Seemingly not wanting to be outdone by Amped Wireless' launch of the PLA2 Powerline network adapter kit released earlier this week, TRENDnet launched a powerline-based kit of its own, the Powerline 200 AV Nano Adapter kit. The company doesn't claim "world's smallest," but does promise more available space at an electrical outlet thanks to the "nano" form factor.
As with the Amped Wireless kit, TRENDnet's kit comes packed with two adapters, the TPL-308E, which are pre-encrypted right out of the box. However, unlike the Amped Wireless models, these do not come equipped with a pass-through electrical plug, only offering an Ethernet port each, one of which must connect to a router.
The beauty of this kind of networking means packets are not tossed through the air, but instead pass through the power lines in a home or office. This means network connectivity can reach into areas where wireless signals cannot. The only drawback is that the adapters must be on the same electrical grid, meaning a house with two separate circuit breakers may not qualify (depends on the router's location). The speed is also limited, up to 200 Mbps which is roughly between Wireless G and Wireless N max speeds.
To use this kit, the customer simply plugs one adapter into an electrical socket, and then into a router via an Ethernet cable. The other adapter can be plugged into an electrical outlet anywhere in the house or office to automatically receive the signal. It then passes the network connection on to an Ethernet-based device like a gaming console or desktop.
"Power Save mode reduces power consumption by up to 70-percent, when the adapters are idle—this is a big benefit since the adapters are always plugged in," the company said on Tuesday. "Quality of Service technology prioritizes video, audio, and online gaming. LED displays convey device status for easy troubleshooting. Advanced 128-bit AES encryption secures your network. This adapter is ideal for use in buildings that interfere with wireless networking signals."
The Powerline 200 AV Nano adapter kit, aka the TPL-308E2K, is now on sale for $74.99 USD right here. The company also sells extra Powerline 200 AV Nano adapters for $39.99 each which can be purchased here.