On Tuesday, Western Digital unveiled its new Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit. This networking device allows you to use electrical outlets to provide network and Internet access throughout your home.
Unlike some powerline devices that use large adapter boxes that can possibly block the second power outlet on a wall, the Livewire uses a power cable to connect from the Livewire box to the power outlet. This allows for unobstructed access to the second power outlet.
The kit includes a pair of Livewire network adapter boxes, each with four Ethernet ports. You can plug one Livewire adapter into your router (which is connected to your broadband Internet modem) and then connect that same Livewire adapter into a power outlet. You then plug the second Livewire adapter into the room where you want network access, and then plug devices into the Livewire adapter, such as a Mac, network-attached storage device (like WD’s My Book World Edition), or a wireless access point. (Your power outlets need to be on the same power grid. Some older homes may have separate power grids.)
Wester Digital says the Powerline can provide data transfer speeds of 200 megabits per second.
The Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit is $140 and comes with a one-year limited warranty.