Tag Archives: Wi-Fi

Powerline Networkworking – A Wi-Fi Network Alternative

Use your electric wiring to create a home network; fast, and cheap.

Powerline When most of us consider setting up a home network, we generally tend to be single minded. Automatically, it seems, we focus on Wi-Fi to the exclusion of any other network solution; and there are alternative solutions.

Wi-Fi has obvious advantages, not the least of which is it does away with the messy job of installing network cables which tend be unsightly, and in some cases difficult to install; particularly if run between floors.

On the other hand, Wi-Fi can be a less than satisfactory solution to networking since issues such as distance between devices, thickness of walls and physical separation in the case of devices separated by floors, can impact Wi-Fi performance. In fact, in the past I have had less than acceptable performance with Wi-Fi devices located on different floors.

Power Line Communications (PLC) is a technology that uses the electrical wiring in your home, or your office, to provide network and Internet communication between attached devices, including computers, digital media devices such as a Tivo/Slingbox, and gaming consoles like the Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Wii.

powerlinelinksys

To network two computers, for example, you start by plugging the outlet adapters, which form the backbone of the technology, into two appropriate electrical outlets. Then, connect the outlet adapters to the Ethernet ports on your computers and voila! – you now have a basic network connection between the two machines.

Early on in the development of this technology performance was an issue, but in recent years relatively new improvements now permit up to 200Mbps transfer rates. In some European countries 400Mbps transfer rates are common.

So playing games on more than one device; transferring video, music, or other high-volume files on the network, or using devices such as network hard disk to store large files, are not an issue.

Powerline 2 As with Wi-Fi, the signals have the ability to travel a short distance outside your home, so this technology includes the capacity to set an encrypted password to enhance network security.

There is some resistance to this technology in the U.S. amongst short wave radio hobbyists, since it’s possible for these adapters to generate unacceptable interference to short wave radio communication.

Quick facts:

Simple to set up – just plug in

Instant network connection

No network cables to install

Easy Internet connection sharing Network – Computers, Game Consoles, HD Media Devices

Cost: $100 – $200 (approximate)

If you’re interested in additional information on this technology, then checkout the Universal Powerline Association website.

Suppliers of this technology include these familiar companies: NetGear and D-Link.

For additional information checkout “Wired or Wireless?” by fellow Tech Blogger TechPaul. As well, a TechPaul reader asks – why upgrading to Gigabit Ethernet didn’t improve their Web surfing speed? For the answer, read “Gigabit Ethernet Didn’t Make Internet Faster “, on his site.

Update – May 22, 2010: A regular reader has serious concerns regarding this type of technology, and in the interest of fairness, his views should be heard here.

Apart from presenting a gaping security hole, the transmission of Internet content via radio frequencies over power lines that have not been designed for such frequencies (up to 30 MHz), and therefore are not shielded, causes power lines to radiate like any other antenna.

In effect, by using home-PLC, you are setting up a broad-band local jammer that covers almost the whole short-wave spectrum with the potential (if millions of unsuspecting users apply this technology), to block world-wide shortwave communications much more effectively than any jamming network in use during the Cold War.

The peddlers of this technology have suffered one setback after another when they tried to establish PLC as a means to cover the “last mile” for ISPs, because, for the reasons mentioned above, they simply cannot meet the standards for harmful (i.e. interfering) RF radiation.

To recoup some of their investment, the involved companies now try to market their (s)crap to home users, using compliance certificates that have either been forged, or obtained by illegal means, because they are unable to meet the criteria laid down by the pertinent radio authorities.

Therefore, radio amateurs all over the world, broadcasters and many other commercial and government shortwave users, have joined forces to combat PLC, and I am one of them.

Will you therefore, please make an addendum to the above-mentioned article and point out the downside of this technology, which seems to be so deceptively simple for the layman – just plug and play, but he doesn’t know what he is doing to the rest of the world. For further information, detailed reports, etc. please check with your local amateur society and the ARRL.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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2 Comments

Filed under Geek Software and Tools, Home Networking, Interconnectivity, Networking, WI-Fi Alternatives

YouSAB – The Best Way to Surf Anonymously

This is a guest post by Patrick Holm, in which he explains the benefits of YouSAB, a Secure VPN & VOIP messenger service, which is particularly effective for users living in countries that censor Internet content.

