SMC Networks on Tuesday introduced a new line of EZ Connect networking devices based on HomePlug 1.0 technology, and claims to be the only vendor offering a Mac-compatible HomePlug solution.
SMC’s 14Mbps HomePlug to Ethernet Desktop Adapter enables Macs, PCs and game consoles to communicate at up to 14Mbps. The company also introduced a HomePlug to USB adapter, but it’s for Windows only.
HomePlug eschews conventional networking or wireless technology to transmit data over household electrical networks. Two HomePlug to Ethernet Desktop Adapters are required to bridge a connection — one plugs into an Ethernet-equipped Mac, PC or video game console, while the other plugs into another computer or a hub or router. Each connects to an electrical outlet, and the data is passed along the house’s wiring system. It’s an alternative for users who are unable or unwilling to use conventional Ethernet cabling or wireless networking technology.
The HomePlug to Ethernet Desktop Adapter is a desktop unit with an internal power supply. It uses auto-sensing technology to maintain the best connection possible and features 56-bit Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Dynamic Key Management. It ships with SMC’s EZ Installation Wizard software, for configuration and “fine tuning” on both Mac and Windows platforms. Information on specific system requirements was not available as MacCentral posted this article.
SMC will begin to ship the new devices in November. The HomePlug to Ethernet Desktop Adapter carries a suggested retail price of US$79.99. The HomePlug to Ethernet Starter kit, which includes two adapters, costs $149.99.