HomePlug (or powerline) networking just may be the easiest and most convenient way to extend an existing home network. Because they utilize your existing electrical wiring, HomePlug networking products are capable of expanding a home network anywhere there’s an available electrical wall outlet. Suddenly, no room in the house is beyond the reach of the network. You can share your Internet connection with devices in the garage, the kitchen, the den, the basement, even the backyard. Send files from one computer in the upstairs bedroom to the office on the ground floor, or use the printer in the study from a laptop in the family room. The possibilities are endless.
One of the main advantages of HomePlug network devices is its ease of installation. Before HomePlug networking, wiring up a house for Internet access involved the costly and complicated task of running of Ethernet cables behind the walls and under the floors to every room. With HomePlug networking, all that’s needed to connect one room to another are two HomePlug Ethernet adapters. Connect one of the adapters up to your DSL modem or gateway, and you’ll have Internet access in the room where the other adapter is plugged in with none of the hassles, all of the advantages.
HomePlug’s success has resulted in a blizzard of new and useful devices to take advantage of this cutting-edge technology. HomePlug hubs provide users with additional Ethernet ports, increasing the flexibility of the network, while further network expansion can be achieved with HomePlug wireless network extenders. Wireless network extenders piggy-back on the HomePlug network and send out a wireless signal, allowing devices with wireless network access to join the home network. Speed advances have also been made, as the newer HomePlug adapters approach speeds of up to 200 Mbps, more than enough bandwidth to transfer even the largest multimedia file without any appreciable lag time.
If you’ve dreamed of connecting your PlayStations or Xboxes together to create an instant gaming network, or have always wanted to use an older computer as an out-of-sight home server, but considered the obstacles too great to overcome, HomePlug networking is the solution for you. There’s no need to be a certified network administrator, no holes to punch in the walls, no cabling strewn all over the floor. Simply plug in and network; what could be simpler than that?
Companies who offer HomePlug-compatible devices include Actiontec Electronics, Intellon, ST&T, and Valence Semiconductor.