Saturday, November 5, 2011

Extend Wireless Range with Powerline Networking

Here's a neat trick to maximize wireless network coverage in your home: Use inexpensive powerline networking adapters to gain more flexibility in the placement of your wireless router.

Because home broadband connections typically originate from a cable box or a DSL modem, wireless routers tend to be placed near the flatscreen TV or telephone jack simply as a matter of practicality. Sure, most people know that wireless routers benefit from being placed as high as possible, in a central location in the house, and away from other equipment and reflective surfaces. But who wants to run an unsightly 30-foot Ethernet cord from the cable box in the living room to the second-floor bedroom, just because that's the location that happens to be the best placement for the wireless router?

This is where the SlingLink TURBO W1 Ethernet over Power Adapter comes in handy. This handy gadget (which retails for $30 but can be found for close to half that amount online) uses Ethernet-over-powerline technology to piggyback your Internet connection on top of the electrical wiring in your house. These devices require zero configuration and are truly plug and play: Simply plug them in and connect. Now you can place your wireless router in the most optimal location without running long Ethernet cables all over your house. All you need is a nearby power socket.