Logitech Play Link is the simple way to connect your gaming console to broadband Internet without running cables or without the complexity of home networking. Play Link is designed to work with nearly any Ethernet-enabled device up to 100 foot range through all sorts of obstacles like walls, ceilings and floors. Can Play Link be the best way to hook up to the Internet without the hassle, let’s take a look?Logitech Play Link is designed to work with all consoles including Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube as well as Macs, PC and laptop and can also be used with networked printers, networked scanners, networked set-top boxes, media centers and PVRs. Its simple plug and play, no software to install, no drivers, configuration or technical skill needed. Connect the first Play Link to your broadband modem, connect the second Play Link to your gaming console or other device, Power up and Play it’s that easy. Play Link uses matched and coded pairs to ensure data security and interference free communication. Logitech’s new RF technology connects automatically.
The Logitech Play Link units look like little pods measuring 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 with a power and Ethernet connection in the back of each pod. There is also a small green LED in the front of each pod to tell you when power is on and when data is being transmitted. Only one pod works as a transmitter or receiver. Wait for the green light on the front of the pod to become steady (if it doesn’t, you simply swap out the other pod), plug the other pod into a device and that is it. Set up was just as advertised just plug the pods in and a way you go.
For the test of the Logitech Play Link we first ran them directly to a game console and back to the router. PlayStation 2 was first and for this test we used Amplitude. We logged onto the network and played ten games with no problems or lag at all. Burnout 3: Takedown was next. Again, logged onto the network and played five games with no problem or lag. The next test was on the Xbox console. We logged onto Xbox Live and played Halo 2 for about an hour with no lag or problems. Same with Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, no problems. The next step was to connect to a network hub then back to a router just to test a different configuration, using the same test as we used before. Running both PlayStation 2 with Amplitude and Xbox with Halo 2 at the same time and a laptop also hooked up to the network hub we had no problems and no lag in the games or surfing the Internet. The distant between the router and the consoles were about 20 feet. The next test we conducted with a laptop computer. After hooking the laptop up we walked about 30 or 40 feet away from the other unit. We were able to surf the web, download programs, and upload images with no problem.
The Logitech Play Link is said to go as far as 100 feet away from each other but there is no real reason for anyone in a normal house to take advantage of this, but it could come in handy if you own a company in a large building. Now we did not test the Logitech Play Link with networked printers, networked scanners, networked set-top boxes, media centers and PVRs but they should work fine. From what we can see there is not much difference and the consoles should have been harder on the units anyway.
Logitech Play Link’s package contains two pre-paired Play Link receivers, two AC power adapters, two Ethernet cables, a quick start guide, owners’ manual, and 1-year limited hardware warranty. The Logitech Play Link system requires a broadband internet connection, an available Ethernet port on a broadband modem or network hub, and an available Ethernet port on a device to be networked. Logitech Play Link pods are pre-paired and will only work as a matched set.
Logitech Play Link has an easy set-up, and fast transfer rate. It works just as advertised and couldn’t be easier. If you do not have all your consoles in the same place you can swap out the Ethernet cable from one console to the next, with no problems. The size of the Logitech Play Link pods are small and easy to hide if you want them to be out of the way. There are few downsides of the Logitech Play Link and these are very minor. The power block for the Logitech Play Link is a little big and you need a spot for it, if you have a few power blocks plugged into a power strip already it can become a problem. The Logitech Play Link also caps the speed at 1.5Mbps, but is not a problem for online gaming. It’s nice that the pods are matched right out of the box, but there is no easy way to add connections unless you add another set of Play Links or a network hub next to your game consoles. At $100 if you don’t want to set-up a wireless access point and a wireless router which can run some money, try Logitech Play Link and buy a cheap network hub and your good to go. If you want to get a system or systems online with minimal fuss this may be the answer.
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