After reading Bill Mullins blog Iranian Surfers Downloading Anonymous Surfing Tool, I made a comment on our new service that can be used by Iranian web surfers (and other web surfers living under repressive regimes), to ensure them they can use the internet without fear of reprisal from government bodies.

These comments prompted Bill to invite me to describe our new software in the guest blogging section, which I have gratefully accepted.

image After living and working in the IT industry, in Dubai, for the last 8 years, (which has censorship of Internet content), some of my colleges and I, managed to create VPN software to allow freedom for all on the internet.

After encouraging responses from the YouSAB community, we formed a company called YouSAB Ltd, in alliance with the payment gateway provider Gulhmes Ltd, to provide a VPN service which is a little different from other VPN providers.

What is the YouSAB community?

YouSAB is a Secure VPN & VOIP messenger service that enables users to access and interact with their social and business peers, through totally secure downloadable VPN software.

Originating from a vision of freedom and security, YouSAB was born out of a desire to fundamentally change the way people communicate.

YouSAB Ltd, and Gulhmes Ltd, veterans of the Internet payment security and high tech security industries respectively, joined together to create an easy to use, consumer-centric, truly converged peer-to-peer service, enabling its users to take control of their on line security from one single place on their computer.

One of the main purposes for the development of YouSAB community was to take a conventional VPN set up, and provide more usable features the ‘every day person’ can use to remain safe while online, at a fraction of the industry price.

image

What is the difference between YouSAB messenger and other VPN providers?

One of the main differences of the VPN messenger compared to other VPN providers is; VPN messenger has taken the highly secured method of VPN and added an additional layer of security protection using proxy Dynamic TCP tunnels Network, so if the VPN network was ever comprised, Internet users would have the safety of a proxy network to keep them anonymous at all times. Coupled with these two layers of protection are a whole host of features that really make YouSAB Messenger stand out from other VPN providers.

These include the following:

A platform where YouSAB community users can use two forms of communication, VOIP and Messenger texting.

YouSAB messenger, as the name suggests, allows all of its users to invite and build a buddy list of all their YouSAB contacts that they wish to communicate with, via VOIP and messenger. All members’ accounts have in built VOIP and messenger features, so users can use both forms of communication to contact their business, or social contacts across the VPN network.

Both methods are highly secured, and both are totally anonymous to the outside world, with no third party monitoring communications. We have had several independent reviews of the speed of the service, and download quality is very acceptable and voice quality is comparable to Skype, and Call serve PC-PC. YouSAB accounts also have profiles where users can post business or personnel information about themselves, if they wish.

Once connected to the VPN network, you are provided with uncensored internet use, and a non traceable IP address.

YouSAB messenger unblocks all your favorite websites, which are deemed, unsuited for viewership by your Employer, Internet Service Provider or country Government E.g. VOIP providers, and Unblock Facebook. It also gives you a bogus IP address, which is non-traceable, even to a highly experienced hacker.

This program really works well for users who are using unsecured Wi-Fi hot spots, or people who want to file share without fear of authorities tracking their activity.

Prepaid card facility that allows to you purchase credit to use the service for as low as 3 Euro, minimizing the risk versus a yearly, or monthly, payment subscription.

The YouSAB messenger network, with its advanced features, was originally designed with the business network in mind. This was to assist in business activity at a fraction of the cost of normal VPN business networks. After been encouraged by good response from the public, based on YouSAB’s ease of payment, we decided to offer it to the public.

YouSAB is a micro pay as you use service, and is controlled by the payments solution provided YouSAB Intercard. This service is a highly secured form of collecting payments and it works in conjunction with the popular online merchant PayPal which handles all payments.clip_image001

Intercard payment solution controls the debits, or credits, to and from your YouSAB messenger account. Intercard is responsible of providing a clear and transparent service so you are able to understand at all times, what you have been charged, to the nearest micropayment.

