Home Networking Guide : Comparison

The table below summarizes the comparison between home networking technologies.

  Ethernet HomePNA HomePlug Wi-Fi
Topology Star Bus and daisy-chain Bus Star
Wiring Needs new wires Uses existing home phone lines Uses existing home AC power lines (no new wires) Cables are still used for connection to power outlet and broadband modem.
Best Use for homes with pre-wired Ethernet installation a phone jack in every room a power outlet in every room (typical) no solid stone, concrete or metallic walls/floors
Maximum Data Rate 10 Mbps (10BaseT), 100 Mbps (100BaseT), 1000 Mbps (1000BaseT) 1 Mbps (HomePNA 1.0), 32 Mbps (2.0), 128 Mbps (3.0) 14 Mbps (HomePlug 1.0), 200 Mbps (HomePlug AV) 11 Mbps (802.11b), 54 Mbps (802.11 a/g)
Maximum Distance (Coverage) Maximum length per cable segment is 100 meters using UTP Cat 5 cable. 300 meters between two HPNA adapters up to 5,000 square foot house, depending on adapter's specification 100 meters (outdoor), 50 meters (indoor); the longer the distance the slower the connection
Required Hardware Ethernet adapter in every computer, hub or switch, Cat 5 cables or better with RJ-45 connectors HPNA adapter for every computer, wall phone jack, telephone cable with RJ-11 connectors, USB cable HomePlug adapter for every computer, wall power outlet, AC power cord, USB or Ethernet cable Wi-Fi adapter for every computer and access point
Reliability **** *** ** **
QoS Support no, but can be implemented using higher layer protocol yes yes newer versions that are WMM certified (or 802.11e compliant)

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