The Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 might rival some of the best mesh networking systems in the business, with its combination of powerline networking and Wi-Fi hotspot technology. If your single home router isn't doing the business, then this package could well help.
What we're reviewing here is the Starter Kit from Devolo, with two actual Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 plugs that you can position around your property as you like, and a Devolo Magic 2 LAN plug that connects directly to your router and makes the whole system operational.
Is the Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 the right home Wi-Fi solution for you though? Our detailed review of its features and performance should be enough to answer that question for you. We're going to cover everything from the setup process to the speeds you can expect.
Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 review: design and setup
If you're completely new to powerline networking, it uses the electrical wiring in your home to get internet from one room to another. On the plus side, it can save you a lot of cabling, and usually offers faster speeds than something like a Wi-Fi extender; on the other hand, the actual speeds you'll get in reality will vary depending on the wiring configuration in your home. In some older properties, it might not work at all.
We'd recommend that you buy any powerline kit from retailers with a straightforward returns policy, just in case it doesn't work properly wherever you live. As we've said, you get three plugs with this starter kit, and they're all rather bulky and finished in white plastic: the two larger ones are the actual Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 units, and they come with Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities as well as two Gigabit LAN ports for wiring up devices.
Setup couldn't really be any more straightforward and is handled by an app you install on your phone. We had the two satellite plugs and the one connected to our router up and running in just a couple of minutes, and after configuring a few settings – like the name of your new Wi-Fi network and the password – you're ready to start connecting devices.
The mobile app that you get from Devolo isn't advanced by any means, and there's nothing in the way of parental controls or anything like that. It essentially just lets you see that all your various plugs are connected and working properly, and you can change the Wi-Fi network name and password at any stage if necessary. If you want to extend your network in the future, you can add another Devolo Magic Wi-Fi 6 plug.
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Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 review: features and performance
The kit supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard and top speeds of 1800 Mbps, while on the powerline side, the units use second-gen G.hn (Gigabit Home Networking) chips with data rates up to 2400 Mbps. The actual speeds you get most likely won't get close to these figures, depending on your broadband deal and the layout of your house, but you can see the capacity – and the advantage of having wired and wireless options to pick from.
These units offer a lot of useful features like OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) and Multi-User MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) – beyond the jargon, they ensure fast and reliable for many devices on the same connection point. There's no doubt that Devolo has packed these units with the very latest in networking tech to keep your gadgets connected and accessing the best speeds possible.
The home we tested the Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 set in wasn't particularly big (and already uses a mesh network), but we set up one of the units out in a room at the other end of the property to the main router: we got speeds of of 27 Mbps as opposed to 22 Mbps with our usual mesh setup. That's an improvement, but our property is already well covered – if yours isn't, you can rely on this starter kit to get wired and wireless internet out to every corner of where you live.
Part of the problem in recommending or not recommending the Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 is that we don't know anything about your home – about how it's wired, or how thick the walls and floors are, or what your current Wi-Fi setup is like, or whether powerline or Wi-Fi mesh options will work best for your situation. All we can tell you is that our experience with the Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 in the home we tested it in was very positive. We didn't notice any lag or drops when using either the Ethernet ports or Wi-Fi hotspots.
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Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 review: price and verdict
There are now a plethora of approaches that you can take for improving the Wi-Fi in your home, from moving your router to a different position to investing in some seriously expensive kit to get better coverage in every corner of your property. None of this actually improves the speed of the broadband coming into your home of course – it just makes sure that the speeds you get on your devices are as fast as they possibly can be.
In fact part of the case against the Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 might be that there are so many other options out there. For a lot of locations, a Wi-Fi mesh network might work just fine, or you might be able to comfortably cover your home in high-speed internet just by upgrading your router – that leaves the mains sockets in your various rooms free to plug other devices into.
However, the Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 does offer an appealing combination of both wired and wireless networking. In certain situations, we think it's going to work very well indeed – especially if you've got larger rooms spread out from each other, and are currently having trouble getting Wi-Fi everywhere. Not many networking packs give you as much flexibility and as much speed as what you're getting here.
As we said above, it's difficult for us to guarantee how the Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 will work at your home, but on paper it's going everything you would want – and it lived up to its potential when we tested it. Check the widgets on this page for the latest pricing for the starter kit, but at the time of writing it was available for around £200 in the UK, which is competitive compared with the other options out there at the moment.
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