- Digibode - http://www.digibode.com -
Instant Expert: HomePlug & Powerline Networking
Posted By Dean Evans On February 27, 2009 @ 5:25 pm In Advice | 3 Comments
Did you know that your house already has a built-in wired network?
HomePlug and Powerline products use your home’s electrical wiring as a fast and secure home network. There’s no messy cabling and it’s speedier than Wi-Fi. And as you’ll see, the technology is literally a ‘plug-and-play’ solution.
In the UK, a standard 230V mains supply operates at a frequency of 50Hz. HomePlug and Powerline technology is designed to transmit data across the same electrical wiring, but at much lower frequencies – I.e. between 4 MHz and 21 MHz.
As a result, there’s no interference between the two signals.
There are currently two competing standards for this form of home networking – the HomePlug specification developed by the HomePlug Alliance  and a rival in the shape of the Universal Powerline Association (UPA) .
HomePlug is favoured by the likes of Devolo, Solwise and ZyXEL. While the Powerline technology is being used by Netgear, D-Link and BT.
While the technologies are slightly different (and incompatible with each other), they work in the same way. A HomePlug or Powerline network uses simple adapters that plug into your wall sockets. These adapters feature built-in Ethernet ports, which enables them to be hooked up to various devices such as computers, modem/routers, connected HDTVs, streaming media devices and games consoles.
The most common set-up is to connect a broadband router to one adapter via Ethernet cable, then connect a PC to a second adapter, again with an Ethernet cable. Plug the adapters into the mains and the PC can effortlessly access full-speed broadband Internet from any wall socket in the house.
The technology for transmitting data over electrical wiring has improved significantly since the first adapters were launched in 19xx. In the HomePlug camp, data speeds have been boosted from 14Mbps (HomePlug 1.0) to 85Mbps and 200Mbps (HomePlug AV). The UPA technology is equally speedy. It’s 200Mbps technology has been dubbed ‘Powerline HD’.
Of course, it’s worth noting that these speeds represent the theoretical maximum transmission speed that the technology is capable of. In real-world terms, using 200Mbps adapters delivers an average throughput of around 90-100Mbps.
This means that a HomePlug or Powerline network is as good as dedicated Ethernet/CAT5 wiring. While the original 14Mbps technology was ideal for Internet access and audio streaming, the current 200Mbps products can transmit data fast enough to bounce high-definition video around the house.
The biggest appeal of HomePlug and Powerline networking is its simplicity. You don’t have have to trail Ethernet cables throughout your house or dig up the floorboards to hide them. And unlike Wi-Fi, there are no concerns over range or signal strength.
It’s instant networking – the very definition of ‘plug-and-play’. Each plug adapter has its own MAC address that identifies it on a network. And while encryption technology is built into the adapters, the fact that a HomePlug/Powerline network uses your home’s electrical wiring, means that security is assured.
As the modern smart home  now features VoIP phones, connected TVs, laptops, IPTV boxes, media streamers and Internet-friendly games consoles, HomePlug and Powerline technology is an ideal way to network everything together.
No related posts.
Article printed from Digibode: http://www.digibode.com
URL to article: http://www.digibode.com/homeplug-powerline-networking-189.htm
URLs in this post:
 HomePlug Alliance: http://www.digibode.comwww.homeplug.org
 Universal Powerline Association (UPA): http://www.upaplc.org/
 smart home: http://www.digibode.com
 subscribe to my RSS feed: http://www.digibode.com/feed
Copyright © 2009 Digibode. All rights reserved.