updated 11:50 am EDT, Mon June 11, 2007
NETGear Powerline Extender
NETGEAR this morning took a more distinctive approach to networks through its Powerline Network Extender. Instead of replacing the home router outright with a powerline model, the Extender draws on an existing device. A unique power supply splitter replaces the normal router's own power supply and includes both a standard plug for the home's power grid as well as an Ethernet connection to link its data with the router. The option lets any wall outlet with the right adapter become a 14Mbps or 85Mbps Ethernet connection, NETGEAR says. The hybrid method also makes sure that the powerline network honors the security limits of the host router and allows for a rare mix of wireless and powerline networks for those who would use both.
Known in shops as the XEPSB103, the Extender should be available now for $80 and officially requires one of the company's own routers to handle the power usage. Devices on the opposite end of the link only require support for the HomePlug 1.0 powerline network standard.