Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 2:53pm

An alternative to cables and wireless – PowerLine networking

Posted by Jordan Erickson –

For those of us who want to network our computers, but find the thought of running network cable through our walls or setting up the complexities of wireless SSIDs, encryption keys and MAC address filtering, comes powerline networking.

Powerline networking involves devices that utilize your homes/buildings existing electrical wiring to provide a network link. It accomplishes this by operating on frequencies not utilized, but available, through ordinary electrical outlets. Some “pros” are ease of installation and configuration (you need only to “plug in”, literally, to an available electrical outlet), satisfactory speeds for sharing broadband connections, and overall cost. Some “cons” are the difficulties of obtaining high throughput from powerline networking itself (not just the brand/vendor of devices you purchase), the dynamic throughput speeds during normal usage (due to the changing quality and usage of electricity through the lines) and the overall expandability of a network such as this with more than a few computers.

Powerline networking is generally marketed toward SOHO situations where you only need a few computers on a network. The article (link above) gives a very good review of the major players and their offerings. Interesting read for those who enjoy new and evolving technologies!

© 2009 Logical Networking Solutions: I.T. and Networking Specialist, Lake County, CA