Update on Home Networking

802.11a was the first, coming down the initial stretch at a whopping 54 Mbps. Problem is, it was intended for commercial use, so most people bought the much cheaper 802.11b at 11 Mbps.

Then came 82.11g, also at 54 Mbps, but at home user prices. This was followed by 802.11n, which bumped the bar up to 600 Mbps, and 802.11ac at 1 Gbps and ac Wave 2 up to 3.47 Gbps. Then ad at 7 Gbps, ax at 10 Gbps and ay at 100 Gbps.

Other than businesses with many employees in the same area and rich people whose ego rests solely on their bragging rights, no one needs that much bandwidth. For example, 100 employees working in the same office on a single 802.11ay router could, in theory, each enjoy a 1 Gbps connection.

In reality, due to competition negotiation, you’d be lucky to see 200 Mbps.

Still, that’s far more than anyone needs. It is enough, for example, to watch three full 4k audio-visual streams, and video is perhaps your most demanding network task. Meanwhile, even SSDs will be hard-pressed to deliver or accept more than about 400 Mbps.

Besides, all those airwaves will melt your brain, and none of them work very well through walls and floors.

What if you could enjoy upwards of 2 Gbps in your home networking environment without ANY wireless electromagnetic energy being beamed through your brain?

It’s called by many names, but its most commonly known as Powerline Networking.

And its ridiculously easy:

1. Buy the basic kit for about $40.

2. Plug the units, about the size of a standard wall charger, into the wall, one near your ISP modem and the other near your PC or your TV with an Ethernet port. They automatically detect one another and configure themselves. NO DRIVERS!

3. Plug in the Ethernet cable.

Better models encrypt all communication with AES-128 or AES-256, and fancier kits include modules with passthrough plugs and/or wireless extenders, which are still handy for use with laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

Do your comparison shopping carefully, however, as the market is hardly “tight.” Some makes and models costing $300 have no better features or quality than others costing just $40.

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