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Lindy Home Plugs 

If you live somewhere where extending Ethernet is not feasible or should there be a pressing reason not to use Wireless then the Lindy HomePlug Ethernet Starter Kit could solve your dilemma.
Lindy 200Mbps mains home networking

Each of the two plugs is 10x7x4cm when inserted into a 13amp plug socket. The actual power socket is at the bottom of the unit so you could have problems if there is limited clearance above the plug. In fact you need to add 3cm to the 10cm height for the supplied 1.8metre Ethernet cable. So you actually need 9cm of clearance above the socket.

A pair (as supplied) will give you one extra connection as one of the plugs (via the supplied Ethernet lead) goes into the back of your router or modem router whichever you have. The other goes to whatever remote PC/notebook that is beyond normal Ethernet or Wireless connection. The only provisos are that the two mains sockets the plugs go into are on the same ring main. In fact the blurb says up to 300metres.

So assuming you have a power plug in both rooms (in one of my tests I used my garage that is not connected to the house) that's it. The remote PC/notebook can now connect to the Internet through the router. It works just as well with a cable router as it does with an ADSL one.

To get the remote PC speaking to other PC's on your network you need to do a little more work. If you already have a network setup then this work is minor, however should you only use your router or modem/router to enable each of the PC's to connect to the Internet then the supplied CD and Quick Setup Guide do not have the answers.

Each of the Lindy HomePlugs have three LED's on the front, The top one shows that the plugs are talking to each other, the middle one tells you it is connected to the mains power and bottom one that it is connected to the modem or modem router. All should be showing green and only the top one should flash.

There are four items on the CD, the Management Console, User Guide, Acrobat Reader and Quick Installation Guide. The latter is a copy of the printed Quick Setup Guide. The only one most will need is the Management Console.

The stated transfer rate is 'up to 200mbps' and the first tab on the Management Console tells you the current connection speed. I tested this with a range of files some large and some small. The slowest rate I got is 183mbps and the best 189mbps.

Unlike the ZyXEL system I reviewed on 7-12-07 this has nothing on the CD to help you setup a network. However setting one up in Windows is not difficult and if you are running different operating systems start on the latest one XP or Vista as these allow you to copy a small file via a USB stick whereas Windows 98 requires it to be copied via a floppy disc and not all recent PC's and notebooks have a floppy drive.

The stated price of the dual pack of Lindy HomePlugs is £129.99 and single extra plugs can be purchased for £69.99 (both recommended prices).

Now the questions, will it work on a connection via a gang socket, possibly but probably at a lesser connection speed. Will it work through a surge strip, it would not for me. Will it work with other manufacturers plugs. I tried the ZyXEL one and the Lindy one together and the result was fine, whichever way the two were connected, as these are the only two I have tested I cannot say all others will work. The ZyXEL units I tested had normal 13amp plugs so could solve the height above problem the Lindy units had interchangeable plug heads for both Europe and USA in the box.

The Lindy HomePlug Ethernet Starter kit (Lindy Part number 25143) available at £129.99 from www.lindy.co.uk I believe it is also available from dealers. This is a new unit replacing the 85kbps version so make sure you check what you are getting.

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