PowerLine networking is based on the concept of “no new wires”, similar with the PhoneLine network technology. Basically it uses the existing electrical wiring in your house to create a home network. The PowerLine technology is driven by the HomePlug Industry Alliance, which defined the following standards:
- HomePlug 1.0 — Older Specification for connecting devices via power lines in the home. Theoretical speed of 14 Mbit/s.
- HomePlug AV — Current Specification which allows for speeds up to 200 Mbps half-duplex. This HomePlug version can be suitable for transmitting High Definition TV (HDTV) and Voice over IP (VoIP) in the home network.
The big advantage of PowerLine networks is the ease of installation. Since you will always have a power outlet near a computer, you can connect your computers to one another through the power outlets and the electrical wiring. Another advantage is that you don’t need a network card to be installed in the computer, since the network adapter plugs directly to the power outlet, as shown on the diagrams below.
As shown on the diagrams, all you need to set up a PowerLine Network is a “Power to Ethernet” or a “Power to Wireless” adapter. Using these adapters, you can interconnect any Ethernet or WiFi equipped computer to your PowerLine Home Network. A normal Ethernet Gateway or Router can also be used to provide Internet connectivity.