Without getting into the complex workings of Intercard, the basic numbers that you need to be aware of are:

100 units of Intercard credit, is equal to 1 euro. This will allow you 40 hours of using your YouSAB messenger service.

Intercard will deduct 0.125 units every 3 minutes that you use the service, so you can be sure that you are getting value for money at all times.

YouSAB offers you different values of Intercard credit which are:

300 units which will give you 120 hours of use for 3Euro

500 units will give you 240 hours of use for 5 Euro

1000 units will give you 500 hours of use for 10 Euro

One of the best features of using Intercard is; you can use it to carry out balance transfers to and from your Intercard account. This feature was introduced as a test bed for our soon to be released online money exchange bureau, that users will be able to use to exchange online currency at favorable exchange rates e.g. PayPal to Web money.

These are just three main features for the YouSAB community, but we continue to work from feedback from our users (which we welcome), to further improve the service, so we that we can all retain our privacy while online.

Hope you liked the article, and if you want to download the software freely to test, you can do so here.

For further information checkout my site.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

7 Comments

Filed under Anonymous Surfing, Communication, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Peer to Peer, Software, Surveillance, Video Calling, Windows Tips and Tools

How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…

Rick Robinette gives you the 411 on getting the best from your Blackberry Smartphone in these uncertain economic times.

The object of the this story is to demonstrate how I maximized the usage  of a Blackberry Smartphone using one of the cheapest mobile phone plans out there. For the sake of this article, the model phone that I used for this project was the Blackberry Curve 8320 Smartphone.

If you do not know what a Blackberry is, I encourage to visit the Blackberry website [ CLICK HERE ] .

Blackberry Smartphone

When it comes to mobile (cell) phones I cannot see myself conversing for a 1000 minutes (16.66 hours) a month. That is two workdays to me or time that I can allocate to other things where I can see results.

Please do not get me wrong, a mobile phone is very much needed in circumstances where your business or livelihood is dependent on quick communications. The plan which I currently use is a “pay as you go” plan (with T-Mobile). I have learned to discipline myself with the usage; PLUS I do not give my number out or use it for lengthy conversation.

I have always been fascinated with PDA’s, have owned quite a few, and was currently looking for something that would provide PDA capabilities, as well as, mobile phone capabilities. I did not want to pay a lot or get trapped into a lengthy service contract with a mobile phone provider just to own a computer in my pocket.

During a recent visit to the local mall I entered into my usual question and answer session with the sales rep at one of the T-Mobile kiosks.  I have done this in the past at other locations in an effort to educate myself about mobile phones.

One of my primary questions has been,  “What phones will my T-Mobile “pay-as-you-go” SIM card work in?”. You would be surprised at the answers I have received. I have always been told I would have to purchase another phone plan, if I wanted a Blackberry, etc…

Ultimately I always leave very confused about mobile phones. In this case, the sales rep proceeded to inform me that my SIM card in my cheapie phone would function in any of the phones they had. The sales rep proceeded to show me several phones including the Blackberry (all with heavy price tags if I were to buy the phone straight out).

As my “gadget luck” would have it, I was preparing to leave and the sales rep proceeds to tell me that he had an used Blackberry Curve 8320 for sale, minus the software for the phone.

Long story short, I get what I think is a good deal on this phone…  I buy the phone and with my cheap “pay as you go” plan, I challenge myself (as a project) to find workarounds to getting data to and from the Blackberry without the need to purchase a high priced data plan.

Reflected below is highlights of how my project turned out…  Some of the information alone may be helpful to other Blackberry owners and in some cases, depending on the phone (and provider), may not work at all. Some of the information reflected may be common information to mobile phone power users and may make me appear as if I don’t have a clue about mobile phones…

Well I don’t, but I am learning!  All I can tell you is, that I took a cheap phone plan (pay-as-you-go) and an expensive smartphone and customized it for my personal needs.

