powerline

Actiontec's new power-line kit helps extend your home network

The Actiontec Wireless Network Extender Plus Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit (retail model PWR51WK01) is a sure, and easy way to extend your network, both wired and wireless. It's a good fit for a large home with concrete walls, or separate households in an apartment building that want to share a single Internet connection.

It's far from perfect, however. The kit uses slow Wi-Fi and Ethernet standards and hence provides connection speeds only fast enough for casual Internet sharing and mild file sharing. Additionally, the included adapters don't come with a pass-through power socket, and one of … Read more

Home networking explained, Part 9: Access your home computer remotely

Editors' note: This post is part of an ongoing series. Check Related Stories below for the previous installments.

If you've been following this series, you'll know that I explained the LAN and WAN ports on a home router in part 1. And now, I need to tell you how you can use this information to remotely access your device at home. For example, if you know how to use Remote Desktop, a built-in feature of Windows, to control a computer in a different room of your home, how about doing that from somewhere away from home, and save … Read more

Get a powerline Ethernet kit for $29.99 shipped

This is an update of a deal I've written about a few times in the past. It's definitely one of the best prices I've seen.

Need a high-speed Internet connection to go from here to there? Like, say, kitchen router to bedroom Roku box? 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, which leverage that wiring for Ethernet connectivity while still allowing regular old juice to flow.… Read more

Broadcom brings Gigabit and Wi-Fi to power line networking

Power line networking -- the technology that enables electrical wiring to transfer data -- is about to get a lot faster.

Broadcom announced on Monday what it claims to be the industry's first HomePlug AV2 power line system-on-a-chips (SoCs) that deliver up to 1.5Gbps data speed. That's about three times the speed of the top existing power line devices.

HomePlug AV2 is the next-generation power line standard that uses an extended frequency band of up to 86MHz, while HomePlug AV was limited to 30MHz. In addition, HomePlug AV2 supports Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) -- a technology … Read more

Home networking Part 7: Power line connections explained

Editors' note: This post is part of an ongoing series. For the other parts, check out the related stories section below.

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

Top five power-line adapters: When Wi-Fi fails you

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

Get a powerline Ethernet starter kit for $29.99

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

Actiontec PWR511K01 power-line kit extends Internet to the far corners of your home

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

Trendnet's latest Powerline AV 500 adapter shrinks up

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

Home networking explained, Part 3: Taking control of your wires

Editors' note: This post is part of an ongoing series. For the other parts, check out the related stories.

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