NetComm has released an Ethernet-over-power adaptor called HomePlug to allow networking computers and peripheral devices over electric circuits for the home and office.
HomePlug allows users to take advantage of their existing power wiring to network their computers and peripherals without the expense or complexity of having dedicated network cabling installed. An ADSL modem router into a HomePlug and immediately share broadband Internet access to any room with a power point. It can also connect up to 15 devices – computers, printers, modem routers, etc into a HomePlug network. Also connects a gaming console to the Internet for online gaming and a network a printer so that everyone in the house/office can print to it.
According to NetComm HomePlug is not a replacement for wireless, but a complementary product. In a wireless ‘dead spot’ the signal can be boosted by connecting a Wireless Access Point into a HomePlug in the area requiring coverage. The product also comes with a PC software utility to turn on security to prevent ‘eavesdroppers’ from accessing the network.
HomePlugs must be on the same electrical circuit to communicate with one another. However, this is not an issue in most homes or commercial buildings because all of the power points usually run on one circuit while lighting is on a separate circuit. The NetComm adaptor is based on the HomePlug 1.0 specification developed by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, an international organisation made up of leading information technology and consumer electronics manufacturers and retails at $199.