Power Line Networks 

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Here I am looking at two ways of extending the reach of your Network, until now most solutions have required two plugs to get one extra connection, here I am looking at one that gives three and the other two both at up to 500mbps.

dlink Powerline AV500 Mini Adapter Starter Kit
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D-Link Powerline AV 500 2 Port Mini Adapter Starter Kit DHP-329AV

This is really simple to setup just remember two things both connections must be on the same ring mane and second do not connect one to a surge strip and if you do those two things then it really should be 'plug and play'. While there is a mini CD in the box this only has .PDF files in various languages.

If you connect the first plug and attach the supplied Ethernet lead to your router and then connect the second plug and the other supplied Ethernet lead (yes they supply two) to the destination point within two minutes of the first you do not even need to touch the button on the unit to activate. If it takes longer then simply touch the button and not only are your router and the remote PC/notebook connected but the connection is encrypted.

The plugs are 8x4x3.5cm and the Ethernet cable emerges from the base so skirting board sockets can be a problem. The supplied Ethernet cables are 1metre long.

A lot of such systems are touted as ideal for those into gaming but this is also suitable for HD streaming which does take a lot of bandwidth. It is also stated to be able to cope with Gaming, HD Streaming and Internet calling simultaneously.

Being able to run two remote PCs from one plug without either or both suffering means that business in the loft or garage is a possibility.

So just to emphasize the point one power point within a couple a metre of your router and the other the same sort of distance from the target PC or PCs is all you need, the connection is totally secure from the router to the destination.

When these devices first appeared the connection speed was something like one tenth of the theoretical maximum now available and as a bonus they now seem to work perfectly well on a gang socket it's only a surge strip that's not acceptable as these devices do tend to upset the signals.

The D-Link Powerline AV 500 2 Port Mini Adapter Starter Kit DHP-329AV is available from the link below for £29.99 including free delivery. The UK kits do have the correct plugs.

Sagemcom F@ST Pack Powerline Adapter
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Sagemcom Pack F@st Plug 500 Multi UK

A similar product but instead of the plugs being similar to each other in design one has a single port (the router end) and the other has not just two but three outlets.

The router end plug is 7x6x3.5cm and the Ethernet lead comes from the base so the comment about skirting boards is relevant again. The far end connection is even bigger at 12.5x7.5x5.5cm with the Ethernet cables emerging from the base.

Like the unit above you also get two Ethernet cables, one is 1.8metres and the other very close to 2metres.

There is a double sided A4 sheet of instructions and there are numerous illustrations to guide you. You are advised not to use a 'multiple plug adapter' (Gang socket) for the router end plug. They also advise against it for the other end but get round it another way by giving a plug outlet on the face of the outlet. So plug the socket into a wall outlet and plug the gang socket into the face of the plug should you need to run other electrical items from the same socket. All is explained on the A4 instruction sheet.

They are stated as suitable for Streaming, Gaming and Networking at up to 500Mbps.

The Sagemcom F@st Plug 500 Multi UK are available from the link below for £79.99 with free delivery.

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