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Old 09-04-03, 08:12 PM   #1
dtcarson
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Triangle, NC, USA
Posts: 8,217
Powerline networking?

Anyone have any experience with this? Fred Langa's most recent LangaList refers to an article he wrote in January about it.
Basically you plug your internet cable [say, the cable from the wall] into the cable modem, then plug the cable modem into the powerline router. You then plug that into any electrical outlet. At any other electrical outlet on the same transformer, plug in the powerline adapter or wireless access point, plug your computer's network into that, and you have a network! We're moving soon, and are trying to figure out ways to lay out our network [currently two computers/desks shoved into one smallish room], and wireless is not cheap, plus not secure [and I can't plug my work laptop into a wireless home network.] These powerline things aren't cheap [one company sells two units for 199], but the concept, imho, is just cool. Want a new office? Move it on over there. Nice day? Go surf the net outside.
These are supposed to be much more secure than wireless, also, since the transformer blocks the signal, and you have to plug in to get on the network. It's probably out of my price range right now, but I'm definitely going to keep an eye out.

links:

http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20030108S0003

http://www.speedstream.com/products_powerline.html

http://www.phonex.com/prd_nw14.htm
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Old 09-04-03, 09:54 PM   #2
BeanDip
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: TX
Posts: 245
I have tested powerline Ethernet at a few customers. I had been holding off because of the *unknown* problems factor (meaning I didn't know what to expect).

I finally had one customer where running wires or using wireless was completely out of the question. I set her up with the Linksys Powerline bridges to connect her personal computer at the back of her house to the public office at the front. It works surprisingly well. There really is nothing to the programming. Just plug it into the network port of a PC and use their utility to program it with a password that matches the password on another Powerline Bridge and then plug them into the network and power. That's it. It uses 56 bit encryption to pass signals at up to 14 Mb/s. Not too shabby.

The only problem I have had is at one customer where it stopped working. I figured out that it was passing traffic but I could not get the PC to obtain an address by DHCP through the Powerline Bridge. I hardcoded a static address and since then have had no problems.

The best use I have found it at the first customer where her printer is nowhere close to the PCs. We just took a print server device and hooked it up the Powerline Network and have had great success.
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