Build A Network Using Your Local Electrical Circuit

If wireless networking is a problem in your local area, and lengthy cable runs aren’t your thing, there is still a way of getting your networking data around the place – using your existing electrical supply and power line and home plug adaptors.

There are two types of technologies available, Powerline and the more recent HomePlug. The HomePlug technology are typically devices which resemble oversize power plugs which need connecting to your mains sockets (and use onboard PowerPacket technology) – some of them even include a pass through connector so you can still connect something else into the socket too. The devices typically contain a networking point for joining a small networking cable (RJ-45) between your computer and the device itself.

That’s usually about it – as home based, and probably small office based, electrical cabling runs are usually laid in localised rings the network adaptors are clever enough to spot each other’s activity on the network and overlay a data ring onto the circuit. The higher bandwidth products are also suitable for streaming audio and video.

Available Products

A number of products are available from a number of vendors to help with building a local network using your local electrical circuit, including the following products. When building a network using these product’s is good practise not to mix the vendors or products – for example a 200 Mbps device may not work happily with a 85 Mbps similar product.

Solwise Max Value Comtrend Devolo

Solwise HomePlug – including 85 Mbps and 200 Mbps products.

Devolo dLAN – 14 Mbps, 85 Mbps, and 200 Mbps products.

Comtrend Powergrid  – Powerline Ethernet 200 Mbps adaptors.

Max Value – 85 Mbps and 200 Mbps products (I can only find a link using Amazon).

Further Reading

Learn more about the HomePlug Powerline Alliance.

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Jason Slater

Jason Slater is a technology blogger and the editor of

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