SIM Card

SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) is the card located in your phone that is a module that identifies to the mobile phone provider, who you are. It can also serve as storage media for your contacts, etc… The module can usually be removed and swapped to other phones (with the same provider).  In my case the SIM card worked with no problems and all my contacts were transferred to the Blackberry.  I now have voice communications with the Blackberry using my “pay as you go” plan.

Coverage

My phone coverage improved noticeably.  Locations where I could not get service, I now have service.  Proves to me that some mobile phones are better in transmission and reception than others.

Blackberry Desktop Manager Software

Since there was no software with the smartphone to manage the phone from my computer, I had to go find the software on the internet. I easily located and downloaded the software from “Blackberry” and installed it on my PC .

The Desktop Manager Software is an integral piece that you need to keep your phone software up to date; AND to provide file management, software management, and backup capabilities.

The installation was also bundled with a Roxio package to manage and convert audio, video and photo files.  After learning the Desktop Manager Software, I knew at that point this was my gateway for installing third party software onto Blackberry.

Calendar, Contact, and Task Management

In order to take full advantage of the calendar, contact and task management portion of the phone, I needed some type of syncing capabilities.

The Desktop Manager Software provides syncing capability to Microsoft Outlook and to Yahoo.  I exclusively configured my Yahoo internet mail account to manage my contacts, calendar, notes and tasks on my Blackberry.

When I connect my Blackberry to my computer, run the Desktop Manager Software, it automatically syncs with my Yahoo account on the internet. This also gives me the ability to pull up my information from any PC connected to the internet.

Wi-Fi

The Blackberry Curve 8320 has wi-fi (wireless) capability.  I configured the Blackberry to connect to the wireless router in my home, which provided me with (at first) limited access to the internet.  You will see below the workaround I utilized to gain full access.

Internet Browser

The browser on this particular phone was very, very limited (proprietary to T-Mobile) and did not provide complete internet access via my wireless access point. I initially did not think this was possible without a data plan, but after some careful thinking, I knew there had to be some way that I could bridge that gap.

I downloaded and installed Opera-Mini which is browser software designed for mobile phones. I now have full access to the internet via my wireless router or at any Wi-Fi access point that will let me in.  (Note: Opera-Mini is an awesome browser for this purpose).

MicroSD Card (with PC Adapter)

RadioShack had an 8 gig MicroSD memory card on sale ($20), which I installed into the Blackberry…  I now have storage capability; plus when  connecting the Blackberry to my computer it is recognized as a mass storage device.

I can now transport my files, portable apps, etc… This particular phone model has a camera (w/photo viewer), video camera (with video player) and voice recorder (w/audio player) built in.

With the added storage I successfully converted a full length movie to play on the Blackberry; added MP3 music files, photos, documents, etc…

Software

Now that I have learned to install software onto the Blackberry, I am currently exploring the internet for “freeware” software for the Blackberry.  Several sources that I have located are:

Blackberry Freeware

Blackberryfreaks.com

Blackberry Freeware Directory

In closing, I have been quite pleased with the outcome of this project and the Blackberry Curve Smartphone.  I welcome any comments or suggestions.

This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC.

4 Comments

Filed under BlackBerry, Interconnectivity, Mobile Applications

How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…

I love my gadgets, and when opportunity presents itself to try something different, I cannot resist.

The object of the this story is to demonstrate how I maximized the usage  of a Blackberry Smartphone using one of the cheapest mobile phone plans out there. For the sake of this article, the model phone that I used for this project was the Blackberry Curve 8320 Smartphone.

If you do not know what a Blackberry is, I encourage to visit the Blackberry website [ CLICK HERE ] .

Blackberry Smartphone

When it comes to mobile (cell) phones I cannot see myself conversing for a 1000 minutes (16.66 hours) a month. That is two workdays to me or time that I can allocate to other things where I can see results.

Please do not get me wrong, a mobile phone is very much needed in circumstances where your business or livelihood is dependent on quick communications. The plan which I currently use is a “pay as you go” plan (with T-Mobile). I have learned to discipline myself with the usage; PLUS I do not give my number out or use it for lengthy conversation.

