the entertainment world of tomorrow. According to devolo, these adapters make it possible to transmit multiple 4K—or even 8K—videos throughout the home, simultaneously and flawlessly. Data-hungry virtual reality applications and maximum-speed online games are a snap, as is stable access to all cloud-based applications for customers working out of their home offices.
The devolo line of products is essentially intended for home networking and SOHO, but you’ll also find a family of Powerline Pro products, if that’s what you need. Since its introduction in 2004, when the first adapter to connect computers with a Hi-Fi system was presented, the company has transformed into a major player in the use of Powerline technology, internationally know as the “Internet from the electrical socket”, with over 37 million practical adapters already in use.
How devolo amazed me in 2007
I first used devolo products in 2007, when I was approached by the company to try their adapters offering 85 Mbps, what was an impressive speed at the time. The German company had recently entered my country and wanted journalists and photographers to try the system. I remember I was amazed when I was able to connect three computers in different rooms using the electrical socket as the network connection. That day marked the end of cables running through the house or taking a USB flash drive, which were also a novelty, from computer to computer.
As I tried to install the same system in different homes, to share the experience with friends, we soon discovered that the quality of the connection was highly dependent on the quality of the electrical wiring available. Old electrical installations would usually not be suitable to use Powerline technology. For us, it was love at first sight, and we’ve never looked back.
Moving from LAN to Wi-Fi
While the original Powerline adapters offered only “wired” connection through the electrical grid, the introduction, in 2013, of the dLAN 500 WiFi adapter meant the end of all Wi-Fi problems. Since then devolo has introduced more new products, while expanding the Wi-Fi reach and the speed of the adapters. In 2014 the company launched the first dLAN adapter with 1200 Mbps. My home installation, which serves two floors of the house, connecting 7 desktop PCs, 4 laptops, two PlayStations (3 and 4), smartphones and other devices works just fine, based on the electrical grid and dLAN 500 duo and dLAN 500 Wifi adapters, offering both Wi-Fi and Powerline access around the house.
Now the technology has moved another step forward, with the presentation of devolo Magic at IFA 2018 and IBC 2018, and its availability in Europe this month. In fact, devolo products are only available in Europe at the moment. The adapter will not work on the US, not because the power socket is different, but because outlets in Europe provide 230 volts at 50 Hz while North American power outlets provide 120 volts at 60 Hz. The Powerline technology from devolo was developed with Europe in mind, and last time I asked there was no intention to expand to the North American market. Still, devolo’s “magic” now presented may well appear under another brand of adapters made for US use, so it is interesting to know what it offers.
The new standard of home networking
According to devolo, the new product line offers more speed, more range and more stability, making it the new standard in the area of home networking. The devolo Magic line combines, for the first time, today‘s most powerful WiFi with Powerline technologies. The secret behind the performance is the use of second-generation G.hn chips for the first time. These chips provide a significant increase in performance and improve stability and range. The new devolo Magic adapters can handle line lengths of up to 500 meters (against the 300 meters from previous adapters), allowing them to easily convert any power socket into a high-speed internet access point.
Heiko Harbers, CEO of devolo AG, said: “Using Powerline as the backbone technology offers huge potential as the signal does not get blocked by ceilings or walls. With this new Powerline generation based on G.hn architecture, we are advancing into an entirely new performance dimension.”
Harbers continued: “All devolo Magic series adapters offer top-level Mesh-Wi-Fi, coming equipped with new and improved functions. ‘Fast Roaming’ ensures all Wi-Fi clients, such as smartphones and tablets, are always connected to the strongest hotspot. This is especially important when people move from room to room with their mobile devices. “Config Sync” allows the router’s Wi-Fi configuration data to be transferred with ease to all access points.”
Easy to install
In addition, the devolo Magic series’ new ‘Airtime Fairness’ feature processes the requests of fast Wi-Fi clients at higher priority. This prevents older devices, which may require more time for a download, from creating Wi-Fi bottlenecks. Integrated “Band Steering” ensures all clients are automatically assigned to the best wireless channel and the optimum frequency.
Installation of the devolo Magic adapters has never been so easy, says the company. Once you‘ve plugged in the first adapter, all other adapters which are plugged in within the next two minutes are automatically paired; you don‘t need to press any other buttons. Subsequently, each power socket is equipped with a fast and individually encrypted Internet connection. The browser-based devolo Cockpit software is free of charge and can be used for further configuration. A new Cockpit app is to be launched for the new product line, offering an even friendlier user interface, and an intuitive installation wizard which guides users, step-by-step, through the entire installation process. As the actual devolo Cockpit app is already easy to use, things can only get better with the new adapters.
Magic 1 and Magic 2
The devolo Magic is available in two categories: devolo Magic 1 and devolo Magic 2, both available in LAN and WiFi versions. The high-end model, devolo Magic 2 WiFi, is equipped with two gigabit LAN ports and fast IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Mesh functionality. devolo Magic 2 LAN offers one gigabit port for connecting smart TVs, streaming boxes or gaming consoles to the network with an Ethernet cable. Both devolo Magic 2 models run at a maximum speed up to 2,400 Mbps on the Powerline leg.
The entry-level model of the new product line is the devolo Magic 1, with a bandwidth up to 1,200 Mbps over Powerline. Like its “big brother”, the devolo Magic 1 WiFi model is also equipped with two Ethernet LAN ports as well as fast WiFi ac with Mesh functionality. devolo Magic 1 LAN offers one fast gigabit port for high-speed Internet connections.
Waiting for North America
All devolo Magic adapters have one aspect in common: the integrated electrical socket ensures no power socket goes to waste. The new devolo Magic models are compatible with all routers and work together seamlessly. They can also be run in parallel with other dLAN adapters present on the same mains supply… but you should understand that you’ll get the best solution in terms of speed by using only the devolo Magic adapters and not the older models.
Now, North American customers just have to wait for a brand offering adapters compatible with the US grid to announce that they also have moved from the 1,200 Mbps speeds now being offered to new high-end adapters able to provide data rates up to 2,400 Mbps. Even if the final REAL speed will be usually, lower than the values promised by marketing, devolo Magic or Powerline in general seems to be a simple solution if you want a networked home or SOHO without having to run cables (I know that as that’s what I’ve used the system for over a decade now). Just look for what companies advertising products for North America have on offer.