Three reasons to upgrade your network with PowerLine

PowerLine is a lesser-known and lesser-used network technology compared to Ethernet (wired) and Wi-Fi (wireless). But just because it’s less common doesn’t mean that it’s not ideal for your home network. In fact, PowerLine lets you extend your network to more devices than you could reach relying solely on Ethernet cables or the strength and range of your Wi-Fi signal.

In a nutshell, PowerLine uses your home’s electrical wiring to carry a network signal. The caveat with PowerLine comes from the fact that not all electrical setups support it. Whether or not yours does depends on your dwelling’s internal wiring setup and quality — for example, which leg of 240 volt split-phase wiring your outlets are on. Also, you can’t mix and match PowerLine devices that use the technology’s various flavors: HomePlug, HomePlug AV, and DS2. The combination results in reduced quality or, worse, see no network at all.

Note that PowerLine isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. You can add it to an existing wired or wireless network for greater speed, reach, or flexibility. Here are the top reasons to take a closer look at PowerLine:

1. Easy Setup: Integrating PowerLine into an existing network is a matter of connecting PowerLine adapters to network devices and then plugging them directly into AC wall sockets. Networking doesn’t get any simpler.

2. Pervasive Networking: PowerLine networking transforms your home’s electrical wiring into a massive Ethernet pipe. Anywhere there’s an outlet, there’s a network connection.

3. Speed: Run-of-the-mill PowerLine can deliver up to 200 megabits per second — twice the speed of a standard Fast Ethernet connection — and the latest generation delivers up to 500 megabits per second. That’s plenty of bandwidth for a busy household streaming multiple high-def 1080p movies, console games, and music channels.

In a perfect world, every room in every dwelling would come wired for Ethernet connectivity, just like a typical workplace setup. But until that happens, PowerLine is the next best thing.

Subscribe to the Business Brief Newsletter