Powerline Networking – Internet Access Using Your Home Mains Sockets

Broadband internet access is used in the vast majority of internet enabled homes. It offers high speed access to the World Wide Web. A common issue faced by most of us is the need to run cabling around our homes to allow multiple devices access to the connection. The average home may have 3 or more computers used by parents and children. Add to this a couple of games consoles and a streaming television and the connections soon mount up. The home will usually have a hub or modem in one room that the computers and web enabled devices connect to.

Multiple devices can connect to a hub or router by Ethernet cable or wireless routing. Yes wireless is the connection of choice for most homes, but it's not always suitable. Wireless can be particularly troublesome in larger or older homes that have thick brick, stone or even concrete walls and pillows, the signal will not easily pass through thick walls. Wired Ethernet cables are also an option, indeed they offer the best solution for speed and security. However they can be rather unsightly, having upwards of five Ethernet cables running around the home and through walls is not ideal.

A third option is powerline networking. This takes the form of adapter plugs that plug into your home mains supply and carry your network to each room of the home via the mains sockets. The powerline network will have a master plug that would be positioned in the same room as your router or modem; you will then connect an Ethernet cable between your router and the master plug. You will need an additional powerline plug in each room a connection is required. You simply plug the adapter into the mains socket, connect your computer to the adapter using an Ethernet lead, join the network and you're done.

Powerline adapters come in various speeds. 85 Mbps is perfect for simple data use such as surfing the net or accessing emails. If you intend streaming television or online gaming you should opt for the faster 200 Mbps. You can also connect wireless access points to your mains network. The wireless points simply plug in to your mains and link in to the network and offer wireless connection in the same way a wireless router would. Expect to pay around £ 70 for a pair of 200 Mbps adapters and around £ 55 for a pair of 85 Mbps plugs. You can then add single units as and when they are needed.