Home Networking Guide : Powerline Networking

Before purchasing a HomePlug adapter, you must check its specification to see if it is intended for North American power outlets (120 Volt AC, 60 Hz) or European (220 Volt, 50 Hz). But both two-prong and three-prong power outlets are generally supported.

A HomePlug-based home network can cover a house of up to 5,000 square feet. Real coverage depends on a particular HomePlug adapter product specification. In general, ten computers can be connected together in a HomePlug network without compromising performance.

HomePlug 1.0 standard that is available now supports data rate of up to 14 Mbps, comparable to Ethernet 10BaseT. For security and privacy, HomePlug 1.0 uses 56-bit DES to protect HomePlug network from unauthorized access by neighbors because multiple homes are usually served from a common transformer. A HomePlug adapter usually require its user to assign a network password when configuring it for home powerline networking. HomePlug 1.0 also supports QoS based on IEEE 802.1Q (VLAN tag) to enable real time services like VoIP and video streaming.

What Do I Need?
1. Home power lines (i.e. existing electricity wiring)
2. Wall power outlet, one for each computer.
3. HomePlug adapter, one for each computer.
4. Ethernet or USB cable, depending on the adapter model.
5. Power cord (not needed if the adapter is wall mounted, i.e. attached directly to the power outlet).

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