Now that you have that nice fat broadband line, you'll probably want to share it across a LAN to keep the wife and kids off your gaming rig. Home networking is exploding thanks to the growth of broadband. Many households are setting up local area networks for the express purpose of sharing an internet connection. In fact, a good number of people who build home networks by following our networking guides, e-mail us asking for internet sharing advice.
Just a year ago, networking options were pretty thin for the home user. Most household LANs had to use traditional 10BaseT/100BaseT(RJ45 cabling) or 10Base2(coaxial cabling) networks. Today, there are many new networking technologies available for the home user, and several were on display at CES.
Home networking company 2Wire
had its HomePortal 1000
on display. The HomePortal 1000 is an all-in-one solution that combines a DSL modem, networking hub, router, web server, and firewall. The DSL modem supports G.dmt or G.lite depending on the product version.
The most impressive feature of the HomePortal are all the networking options. It features traditional 10/100BaseT networking along with HomePNA 1.0/2.0 phoneline, and HomeRF wireless networking. Simply put, 2Wire's HomePortal will offer users several different ways to network their computers. 2Wire also has the HomePortal 100 for users who don't need the built-in DSL modem.
While 2Wire's HomePortal looks like it has networking pretty well covered, it is missing one up and coming technology -powerline networking. Inari, previously known as Intelogis, is known for its powerline networking technologies.
The Inari PassPort Plug-in Network uses the AC wiring in your home to connect your computers -every AC outlet in your house becomes a potential node. While the current PassPort only features a 350kbps transfer speed, Inari is ready to introduce a new 2Mbps powerline network controller, and a 10Mbps chipset should be available by the end of the year.
We currently have the PassPort Plug-in Network Kit in our product queue, and you can expect a review in the coming weeks.
If you've read our Diamond HomeFree Phoneline
and Intel AnyPoint
reviews, then you already know the basics of phoneline networking. Back when we reviewed the Diamond and Intel products, phoneline networking was limited to speeds of only 1Mbps, but now we have new 10Mbps products available. 3Com has its new 10Mbps Home Network Phoneline Kit
, and Intel has a new 10Mbps PCI AnyPoint card.
With such a large market ready to explode, you can expect home networking technology to improve at an even faster pace as manufacturers fight to grab a piece of the ever growing pie.