Home Network Via AC Outlets

The idea of allowing the power outlets in your home to also be used for your home network is not new, but with prices coming down it can be a useful option for those with a larger home, or where there are lots of other wireless networks Actiontecaround making a wireless network less successful. This is different from another concept where your actual ISP connection is made via the AC power distribution network - something found in some parts of Europe. What we are talking about here is the ability to access your home network anywhere in your home without a wireless connection, or large amounts of network cabling.

The idea is that you have a couple of small, plug-in devices, both with an Ethernet (network) jack. Plug one into the wall near your Router, and connect a network cable between it and the router. Plug the other into an AC outlet where you want to you use the computer or other device, and connect it to the device with a network cable - boom, you are done. You get a  basic "wired" network connection with a couple of connections. The speed should be faster and more consistent that most wireless connections, particularly for areas of the home that are relatively distant from the wireless router.

CNET has a "first look" video review of a nice example of an inexpensive starter kit, with two plug-in devices (one for the router, one for the remote device). The Actiontec 500 Powerline Network Device is available for around $50.

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