updated 10:45 am EST, Tue January 24, 2012
Linksys Powerline AV gets 3 new models
Cisco's Linksys badge brought out three new powerline networking kits for those who prefer or need mostly wired links. The PLEK400 one-port kit, PLSK400 four-port kit, and PLW400 wireless extender all run on the HomePlug standard and can reach up to 200Mbps. Linksys is vowing a small design that makes it practical to hook up other devices to the local wall outlet.
Differences focus directly on connections. The PLEK400 has one Ethernet port on both ends and is intended for giving Internet access to that one device out of reach of Ethernet-only or Wi-Fi. A PLSK400 has four ports on one end and is meant for home theaters or other areas where a whole nest of devices need to get online. The Wireless Extender creates an 802.11n Wi-Fi hotspot from an existing HomePlug powerline network to run wireless into an area where it would be blocked otherwise, such as a basement.
The two completely wired kits are already shipping and cost the same $100, making it unclear why the one-port kit exists. The PLW400 wireless extender will cost $120 when it ships in March.