Ethernet Over Power Line Comes to the Rescue

Back in a post from February 2007 I noted that I was lucky enough to gain access to a private beta version of Windows Home Server (WHS). I instantly recognised the huge benefits for a central, replicated file store and automated, whole-machine daily backups for up to 10 machines. To run WHS I bought a dedicated box that has now been running continuously for 30 months under my old roll-top desk not a metre away from where I sit in my study.  In subsequent ups and downs has been a delight and only the occasional frustration.

Since July 2007 when my wife, Margot, retired she has spent long hours in the same study working on her genealogy research. It was only a month ago we suddenly started to notice how loud the now ageing WHS box had become. Even though we have wireless through the house that services other desktop and laptop machines we cannot move the WHS box. This is because WHS insists on having a wired Ethernet connection, for guaranteed connectivity and reliability I suppose. The router that connects WHS to the cable modem has to be in the study.

Last week it finally occurred to me after seeing an Ethernet over power line ad on a US web site that this might offer a solution. I only found time to visit our local Harvey Norman today and was delighted to find a suitable product from NetComm, the NP201AV HomePlug Ethernet over Power starter kit of 2 units.

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After 5 minutes of testing I was convinced it would work. After 15 minutes I had transferred my WHS down 2 levels to a cupboard in our converted buggy garage where it is running on an Ethernet connection close to the 200 Mbps maximum. There is blissful near silence in the study with only the two Dell boxes humming quietly. Our study ambience is transformed. Hats off to NetComm.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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