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Revised 5/11/2004

Home Networking - HomePlug Evaluation

HomePlug is an emerging LAN technology targeted to customers who want to connect multiple PCs to a cable or DSL modem and don't want to run new wiring. It is a form of powerline networking, operating over the existing electrical wiring in the home. In development for many years, this equipment started coming to market in the summer of 2002.

Between July 2002 and January 2003, we conducted an extensive test of HomePlug powerline networking equipment.We wanted to see how well it worked in our home, how it compared with the structured wiring we already have, and how it compared with wireless networking.

We described our testing and use of HomePlug in four articles in our monthly report:

In April 2004, we interviewed the top officers of Intellon--the key chip maker--on what's coming in the next generation of HomePlug:

These web pages provide additional details of the equipment we tested, our testing procedure, and our test results and conclusions:

  • HomePlug Products Tested describes the products we tested: Ethernet bridges and USB adapters from three different companies.
  • HomePlug Test Procedure describes our testing procedure.
  • HomePlug Test Results describes the results of our tests including our measurements of network speed for each adapter at each tested outlet. The test locations page shows the location of each tested outlet.
  • HomePlug Conclusions presents our conclusions from this evaluation of HomePlug devices.
  • HONEST: HOme NEtworking Speed Test describes and provides the source code for the program we wrote to evaluate and compare the performance of HomePlug and other home networking technologies. We have published the source code of the program as a service to the broadband home community.

Next: Homeplug Products Tested