Home networks, formerly the territory of geeks only, are now as common as microwaves — just set up a Wi-Fi base station and you're done. Still, anyone in need of serious bandwidth may lament any compromise in performance that a wireless connection might bring. But stringing cable is such a hassle. Is there a happy medium?
Belkin thinks so. Its $150 Gigabit Powerline HD Starter Kit, available now, promises the convenience of wireless with the performance of a wired connection. The kit transmits data over your home's existing electrical lines: Just connect one adapter to your network hub, and the other wherever you've got your game console, PC or HDTV. Data transmission over power lines is nothing new, but Belkin's new toy brings to the table high speed, boasting an ideal transmission rate of 1,000 Mbps (by comparison, the new iPhone 3GS is capable of 7.2 Mbps over 3G networks).
Of course, that "ideal" caveat lets Belkin get away with a lot. But after using an 802.11n Wi-Fi base station for a few months and never getting close to its ideal data rate, this kit is actually looking pretty good. Anyone else disappointed with wireless tempted to make the switch?