The big advantage of the Devolo Magic 2 is that you don’t have to hand in a socket when you want to install a mesh network in your home. But unfortunately there are also disadvantages to the system, which incidentally is perfectly capable of providing fast internet throughout the house.
Design and specifications
The Devolo Magic 2 has in its multiroom kit one LAN adapter that is connected to the router and two extension adapters with which you can set up the mesh network . These extensions are equipped with two LAN ports, so you can also connect devices without wireless internet. The system supports a maximum ethernet speed of 2,400 Mbps (300 MB per second). Via the wireless 5 GHz network you get access to 867 Mbps (108 MB per second) and on 2.4 GHz it is 300 Mbps (37.5 MB per second).
During installation, we actually immediately encounter a major disadvantage, which is part of the advantage. We tested the Devolo Magic 2 in a relatively old house, where the sockets are still at chest height and therefore not just above the ground. As a result, the WiFi adapters are well visible and in this case the same applies to the Ethernet cable that goes from the adapter to the router. Devolo does not recommend using the adapters with a power strip, so that they cannot be properly hidden from view.
That is different from, for example, Google Wifi . Because you do not place those models directly in the socket and can therefore connect them to a separate power strip, you can keep the modules out of sight much better. For example, the mesh network feels really invisible, in contrast to our experience with the Devolo Magic 2. Moreover, the adapters can get in the way of the socket that may still be above it (as in our situation). , so you can no longer use certain plugs.
The supplied booklet contains a clear step-by-step plan and lets you install the Devolo Magic 2 with minimal knowledge. When you download the Devolo Home Network app, you will also be guided through the installation process quickly, after you have scanned the barcode on the box for a quick installation. The three adapters that you just plugged into the socket now appear on the screen. If you confirm the information, the app will continue to take over and automatically start the mesh network.
At least that is how it should work basically. In practice, however, we have encountered problems that we have not been able to solve without help. The first two times, the system was unable to establish a mesh network. After three tries (and didn’t do anything else), it worked. But after we tried to change a setting, the system popped out. We then spent some time installing, but nothing seemed to help. Fortunately, customer service eventually offered a quick solution.
The annoying thing about the installation is that there are two ways of installing. The booklet and the app both indicate a different order, which can cause confusion. After we contacted customer service and took an extra step that was not described anywhere, we followed the step-by-step plan in the app. After that everything worked and we could also change the settings. That is why we recommend that you forget the booklet and download the Devolo Home Network app first.
Devolo Magic 2 – in use
The above speeds are all theoretical. What you notice in practice is that the internet is simply fast and is optimally used. In theory, a system like the Devolo Magic 2, which spreads the internet through the electricity network, should be better than systems that simply amplify the signal. Such systems have to deal with signals that are sometimes blocked by walls; the Devolo Magic 2 system does not suffer from that.
However, the distance between the different units can influence your internet distribution. So pay attention to this when you install the adapters. During installation, the units should not be further than ten meters apart, but in practice that maximum distance is fortunately greater. In addition, the linked devices are also a major factor in the perception of the speed.
When you connect devices to the ethernet ports of the adapters, you often achieve the maximum speeds possible on your network. So think about connecting your game console or media player directly to the Devolo Magic 2. Especially for people who have a package with internet speeds of, say, 300 Mbps, it is beneficial to consider connecting the devices with a wire. Basically, internet connections via ethernet cable are still more reliable, faster and much more stable.
Devolo Magic 2 – the application
The Devolo Home Network application is not user-friendly and is more reminiscent of an embedded web environment. Not all apps need to look flashy, of course, but the appearance of this app is too businesslike and unclear in our opinion. It is difficult to quickly find out where certain functions are. In addition, the menu on the left has no real buttons and you have to press on lines of text. It is not the case that you regularly tap it, but a little more attention to the design and usability would not be out of place.
Within the app you can see which devices are connected to the various adapters. But finding out which devices is a bit more difficult since it is not always there. You will immediately see a mac address, as well as the transmission and reception speeds. It also becomes clear to which network that device is connected. The design makes operating some functions a bit more difficult. For example, if you want to enable the child protection, you have to manually enter the mac address.
Now we can understand that not everyone immediately knows what a mac address is or where to get it from. By tapping around a bit within the app, you may find that information. But nothing else is explained about it and that’s a shame. For example, Devolo provides a higher entry threshold than Google, for example, does with the Google Wifi. Within that app you can quickly set such functions as they are clearly explained in advance. So users must have a lot of knowledge in advance.
Fortunately, the Devolo Magic 2 offers a lot of options for advanced users. For example, you can choose broadcast channels yourself and set up a guest network, including a password. You can also choose what encryption your network has (such as wpa2, wpa / wpa2 or nothing) and of course you can set a (different) password yourself. You can set this separately for the 2.4 and 5 GHz network or set it together for both, if you find it necessary. In addition, it is possible to hide the ssid (network name) from others.
What we miss is an overview of the internet usage of devices. It may not be so necessary in the Netherlands, because we do not have data limits within our home internet subscriptions. But such a monitoring system can help identify potential download speed issues. You also gain insight into the times when specific devices download or upload something, so that you can intervene when necessary. There is also no general overview of download and upload speeds.
Devolo Magic 2 – conclusion
All in all, we are quite happy with the Devolo Magic 2. The adapters offer fast internet throughout the house, without the need for any real technical knowledge. In principle, connecting and changing the password is enough to be able to use the network if you are looking for a fast and reliable mesh network at home. The big advantage is of course the fact that you do not have to hand in a socket, since the adapter has an integrated socket at the top.
However, if you want to get a little more out of your network, it soon becomes apparent that Devolo makes little effort to explain various functions. With a little poking around in the, otherwise user-unfriendly, app, you can find out a lot of things, but basically the experience can be better. In addition, during the installation you can run into thresholds that you sometimes cannot solve, but customer service can offer help quickly in that case. It is also annoying that the adapter can get in the way of the socket above.
For people who want to get a little more out of their mesh network, Devolo offers plenty of options. If you know what you are doing and what you are looking for, you will no doubt find the functions quickly. With the Devolo Magic 2 you get a lot of control over your network, but unfortunately it is not very accessible. A product like Google Wifi does that much better, although we understand that people there are concerned about their privacy. The Devolo Magic 2 basically does what it is supposed to do: provide fast internet everywhere in the house.
- High internet speeds throughout the house
- Many possibilities
- Integrated power socket
- App not user-friendly
- Can block access to other outlet
- Installation unclear