April 27, 2010
| by Stephen Hopkins
Since the advent of 802.11N, it’s been fairly easy to push high-speed Ethernet access to pretty much any corner of your house. But even then, there are still times and places where wireless just won’t work.
Whether it’s the odd-shaped nook of a basement, or that room you swore would look great with copper mesh wallpaper, sometimes you just can’t get a signal through and you can’t run new wiring.
Enter Powerline Ethernet. In the past it’s been less than fast or stable, but leaps and bounds have been made on both counts. However, it’s still fairly dependent on how well your home is wired. I’m currently using one of last year’s “200 Mbps” Netgear kits with great success, getting real-world file transfers ranging from 85-120 Mbps. I also have no problem streaming 1080p H.264 without issue.
If Cat 5e and 802.11N just won’t work for your particular application or location, you may want to check out the Netgear HDXB111-100NAS Powerline HD kit, on sale for $99 at Buy.com with free shipping. Just place one unit near your router (won’t work through most surge protectors) and the other where you need that shiny new Ethernet connection. You don’t even lose access to the electrical outlet in question.
Note: Deals subject to availability and price changes.
Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.