Home networking using the existing 240v electrical wiring in your house has moved to a new level with the release of a new system using the latest Ethernet-over-power adapters.

From networking and communications company, NetComm, the latest HomePlug devices carry data at speeds up to 85Mbps. The NP285 Turbo HomePlug devices allow for the connection of computers and other network capable peripheral devices over standard electrical circuits in the home or office and exceed the previous standard which was around 14Mbps.

SmartHouse has tested the 14Mbps devices from NetComm, which is one of the few local sources for this type of product. We found the quality of links exceptional even when used with a (non-surge protected) multi-point power board.

Apart from the increased speed, made possible through the recent ratification of the standard, the system offers the advantage of eliminating the expense and complexity of having dedicated network cabling installed.

Although wireless networks also offer speeds up to 56Mbps, to go any faster (108Mbps), users have to buy non-standard hardware which will not work with devices from different vendors, making HomePlug the only standards-based option.

Wired Ethernet networks for the home offer 100Mbps cost effectively and 1Gbps networks are available using business grade networking equipment.

The system is very simple to install plugging straight into a standard power socket at each end of the connection. An Ethernet cable then runs from the HomePlug device to the device you want to connect. The system is ideal for use in situations where network cabling can’t be installed – for example in heritage buildings, or structures with solid concrete walls or floors, explains the company.

The Turbo HomePlug system is suitable for streaming digital content around your home. For example, users can simply connect the HomePlug to their digital set-top box and stream the content to other televisions throughout their house. Digital content from a computer can also be streamed to other electronic devices when connected to the Turbo HomePlug, such as music to mp3 players and digital video files to a television.

“The Turbo HomePlug is the perfect networking solution for the small business. The flexibility provided by the increased speed capacity will allow for the building of a stronger network which can move files around quicker and share broadband services to multiple users through power points,” said David Stewart, Managing Director, NetComm.

“With the growing ability of consumer electronics devices to handle digital content, products like the Turbo HomePlug eliminate the complexity of various network connections, reduces the amount of cables required and creates a  convenient file sharing method across increasingly converging technologies,” said Stewart.

NetComm’s NP285 Turbo HomePlug is now available from computer resellers at a recommended retail price of $279 (including GST) for a twin pack.

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