How to Use Your Home’s Wiring for Networking


The D-Link PowerLine HD Ethernet Adapter

Powerline adapters can help you bridge the gaps in your home network.

May. 27, 2009 — by Mike Scott

Until recently you had two options for setting up a computer network in your home - wired or wireless.

First on the scene was wired networking. The upside is clear and reliable connections between your computers and all the devices attached to your network - printers, external storage, etc. The downside: unsightly wires everywhere.

Then along came wireless technology. No more wiring clutter. All your networked devices could “talk” to each other throughout your home without stringing wires across the floor, over doorjambs and around corners. The use of the new “802.11n” technology with its ability to send wireless signals further and stronger makes the wireless option even more popular.

However, in some homes wireless networking literally runs into “walls.” Your home may have “dead spots” caused by such things as lathe and plaster, steel, aluminum or stone walls, alcoves or other building design elements that block wireless signals.

But, fear not, there is an easy fix to these situations. It is called “powerline networking.”

Networking companies like D-Link offer Powerline Ethernet (wired) Adapters, inexpensive devices (under $140 per pair) that take advantage of your home’s existing electrical wiring. You’ll need at least two to create a network, and more adapters can be added depending on the configuration of your home.

Simply plug them into your wall sockets to create or extend the digital network in a house or apartment. It turns every power outlet into a possible network connection where you can plug computers, digital media players, game consoles, network storage units and other devices in your home’s network.

Certain home appliances, like vacuum cleaners or hair dryers, can slow down your powerline connection, but the overall benefits far outweigh any performance loss and are well worth the cost. In fact, in addition to plug-and-play installation, D-Link’s powerline adapters can prioritize Internet traffic to allow larger data files like movies and video to flow through your network at greater speeds than word processing documents, for instance. They also have security and power-saving green features to boost your network’s effectiveness.

So go ahead. Plug in a powerline adapter on your patio, put your feet up on the chaise lounge and watch your favorite movie on your laptop.

More handy home networking tips can be found at

Related articles:
How to Secure Your Wireless Home Network
Netgear Plugs New Powerline Switch
Z-Wave vs ZigBee

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