HomePlug is the name given to a technology that uses standard mains electrical cabling to transmit data and present the data HomePlug adaptor as a standard ethernet or wifi connection.
HomePlug is also known as PowerLAN.
HomePlug is an international standard and as such adaptors are available that support different voltages and different styles of mains plug connector for different countries around the world.
In recent years HomePlug adaptors have increased in speed so that they can support more data intensive services such as video streaming and gaming. They have also improved in performance so that they can operate over more “noisy” electrical connections and over mains electrical systems that have more than a single phase.
The latest HomePlug standard supports data throughput rates of up to 500Mbit/s, although faster data rates will be offered soon.
This standard is known as HomePlug 500.
HomePlug 500 devices can usually interwork with earlier HomePlug 200 adaptors.
Although interworking should be possible between adaptors from different manufacturers, we would recommend that, if possible, all the adaptors on a HomePlug network are from the same manufacturer.
A HomePlug solution comprises at least two mains adaptors: a master adaptor; and up to 15 slave adaptors.
The master adaptor connects via a patch cable to one of the ethernet ports at the back of the existing broadband internet router. It also plugs into a convenient a mains socket. The slave adaptors would plug into mains sockets in the areas where internet access, or a network connection, is required.
The diagram below illustrates a typical HomePlug connection where the master adaptor is connected to an internet router and the slave adaptor is connected to television equipment:
Additional slave HomePlug adaptors can be connected simply by plugging them into mains sockets that are convenient for the devices that require connection to the network.
There are two types of slave adaptor: wired and wireless.
- A wired slave adaptor would connect directly to the ethernet port of a PC or laptop, or to the uplink port of an ethernet switch or hub.
- A wireless slave adaptor would provide wireless (ie WiFi) internet access for laptops and devices such as smart-phones and iPads that are within its coverage area. Wireless slave adaptors usually include one or more wired ethernet ports.
Wired HomePlug adaptors are a convenient way of connecting equipment such as televisions, Sky, Virgin & You-View set-top boxes, games consoles and media servers to the internet.
These devices would typically have an ethernet socket to which the HomePlug slave adaptor would be connected.
Wired HomePlug slave adaptors are also ideal for connecting to the internet a desk-top PC located in (say) a bedroom or study.
The alternative of installing ethernet cable to each device that requires an ethernet network connection is usually impractical in most homes. A HomePlug connection is therefore ideal.
Wireless HomePlug adaptors provide additional flexibilty as they incoprporate a WiFi wireless access point in addtion to one or more ethernet sockets.
In the example shown in the above diagram this could be useful if there is a poor wireless signal in the room where the television equipment is located.
In general, the installation of HomePlug WiFi slave adaptors are a convenient way of extending wireless coverage in a home or office through in areas where there are WiFi wireless blackspots.
Click on the contact button to the left if you have a specific requirement or if you wish to discuss how your business could make better and more cost-effective use of its existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and services.