Home Networking Guide : Powerline Networking

powerline home network using HomePlug
Figure: HomePlug Home Network
Each computer is connected to a wall power jack via a HomePlug adapter.
This is the simplest form of wired network.

Powerline networking is about running a network over AC powerlines. Home powerline networking follows HomePlug standard. HomePlug uses existing home power lines to connect computers and other devices. Each computer must be equipped with HomePlug adapter. A HomePlug adapter is connected directly or using a power cord to a wall power outlet and to computer using USB or Ethernet cable (depending on the adapter model). You should not plug the HomePlug adapter to a power strip, UPS, or surge protector since it could degrade the powerline network signal. The home power wiring functions as a connecting medium, therefore a hub is not needed in a HomePlug network.

HomePlug network occupies higher frequencies in the powerline spectrum so theoretically it doesn't interfere with electricity. In addition, certain measures in the HomePlug standard are used to avoid interference and noise from electricity. But still some HomePlug adapters may be disturbed or slowed by certain electronic devices such as blow dryers, electric drills, vacuum cleaners, and window-mounted air conditioners. So be sure to check your HomePlug adapter specification to see if there is warning against specific devices.

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