Ethernet over home power lines to extend your LAN

Sometimes, laying ethernet cable everywhere you need to in the home isn’t very practical or easy. Sure, you’ll get the 100 Mbps or even 1 Gbps (depending on the equipment you have), but some physical structures and distances make it prohibitive.

Enter WiFi, right? Well, sort of. Sometimes. The signal can be choppy in homes and it’s hit and miss. Some computers, after losing a WiFi (802.11 a/b/g) signal never gracefully reconnect themselves. This is a pain.

Enter Ethernet networking over powerlines. Yes, that’s right. Over your electrical wiring in the home. While hydro (power) companies are finalizing technology to be your broadband provider the way cable companies already are, devices are already on the market that allow you to use your home or apartment’s own electrical wiring to extend your home network.

Have an electrical socket in a room? Then you have Ethernet.

I just bought the Netgear XE104 device (you need at least two). Mine cost me just over $100 CDN. See http://www.netgear.com/products/details/XE104.php.

While advertised at up to 85 Mbps, depending on the quality of your internal wiring, distance etc., many people have commented that they don’t get even 25% of that speed. However, I’ve tested in a 20 year old condo, and am getting a steady 58 Mbps. I am impressed. I am pleased.

I would highly recommend this product to anyone who needs a moderately fast local network extension in their home that won’t flake on and off like 802.11x.