Power line networking basically turns a building's existing electrical wiring -- the wires that carry electricity to different outlets in the house -- into network cables, meaning they also carry data signals for a computer network. And this means virtually all households, in the U.S at least, are "wired for" power line networking. It doesn't replace a regular network, so you'll still need a router, but it's a good way to extend … Read more
In home networking, the fastest way -- in terms of data speed -- to connect devices together is via network cables. However, running cables properly, which involves making networking ports and connector heads, is no easy task. This is part of the reason the wireless network (Wi-Fi) has become so popular. But chances are, there's a spot in your home that the Wi-Fi signal can't reach, because of distance or thick walls. This is when a power-line connection can be a useful alternative.
Power-line adapters basically turn the electrical wiring of a home into network cables for a computer network. You need at least two power-line adapters to form the first power-line connection. The first adapter is connected to the router and the second to the Ethernet-ready device at the far end. There are some routers on the market, such as the D-Link DHP-1320, that have built-in support for power-line connectivity, meaning you can skip the first adapter. After the first connection, you just need one more adapter to add another Ethernet-ready device to the home network.
Apart from the ability to bridge the network through thick walls, power-line connections are also a lot more stable than Wi-Fi signal and have as low latency and a regular Ethernet wired connections.
Currently there are two main standards for power-line networking, HomePlug AV and Powerline AV 500. They offer speed caps of 200Mbps and 500Mbps, respectively. The following is the list of top five power-line adapters on the market. This list is sorted by the review date, starting with the most recently reviewed. It will be updated as more devices are reviewed.… Read more
Need a high-speed Internet connection to go from here to there? Stringing Ethernet cables through walls, floors, and ceilings is not my idea of a good time.
Fortunately, you can use the existing electrical wiring in your house. No, really! All you need is a couple plug-and-play wall adapters.
Usually they're pretty pricey, but not today: While supplies last, Newegg has the TP-Link TL-PA210KIT HomePlug AV Powerline Adapter Starter Kit for $29.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code EMCXVVW262 at checkout. (As with most Newegg coupons, you need to be a newsletter subscriber to use this one. … Read more
At a street price of around $50 for a kit of two units, the Actiontec 500 Mbps Powerline Network Adapter Kit is a bargain. And that's not the only good thing about it.
The kit, retail model number PWR511K01, comes with two identical adapters, currently the smallest of their type, that offered very good performance in my testing.
The only real complaint I have is that these adapters don't support Gigabit Ethernet, hence offering the limited data rate of the regular Ethernet standard at most. However, the affordable price and the supercompact design still make the kit an … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Today at CES 2013, Trendnet significantly shrank the Powerline 500 AV adapter with the introduction of the Nano Adapter with Built-in Outlet, model TPL-407E.
As the name suggests the new adapter is supercompact yet comes with a built-in pass-through receptacles for users to plug another device to the same wall socket that it occupies.
While this is not the first Powerline AV500 adapter that comes with this feature, it's the first on the market that comes in this compact size. In fact, it's more compact than the XAV5501 from Netgear cut in half.
Supporting the Powerline AV500 … Read more
Looking to build your home network? If money is not an issue, check out the cutting-edge, non-compromising Netgear R6300, or the Asus RT-AC66U. They offer the latest, superfast 802.11ac (aka 5G Wi-Fi) support, long range, two USB ports, and a boatload of features. If you want the biggest bang for your buck, however, the Asus-RT56U is definitely one to consider; this little true dual-band N600 router packs way more punch than its physical size would indicate, both in terms of range and performance. On a tight budget? Something like the D-Link DIR-605L will serve you right; it'll make … Read more
Now that you have learned about the basics of home networking in Part 1, and how to optimize your Wi-Fi in Part 2, in Part 3, it's time to get your hands dirty and learn how to take control of your network completely.
All home networks start with a network cable. Even if you plan on using all wireless clients, in most cases you will still need at least one cable to connect the wireless router and the broadband modem. … Read more
Since my last post on the basics of home networking, which is Part 1 of this series, I've been flooded with even more e-mails than I had been before (which explains why some of you haven't heard back from me). The good news is that nobody is asking about what a router is anymore. I guess I did an OK job explaining that in my previous post.
Most of the e-mails this time asked about how to have the … Read more
As the guy who reviews networking products, I generally receive a couple of e-mails from readers a day, and most of them, in one way or another, are asking about the basics of networking (as in computer to computer, I am not talking about social networks here.)
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate e-mails because, at the very least, it gives me the impression that there are real people out there amid the sea of spam. But I'd rather not keep repeating myself. So instead of saying the same thing over and over again in individual e-mails, I'll talk all about home networking basics, in layman's terms, in this post.… Read more
Having Wi-Fi troubles? I've been there. Sometimes you just can't get a signal to go where you need it to go--like from the router in the basement to the bedroom two floors up.
If you like drills and impossibly tight spaces, you can always run some Ethernet cable through walls, floors, and ceilings. It's effective, but also a major pain in the keister.
A much easier option is to use a power-line networking kit, which takes advantage of your home's existing electrical wiring. It's a simple, plug-and-play solution.
And usually an expensive one. Power-line kits … Read more