The Future of Home Networking

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The ideal home network would offer near-instantaneous speed, comprehensive coverage, and uninterrupted data transmission, including the ability to automatically prioritize the activities you select as top priority. But assembling a system with these capabilities can be a challenge. The fastest networking technologies don’t necessarily offer the best coverage; high-bandwidth applications such as HD video streaming and videoconferencing can interfere with one another; and home networking equipment doesn’t always let you assign a priority to the applications you need most. It takes a careful selection of gear to optimize all three factors.

The Amplifi family of premium home networking products offers an elegant solution. The HD Media Routers, Wi-Fi boosters, Whole Home Routers and PowerLine devices in the Amplifi line include three technologies — HD Fuel, SmartBeam, and PowerLine 500 — that automatically enhance your existing network. Amplifi lets you mix and match these technologies to ensure that your network delivers blazing speed, corner-to-corner coverage, and exceptional media performance.

PowerLine 500: Fast networking behind the scenes

How can you optimize the speed of network traffic from your router to devices throughout your home? PowerLine offers a great alternative to Wi-Fi and Ethernet by routing network traffic through the electrical wiring inside your building’s walls. In the past, PowerLine has been limited to a data rate of 200 megabits per second. D-Link’s PowerLine 500 technology more than doubles that speed to 500 megabits per second, fast enough to accommodate multiple streams of high-definition video simultaneously. Everyone in the household can enjoy their own shows and music, with no need to string Ethernet cables between the router in your basement office and the HDTV in your living room: Network traffic zips throughout your home behind the scenes.

PowerLine AV 500 4-port Gigabit Switch
Adapters like D-Link’s PowerLine AV 500 and PowerLine AV 500 4-port Gigabit Switch extend your network into areas that would be difficult to reach otherwise with a wireless or Ethernet network. A PowerLine 500 switch makes it easy to share this blazing-fast connectivity with all the high-bandwidth wired devices in your home entertainment system or small office. Just plug a device into the adapter or switch, plug the adapter or switch into an electrical outlet, and it’ll be connected to any other devices or networks that also tap into your electrical grid with a PowerLine adapter or switch.

SmartBeam: A tight focus on your network devices

Wi-Fi Booster
If you’re going wireless, the primary challenge is coverage. A conventional wireless router emits omnidirectional radio waves that can be blocked or degraded by the walls, ceilings, and floors of your house. D-Link’s SmartBeam technology offers a smarter alternative. Built into D-Link’s Whole Home Router 1000 and Wi-Fi Booster, SmartBeam locates devices in your network and aims the network signal directly at their locations.

How does it work? SmartBeam starts by evaluating the quality of communication with each device. Then it uses six internal antennas to direct bandwidth into the areas that need it most. Each antenna has multiple elements, and the system configures them to direct the signal for an optimal connection to each device on the network. SmartBeam eliminates dead zones by sending the network signal to the farthest reaches of your home, even to spots where standard wireless routers can’t establish a consistent connection.

And it works on the fly: Walk around your house with an iPad or smartphone, and SmartBeam will track those devices from room to room. It even recognizes wireless devices outside the network, such as cordless phones and wireless security cameras, and minimizes the signal sent in their direction. This intelligent communication reduces the potential for interference and consumes power more efficiently.

HD Fuel: A built-in traffic cop

Even if your network can reach the far corners of your home, there’s only so much bandwidth to go around. Your router can shuttle data among connected devices only so quickly; likewise, your ISP provides a limited data rate between your network and the Internet. In a busy network, the pipeline can become clogged with traffic, and the data you care about most — say, a streaming HD movie — might be delayed, creating stutters and interruptions. Wouldn’t it be nice if that movie had priority over less time-sensitive traffic, such as downloads?

That’s where HD Fuel comes in. Some networking equipment lets you select priority, often by plugging a particular device to a specific Ethernet port. HD Fuel determines priority automatically and wirelessly, managing network traffic to send the most time-sensitive activities to the top of the list. Streaming media, Skype calls, and online gaming sessions step ahead of other network activities to deliver the best possible experience.

HD Fuel is built into D-Link’s HD Media Router 1000, and you can experience its benefits right out of the box. It runs automatically in the background, but you can also make adjustments as needed via user-friendly configuration screens. It’s an ingenious and flexible system that lets you take control if necessary, and otherwise sit back and enjoy all that the Internet has to offer.

Amplifi: Smart networking for digital homes

The technologies in the Amplifi line work in the background to solve your day-to-day networking challenges of speed, coverage, and bandwidth. Better yet, Amplifi home networking products eliminate the need for time-consuming, complicated configuration — they’re truly plug-and-play. Just choose the solution that’s best for you and you’ll be one step closer to enjoying uninterrupted HD streams, hiccup-free online games, and access to files from anywhere in your home. Amplifi is your ticket to next-generation home networking.

This story, "The Future of Home Networking" was originally published by BrandPost.

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