I have always been fascinated with PDA’s, have owned quite a few, and was currently looking for something that would provide PDA capabilities, as well as, mobile phone capabilities. I did not want to pay a lot or get trapped into a lengthy service contract with a mobile phone provider just to own a computer in my pocket.

During a recent visit to the local mall I entered into my usual question and answer session with the sales rep at one of the T-Mobile kiosks.  I have done this in the past at other locations in an effort to educate myself about mobile phones.

One of my primary questions has been,  “What phones will my T-Mobile “pay-as-you-go” SIM card work in?”. You would be surprised at the answers I have received. I have always been told I would have to purchase another phone plan, if I wanted a Blackberry, etc…

Ultimately I always leave very confused about mobile phones. In this case, the sales rep proceeded to inform me that my SIM card in my cheapie phone would function in any of the phones they had. The sales rep proceeded to show me several phones including the Blackberry (all with heavy price tags if I were to buy the phone straight out).

As my “gadget luck” would have it, I was preparing to leave and the sales rep proceeds to tell me that he had an used Blackberry Curve 8320 for sale, minus the software for the phone.

Long story short, I get what I think is a good deal on this phone…  I buy the phone and with my cheap “pay as you go” plan, I challenge myself (as a project) to find workarounds to getting data to and from the Blackberry without the need to purchase a high priced data plan.

Reflected below is highlights of how my project turned out…  Some of the information alone may be helpful to other Blackberry owners and in some cases, depending on the phone (and provider), may not work at all. Some of the information reflected may be common information to mobile phone power users and may make me appear as if I don’t have a clue about mobile phones…

Well I don’t, but I am learning!  All I can tell you is, that I took a cheap phone plan (pay-as-you-go) and an expensive smartphone and customized it for my personal needs.

SIM Card

SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) is the card located in your phone that is a module that identifies to the mobile phone provider, who you are. It can also serve as storage media for your contacts, etc… The module can usually be removed and swapped to other phones (with the same provider).  In my case the SIM card worked with no problems and all my contacts were transferred to the Blackberry.  I now have voice communications with the Blackberry using my “pay as you go” plan.

Coverage

My phone coverage improved noticeably.  Locations where I could not get service, I now have service.  Proves to me that some mobile phones are better in transmission and reception than others.

Blackberry Desktop Manager Software

Since there was no software with the smartphone to manage the phone from my computer, I had to go find the software on the internet. I easily located and downloaded the software from “Blackberry” and installed it on my PC .

The Desktop Manager Software is an integral piece that you need to keep your phone software up to date; AND to provide file management, software management, and backup capabilities.

The installation was also bundled with a Roxio package to manage and convert audio, video and photo files.  After learning the Desktop Manager Software, I knew at that point this was my gateway for installing third party software onto Blackberry.

Calendar, Contact, and Task Management

In order to take full advantage of the calendar, contact and task management portion of the phone, I needed some type of syncing capabilities.

The Desktop Manager Software provides syncing capability to Microsoft Outlook and to Yahoo.  I exclusively configured my Yahoo internet mail account to manage my contacts, calendar, notes and tasks on my Blackberry.

When I connect my Blackberry to my computer, run the Desktop Manager Software, it automatically syncs with my Yahoo account on the internet. This also gives me the ability to pull up my information from any PC connected to the internet.

Wi-Fi

The Blackberry Curve 8320 has wi-fi (wireless) capability.  I configured the Blackberry to connect to the wireless router in my home, which provided me with (at first) limited access to the internet.  You will see below the workaround I utilized to gain full access.

Internet Browser

The browser on this particular phone was very, very limited (proprietary to T-Mobile) and did not provide complete internet access via my wireless access point. I initially did not think this was possible without a data plan, but after some careful thinking, I knew there had to be some way that I could bridge that gap.

I downloaded and installed Opera-Mini which is browser software designed for mobile phones. I now have full access to the internet via my wireless router or at any Wi-Fi access point that will let me in.  (Note: Opera-Mini is an awesome browser for this purpose).

