Phoneline Network Adapter

A phoneline network is a type of technology or local area network that allows multiple computers in a particular household to connect to each other using existing phone lines. This enables the sharing of printers, files and internet access. Using this networking technology, up to 25 computers can be comfortably connected to each other. It is possible to also share data while simultaneously using the phone lines to make calls. The standard for the phone line network technology is set by the Home Phone Networking Alliance (HPNA), also known as HomePNA. There are other available networking technologies as well, such as power line, Ethernet and wireless, and phone line has its own unique advantages.

All types of local area networks need a device known as a network adapter to be able to send and receive data between computers. The network adapter would, in other words, be able to communicate with various protocols, making sure that all the computers in the network are speaking the same language. A network adapter may be a network card that in installed internally in the computer, or an external device featuring USB and Ethernet, or phone line connections. While internal adapters are recognized automatically by the computer, external ones may need software to be installed before they can work.

An adapter used in a phone line setting is referred to as a phone line network adapter. The computers that are a part of the network would be continuously generating digital information. This information is broken down into packets by the phone line network adapter. These packets have encoded data as well as the address of the computer that the information needs to be sent to. Once data is broken down into packets, the phone line network adapter then converts them into analog waves. These analog waves travel along phone wires transferring the packets to the other computers. The use of a phone line network adapter and network enables a peer-to-peer type connection which means that there is no requirement for a central hub.

A standard phoneline network adapter has a jack with the provision to connect a standard phone-wire plug. This is also called the RJ-11 plug. One end of the phone wire is connected to the wall for the incoming signal, while the other end is connected to the network adapter. The adapter makes it possible to be able to talk on the phone while also using it for networking with other computers. This is done by a process known as frequency division multiplexing. Using this process, the phone line network adapter will divide the bandwidth that is available into two different sections. When a call is made, the voice travels over a smaller part of the bandwidth, leaving a larger chunk to the data from computers.

The advantages presented with the use of a phone line network adapter are ease of installation, low cost and reliability. Most computers come with in-built network adapters and hence there is no need to purchase an external one. No other devices such as switches and routers are needed to complete the network. Irrespective of usage of phone, a steady data stream of 10 mbps can be expected. Some of the disadvantages of using a phone line network adapter are use of extension wires, lack of sufficient bandwidth for transfer of huge amounts of data. Also, a phone jack needs to be present nearby each computer, if extension wires cannot be used. While investing in a phone line network adapter, it is advisable to go for one that is rated as HPNA 2.0 or higher.

This Phoneline Network Adapter Review is Written/Updated on Nov 17th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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