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WD's Livewire Uses AC Outlets for Networking

Tuesday hard drive manufacturer Western Digital (WD) revealed the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit, a setup that establishes a home network using electrical outlets, and could eliminate the need to string Ethernet cables throughout the home or office. This solution could also boost network reliability in areas outside a wireless router's range.

According to the company, the kit provides two 4-port HomePlug AV adapters and data transfer speeds of up to 200Mbps. One adapter plugs into the user's (required) Ethernet router and an electrical outlet. The other adapter is plugged into another electrical outlet elsewhere in the office or home. WD said that users should expect to see "glitch-free playback of Full-HD 1080p video streams" on up to seven connected devices.

"Wireless networks, while popular, don't always deliver the reliable high-speed connections needed to sustain HD video streaming," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD's branded products group. "Meanwhile, drilling holes for new Ethernet cables is complicated, expensive and messy. With the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit, it's truly easy to enjoy all the HD streaming and broadband Internet capabilities of these great new devices anywhere there is an electrical outlet."

In addition to the two adapters, the kit also includes two Ethernet cables, two power cables, software and a 1-year limited warranty. The kit is HomePlug AV certified, IEEE 802.3 and IEEE 802.3u compliant, and is available now online and offline for $139.99 USD.

  • christiangordon
    These have been around for a while and work pretty well.
    Reply
  • 2real
    doesn't this tech already exist? and how can you transfer your network signal over your electrical outlets?
    Reply
  • angryfingertips
    christiangordonThese have been around for a while and work pretty well.
    Wait till apple unveils theirs.
    Reply
  • masterasia
    I think you can get the Linksys version for half the price.
    And yes, this technology has been out for a while now. When they first came out they were only like 10-15 Mbs. 200 Mbs seems to be where everyone's at these days with powerline.
    Reply
  • tokenz
    I dont think it has been anywhere near this fast. Last time I checked it was at like 42mbit per second. So if you get 200mbps thats a really good speed. Also setting up multiples was difficult as well. I decided to run cat 6 instead. Still a little expensive though.
    Reply
  • nforce4max
    This reminds me of dialup home networks ware the phone line in the house is used in this way. Also some service providers use this method of networking except they use the power line as a medium but that is dead commercially in most areas while the concept is being kept alive such as this.
    Reply
  • christiangordon
    angryfingertipsWait till apple unveils theirs.As long as I can use all Operating Systems on it I would be fine with it.
    Price must also be decent.
    Reply
  • mavroxur
    This has been around for almost 10 years that I know of at speeds close to this. It was around back in the 90's too but it was much slower.
    Reply
  • dman3k
    They need to make a coax one for people who don't use their coax in the house like people with RJ45s (like U-Verse) or fiber (like FiOS).
    Reply
  • jrnyfan
    This tech exists already and there is a reason why it died out: It doesn't work. It's going to die out again and I pity the fools that get suckered into this again
    Reply