MicroSD Card (with PC Adapter)

RadioShack had an 8 gig MicroSD memory card on sale ($20), which I installed into the Blackberry…  I now have storage capability; plus when  connecting the Blackberry to my computer it is recognized as a mass storage device.

I can now transport my files, portable apps, etc… This particular phone model has a camera (w/photo viewer), video camera (with video player) and voice recorder (w/audio player) built in.

With the added storage I successfully converted a full length movie to play on the Blackberry; added MP3 music files, photos, documents, etc…

Software

Now that I have learned to install software onto the Blackberry, I am currently exploring the internet for “freeware” software for the Blackberry.  Several sources that I have located are:

Blackberry Freeware

Blackberryfreaks.com

Blackberry Freeware Directory

In closing, I have been quite pleased with the outcome of this project and the Blackberry Curve Smartphone.  I welcome any comments or suggestions.

This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC.

8 Comments

Filed under BlackBerry, Cell Phone Apps, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Living Life

Your Electric Wiring Is A Wi-Fi Network Alternative

Powerline When most of us consider setting up a home network, we generally tend to be single minded. Automatically, it seems, we focus on Wi-Fi to the exclusion of any other network solution; and there are alternative solutions.

Wi-Fi has obvious advantages, not the least of which is it does away with the messy job of installing network cables which tend be unsightly, and in some cases difficult to install, particularly if run between floors.

On the other hand Wi-Fi can be a less than satisfactory solution to networking since issues such as distance between devices, thickness of walls and physical separation in the case of devices separated by floors, can impact Wi-Fi performance. In fact, in the past I have had less than acceptable performance with Wi-Fi devices located on different floors.

Power Line Communications (PLC) is a technology that uses the electrical wiring in your home, or your office, to provide network and Internet communication between attached devices, including computers, digital media devices such as a Tivo/Slingbox, and gaming consoles like the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Nintendo Wii.

powerlinelinksys

To network two computers, for example, you start by plugging the outlet adapters, which form the backbone of the technology, into the two appropriate electrical outlets. Then connect the outlet adapters to the Ethernet ports on your computers and voila! – you now have a basic network connection between the two machines.

Early on in the development of this technology performance was an issue, but in recent years relatively new improvements now permit up to 200Mbps transfer rates. In some European countries 400Mbps transfer rates are common. So playing games on more than one device; transferring video, music or other high-volume files on the network, or using devices such as network hard disk to store large files are not an issue.

Powerline 2 As with Wi-Fi, the signals have the ability to travel a short distance outside your home, so this technology includes the capacity to set an encrypted password to enhance network security.

There is some resistance to this technology in the U.S. amongst short wave radio hobbyists, since it’s possible for these adapters to generate unacceptable interference to short wave radio communication.

Quick facts:

Simple to set up – just plug in

Instant network connection

No network cables to install

Easy Internet connection sharing Network – Computers, Game Consoles, HD Media Devices

Cost: $100 – $200 (approximate)

If you’re interested in additional information on this technology, then checkout Wikipedia, and the Universal Powerline Association website.

Suppliers of this technology include these familiar companies: NetGear and D-Link.

For additional information checkout “Wired or Wireless?” by fellow Tech Blogger TechPaul. As well, a TechPaul reader asks – why upgrading to Gigabit Ethernet didn’t improve their Web surfing speed? For the answer, read “Gigabit Ethernet Didn’t Make Internet Faster“, on his site.

4 Comments

Filed under Easy Computer Networking, Interconnectivity, Networking, Windows Tips and Tools

Wi-Fi Alternative? – Powerline Networking!

When most of us consider setting up a home network, we generally tend to be single minded. Automatically, it seems, we focus on Wi-Fi to the exclusion of any other network solution; and there are alternative solutions.

Wi-Fi has obvious advantages, not the least of which is it does away with the messy job of installing network cables which tend be unsightly, and in some cases difficult to install, particularly if run between floors.

On the other hand Wi-Fi can be a less than satisfactory solution to networking since issues such as distance between devices, thickness of walls and physical separation in the case of devices separated by floors, can impact Wi-Fi performance. In fact, in the past I have had less than acceptable performance with Wi-Fi devices located on different floors.

