Home Networking Guide : Phoneline Networking

phoneline Home Network
Figure: HomePNA-based Home Network
Each computer is connected to a phone jack via a HPNA adapter.
A telephone set can still be installed side-by-side with a computer (PC).
Power jacks and power cables are not shown in the diagram for simplicity.

Phoneline networking is about running a network over phoneline. Home phoneline networking follows HomePNA standard. HomePNA uses existing home phonelines to make a network of computers and other devices. Each computer must be equipped with internal HomePNA (HPNA) adapter or connected to an external HPNA adapter. You can find several types of HPNA adapters in the market, namely PCI adapter for connection to a PCI expansion slot inside a desktop PC, USB adapter for connection to a USB port, and PCMCIA (PC Card) adapter for notebook.

Most HPNA adapters provide two RJ-11 connectors, one is intended for connection to a wall phone jack, the other for connection to a phoneline device (i.e. telephone, fax machine, answering machine, caller ID box). The connector for connecting a phoneline device is called pass-through connector. If your HPNA adapter doesn't have a pass-through connector, you can use a Y-connector (phone splitter) to split the wall phone jack into two or more RJ-11 connectors, one for the adapter, the rest for a telephone or other phoneline devices. The home phone wiring functions as a connecting medium, therefore a hub is not needed in a HomePNA network.

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