Monday, May 10, 2010

Home Network Options

Many of us have installed wireless computer networks (Wi-Fi) in our homes and small businesses. The ease of sharing a single Internet connection or a printer is a real convenience. Also, Wi-Fi allows those with other Internet enabled devices like smart phones, iPods and iPads to connect to the outside world. And of course since Wi-Fi is wireless, being able to freely move around your home with your lap top or iPod is really great.

For those who want a home network but do not want to use Wi-Fi, the only option up to now was to run special wiring to various rooms in your home and install network jacks. This wiring is called CAT 5, which stands for Category 5, an electrical engineering designation. For new construction, running these thin cables is no big deal. Running them through walls and floors in older homes can be a real pain.

There is an option. There are devices that can connect all your computers, printers, scanners and Internet connection using the existing wires in your home which are being used for your electrical service. That’s right; the same receptacle into which you plug your living room lamp can also be used as a high speed data connection.

The technology used is the same that some major utility companies like Duke Energy have offered, albeit on a limited basis, to provide Internet access to customers without the need for cable TV, fiber or telephone wires.

There are a number of companies that sell the special router and adapters. You can get product information at There you will find information on various applications.

This type of home network is not for everyone. If you are a power-user who is using the network to send video files to the TV and store HD television programs on a central server, this is not for you. Also, if you want to use your smart phone or other wireless internet devices, this solution will not work for you. On the other hand, if you have two computers and a printer that you want to connect or just want to share a single internet connection, this might be a good option.

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