Most of our Customers now have more than one computer in their household, as the cost of new computers drops we are constantly being asked which is the best way to connect them all the Internet. for the last couple of years if you wanted to share your broadband connection securely you only had two options, Cabled (Run CAT 5 Cable) or use wireless technology.
The downsides to Cat5 Networks are
- Cables need to be physically connected to each computer, this will require cables to be installed around the building to connect your router to all your computers that you wish to have Internet access.
- Drilling of Holes for cables to run though, to get from one room to another, for example.
The down side of a wireless network are
- Each PC requires a wireless adapter to work.
- Different Wireless Standards have different frequency ranges and speed of transition, although this is becoming far less problematic.
- Truly awful speed and short working ranges (wireless transmissions get slower the further you are from the wireless router and how many obstacles are in between your computer and the Wireless router).
There is another way now to over come this problem, Power line technology, i will admit that I have trialled this in the past and it never seamed to work very well, early hardware was very slow and was certainly not suited to gaming or streaming video or music.
But recently we have installed a network using dLAN® 200 AVmini from a company called Devolo and I was truly stunned, the ease of installation simply plug-in one adapter into the power socket beside your laptop or computer and then connect the adapted to the computer via the network cable provided and then repeat the process at the router, that’s it, it just works.
Not only that but by holding down the little button beside the Ethernet connection at the base of the adapter for 10 seconds, and then pressing it again for a further 2 seconds, securely encrypts your Internet connection between the two adapters, brilliant.
These power line adapters are rated at 200MB we didn’t get anywhere near that with the network we installed but it was certainly fast enough for playing on-line games via their Play station whilst streaming music from another computer in the living room.
The downsides to power line technology are
- Not all adapters from all the manufacturers are compatible with each other
- Cost, you will need an adapter for every computer, plus another one for connecting to the router
The Plus points of power line Technology
- No holes to drill to run any cables (as your home wiring is used).
- Very easy set-up, as long as you use the same adapters within your network
- Range, they have a working range well over that of Ethernet and wireless
- Speed, Modern technology has a rated speed of 200MB, much faster than wireless, and faster than standard Ethernet, although 1GB Ethernet is becoming the norm.
Power line technology is still developing and whilst we can’t recommend using adapters from multiple suppliers to create your network , but if you use adapters from the same supplier within your network then this technology really is something to watch, we will with a lot of interest.