updated 09:20 am EDT, Thu July 10, 2008
Belkin Powerline and 11n
Belkin today launched sweeping changes to its network routers, starting with a new set of routers for Ethernet networking over a home's power grid. The Powerline series supplies speeds between 85Mbps and 200Mbps depending on the model, giving enough speed for faster Internet connections and streaming video at distances up to 300 meters away without the lag associated with wireless. All also support AES encryption to prevent outsiders from tapping into the network without permission.
The basic Powerline Starter Kit ($100) provides both a single adapter for an existing router and one for a computer and is limited to both the basic 85Mbps speed as well as 64-bit AES protection. A Powerline AV Starter Kit ($150) adds HomePlug AV support for home theater equipment that supports the format as well as full 200Mbps performance and 128-bit encryption. Topping the lineup, the Powerline AV+ Starter Kit ($180) replaces one of the adapters with a three-port Ethernet connection for multiple computers or AV devices on one adapter. All three ship in North America and Australia by October.
The accessory maker has also launched a brand new redesign of its Wireless Router series it says reflects a new reality for networking: every new model is designed to stand vertically and thus take up little space on a desk or the floor. The series is headlined by the N+ Wireless Router ($120), a full 802.11n Wi-Fi router with USB to share storage, multiple gigabit Ethernet ports, and LEDs that display network throughput in real time. A simpler N Wireless Router ($80) sheds the USB, faster Ethernet, and LEDs for the sake of cost. Economy users can opt for the G+ MIMO Wireless Router ($60), which provides the extra connection quality of a multi-antenna array, or the simpler still G Wireless Router ($40).
All of the new Wi-Fi routers save for the basic G model support WPS for automated creation of protected wireless networks and should also be available in October.
Powerline and Powerline AV+
N+ Wireless Router