Many homes have discovered how easy home networking can be simple by using wireless connections. Most home routers now come with a wireless access point as a standard feature. Most portable network devices come with wireless networking as a standard feature also. With the new wireless N standard, most people can do what they need to do with their home network.
However, wireless networks still have limitations over more traditional wired networks. Most often people think of speed, but the distance the wireless signal needs to travel can also be a factor. The demands of high definition video entertainment streamed through out you home still requires a a fairly hefty home network.
In his article “Say bye to Wi-Fi, powerlines can juice your home network”, Michael Snider details his experience with an networking option other than wireless or typical network data wiring – the home electrical system. Otherwise know as powerline adapters, these devices have technologically advances over the past years and are now achieving speeds which make them a viable choice for your home network needs.
Michael explains his experience with several different powerline adapter models, starting with the lesser expensive one. He had problems with the lesser expensive ones has they had lower data rate speeds. He ended up with the D-Link PowerLine AV 500 4-Port Gigabit Switch Kit which had a rated speed of up to 500 Mbps. Apparently, speed does matter.
What we think at NextGen Digital Home:
This is a good article and brings to light the options available for home networking. Wireless is the easiest, but not always the best. Likewise, it’s not worth tearing your house apart just to get a high speed networking cable behind the walls.
It may not be cost effective to use powerline adapters to all of your home network device locations, but it does make good sense if you can not access it with a data cable.
It’s also interesting to note what data speeds he required to get a satisfactory connection. He needed 500 Mbps for his HD television. But he also notes that when streaming the highest quality Netflix content, using a Netgear 200 Mbps HomePlug was completely acceptable. Since most people are adding a home entertainment network to their existing home, they choose the right technology for the right device.