Power Line Communications (PLC) is a technology that uses the electrical wiring in your home, or your office, to provide network and Internet communication between attached devices, including computers, digital media devices such as a Tivo/Slingbox, and gaming consoles like the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Nintendo Wii.

To network two computers, for example, you start by plugging the outlet adapters, which form the backbone of the technology, into the two appropriate electrical outlets. Then connect the outlet adapters to the Ethernet ports on your computers and voila! – you now have a basic network connection between the two machines.

Early on in the development of this technology performance was an issue, but in recent years relatively new improvements now permit up to 200Mbps transfer rates. In some European countries 400Mbps transfer rates are common. So playing games on more than one device; transferring video, music or other high-volume files on the network, or using devices such as network hard disk to store large files are not an issue.

As with Wi-Fi, the signals have the ability to travel a short distance outside your home, so this technology includes the capacity to set an encrypted password to enhance network security.

There is some resistance to this technology in the U.S. amongst short wave radio hobbyists, since it’s possible for these adapters to generate unacceptable interference to short wave radio communication.

Quick facts:

Simple to set up – just plug in

Instant network connection

No network cables to install

Easy Internet connection sharing Network – Computers, Game Consoles, HD Media Devices

Cost: $100 – $200 (approximate)

If you’re interested in additional information on this technology, then checkout Wikipedia, and the Universal Powerline Association website.

Suppliers of this technology include these familiar companies: NetGear and D-Link.

For a great article on setting up a network read “Which is Better Ethernet or Wireless” by TechPaul.

2 Comments

Filed under Easy Computer Networking, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Networking, Windows Tips and Tools

Easy Computer Networking – Use Your Electric Wiring

The other night I took a break from web surfing/research and ended up watching my favorite answer and question TV show, Jeopardy.

Under the category – Computer Networking – the supplied answer was “uses your home’s electrical wiring to build a network”.

The objective in Jeopardy is to supply the question that matches the answer. I found myself struggling to come up with the question “Powerline Networks”, and in fact I never did.

The reason for my lack of a quick answer on this is actually pretty straightforward – Wi-Fi.

When most of us consider setting up a home network, we generally tend to be single minded. Automatically, it seems, we focus on Wi-Fi to the exclusion of any other network solution; and there are alternative solutions.

Wi-Fi has obvious advantages, not the least of which is it does away with the messy job of installing network cables which tend be unsightly, and in some cases difficult to install, particularly if run between floors.

On the other hand Wi-Fi can be a less than satisfactory solution to networking since issues such as distance between devices, thickness of walls and physical separation in the case of devices separated by floors, can impact Wi-Fi performance. In fact, in the past I have had less than acceptable performance with Wi-Fi devices located on different floors.

Power Line Communications (PLC) is a technology that uses the electrical wiring in your home, or your office, to provide network and Internet communication between attached devices, including computers, digital media devices such as a Tivo/Slingbox, and gaming consoles like the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Nintendo Wii.

To network two computers, for example, you start by plugging the outlet adapters, which form the backbone of the technology, into the two appropriate electrical outlets. Then connect the outlet adapters to the Ethernet ports on your computers and voila! – you now have a basic network connection between the two machines.

Early on in the development of this technology performance was an issue, but in recent years relatively new improvements now permit up to 200Mbps transfer rates. So playing games on more than one device; transferring video, music or other high-volume files on the network, or using devices such as network hard disk to store large files are not an issue.

As with Wi-Fi, the signals have the ability to travel a short distance outside your home, so this technology includes the capacity to set an encrypted password to enhance network security.

Quick facts:

Simple to set up – just plug in

Instant network connection

No network cables to install

Easy Internet connection sharing

Network – Computers, Game Consoles, HD Media Devices

Cost: $100 – $200 (approximate)

If you’re interested in additional information on this technology checkout Wikipedia and the Universal Powerline Association web site.

Suppliers of this technology include these familiar companies: NetGear and D-Link.

6 Comments

Filed under Easy Computer Networking, Interconnectivity, Windows Tips and Tools