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What is HomePlug?

HomePlug® technology (also known as powerline or PLC) provides a very simple and reliable way to connect devices to the Internet and one another using your home’s existing electrical wiring. HomePlug Certified products are certified by the HomePlug Alliance - a group of about 55 companies working together to develop technology and product certification programs (similar to the Wi-Fi Alliance® for wireless products). Look for the "HomePlug Certified" logo on powerline products to ensure they have passed rigorous performance and interoperability testing.       

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Why would I want it?
HomePlug Certified adapters are a very easy, reliable and cost effective way to connect devices, especially when far from your router. By simply connecting one adapter to your router, you send your router’s Internet signal to every outlet in the home. Plug in and connect as many additional adapters as you need to provide a reliable high-speed Internet connection to your game console, PC, Smart TV, Internet radio, etc.

What about wireless?
If you have Wi-Fi dead spots, you can use a hybrid powerline range extender to extend your Wi-Fi network to remote areas of your home. Now, with HomePlug Certified products, you can get both wired and wireless connectivity from every electrical outlet.

Do I have to buy a lot of stuff?
No. In fact, to get started, you just need one adapter by your broadband connection and one adapter close to the device you want to connect. After that, you can add as many additional adapters, one at a time. The first adapter feeds the network, and all the other adapters automatically connect to it, quickly and simply. If you happen to have a hybrid (HomePlug Certified powerline + Wi-Fi) router, you no longer even need to connect an adapter to the router, as the router itself serves as the connectivity input to your electrical wiring as soon as you plug it in for power.

What is the bandwidth?
HomePlug Certified adapters are available advertising physical rates of 200Mbps, 500Mbps and now over 1Gbps. This is more bandwidth than you likely get from your broadband connection, and perfect for streaming Ultra HD videos, downloading large files and online gaming. One benefit of this high capacity is the ability for multiple simultaneous streams – for example, one person can transfer files from one computer to another in the office, while another person streams online video to the TV in the living room, all without interrupting a third person’s Pandora stream in the kitchen.

Will it work in my old home with old wiring?
As long as your home has electricity, there is a high degree of confidence that the new breed of HomePlug Certified powerline adapters will connect and communicate through your home, even when devices are connected on different circuits.

What about "noise" on the electrical wires?
HomePlug technologies and products are designed to filter out noisy signals and get data to your devices reliably, with no interference.

Can I plug HomePlug Certified adapters into a power strip?
Although it will work in many cases, it is best to plug your HomePlug Certified adapters directly into the wall, as some surge-protection will degrade the signal. Since HomePlug Certified adapters only require one plug, consider plugging an adapter into one plug and the power strip into the other, so you can get both power and connectivity out of the same outlet.

Can my neighbor access my network?
Using the push-button security feature on your HomePlug Certified adapters, you can set up and protect your powerline network with the latest security technologies. A simple press of a button on each adapter creates a secure powerline network.

I’ve read about AV2 for a while, how is AV2 MIMO better than existing HomePlug AV and AV2 products?
The short answer is improved quality of service (QOS) and coverage to all areas of the home. The existing HomePlug AV and AV2 products use 2 wires (hot and neutral) and can be referred to as “SISO” (for single-input / single output). AV2 MIMO with beam forming uses those 2 wires plus the ground to greatly increase the reliability of high-bandwidth service to all areas of the home by a factor 2 to 4 times as compared to earlier technology (MIMO stands for multiple-in / multiple out).

But I thought that existing HomePlug AV and AV2 products provided reliable high bandwidth throughout the home?
That is correct. HomePlug AV and AV2 SISO provide reliable connectivity throughout the home by transforming the electrical wiring into an Ethernet network (no new wires are needed). Each of those specifications made improvements over their predecessors. HomePlug AV2 MIMO is the next big step in that progression, and improves on those very good solutions.

So which HomePlug technology is right for me?
HomePlug AV, AV2 SISO, and AV2 MIMO will all deliver reliable high bandwidth service to your home. If you have a very large house with long distances from your router, or need to deliver multiple Ultra HDTV streams to all areas of your house, AV2 MIMO will deliver the highest quality bandwidth for the best viewing experience.

Should I replace my existing HomePlug adapters with AV2 MIMO adapters?
AV2 MIMO is a next generation technology that can help fulfill the networking demands of new, high bandwidth applications such as 4K video. Also, if a user is experiencing a bandwidth limitation, an upgrade to AV2 MIMO might be a good investment. As stated previously, all HomePlug technology will deliver reliable home networking solutions; AV2 MIMO just makes a very good solution even better.

How much performance increase can I expect to get with AV2 MIMO?
We are seeing 2-4X improvement over previous HomePlug standards. What you see in performance improvement might vary a little depending on what generation of HomePlug technology you are currently using, and the type of wiring is in your home.

Will AV2 MIMO interoperate with earlier HomePlug technology?
Yes, all HomePlug devices with the HomePlug Certification Logo are interoperable, including HomePlug AV, AV2 SISO, AV2 MIMO, and HomePlug Green PHY.

There has been a lot of talk about “hybrid home networks” and the “Internet of things.” How does HomePlug fit into all that?
Regarding hybrid networks, HomePlug is a key sponsoring organization for the nVoy Program which provides interoperability certification for the IEEE 1905.1 standard. nVoy technology is a software layer that helps to orchestrate hybrid home networks, for example, HomePlug and Wi-Fi working seamlessly together.
Regarding the “Internet of things,” there is an increasing trend to embed HomePlug Green PHY and HomePlug AV technology directly into devices to provide true “plug and play” connectivity. Already, HomePlug technology is built in to electric vehicles from BMW, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen. In Asia, there are CE products such as smart TV’s, air conditioners and refrigerators that have HomePlug inside. In a nutshell, HomePlug can serve as an ideal backbone technology to connect many different devices on an integrated home network.

How much will it cost to set up a HomePlug network?
The retail prices for various versions of HomePlug technology range from about $40 to $120 for a pair of adapters, with HomePlug AV products now being the entry level and AV2 MIMO available as a premium option. There are also many products that combine HomePlug and Wi-Fi together to add additional “hot spots” to a home network.