AC and Phone line Computer Networking - dummies

AC and Phone line Computer Networking

You can build a network by either using the existing standard AC power wiring (a power line network) or the telephone wiring (a phone line network) in your home. Both these alternative wired networks have been around for several years.

The advantages of an alternative wired network over a wired or wireless network are clear:

  • It has no Cat 5 or 6 cables: Your home or office is already set up with all the “cabling” you need, and you likely have “ports” in every room.

  • It provides better security than a wireless network: The network packets transferred over a phone line network or an AC network are practically impossible for anyone outside the building to intercept.

  • It’s easy to install: A phone line network or a power line network is still much easier to set up than a traditional wired network.

So, why aren’t phone line and power line networks more popular? Unfortunately, compared with wireless, both these network solutions leave much to be desired:

  • They’re slower than wireless. The raw file-transfer speed of an 802.11n network wipes the floor with either alternative wired network.

  • They’re less convenient than wireless. Your networked PCs and peripherals are tied down to certain areas (around either your telephone jacks or your AC power sockets).

  • You can connect fewer computers. A wireless network can accept twice as many users (or standalone network devices) as either a phone line or power line network.

These drawbacks of phone line and power line networks (along with the explosive popularity of wireless hardware) will likely doom these kinds of networks to gradual extinction.