Wireless Network Connection Adaptor
And, finally, power line technology is now quite affordable, with adapters costing just around $50 for a kit of two. This costs much less than the parts you need to run cable properly.
Cons of power line networking
Power line networking has a few drawbacks.
First, power line adapter devices need to be plugged directly into a wall socket; they don't work well, or at all, if plugged in a surge protector or power strip. This plus the fact that they are generally large and don't come with a power pass-though socket (though a few do) means they can be a hassle to use at the place where there is just one wall outlet, or outlets that are close to one another.
Second, power line adapters require standard 110v electrical outlets and the data signal between them depends on the quality of the electrical wiring itself. On top of that, improper wiring and circuit breakers can also negatively affect the performance.
Third, power line adapters' performance can be degraded by the noise that certain home appliances generate in the power grid. Examples of these appliances include motorized devices (fans, vacuum cleaners, washer and dryers), switch power supplies (AC-to-DC converter used in phone chargers), and fluorescent lamps.
And finally, using power line connections in an apartment building might lead to a security risk. As the wiring is connected, people living in other apartments could tap in to your network by using an adapter of their own. This is similar to using an open Wi-Fi network. However, all power line adapters come with a security feature to prevent this from happening (note that adapters from different vendors generally don't work well together with security turned on, so you'll be better off with adapters from the same vendor).
If you live in a home, you don't have to worry about your next-door neighbor being able to access your network. Power line signals can't cross a transformer, which is generally what separates street-side power connections.
Q: Does power line networking work with Macs?
A: Yes. Starting with HomePlug 1.0, power line networking works just like Ethernet cables, meaning you can use it to provide a network for devices of any platform.
Q: I have a power line connection at home. Can I add a switch to the far-end adapter to add more devices to the network?
A: Yes. This is similar to using a power line adapter with multiple network ports, such as the
D-Link DHP-540 or the
WD Livewire Powerline.
Q: Can I add a second router to the far-end adapter to add more devices to the network?
A: Yes and no, depending on the router.
Generally, if you connect the second router's WAN port to the power line adapter, it will create a new LAN at the far end, and devices connected to this second router (both wired and wireless if a Wi-Fi router is used) can't see devices connected to the first router. All devices, connected to both routers, can share the same Internet connection, however.