April, 2008:


devolo homeplugs

As part of Kathryn’s work towards her MCSE she has a server PC that rundevolo homeplugss VMWare Server allowing her to build as many test servers as she needs quickly and easily. Small problem is the server previously sat in the cupboard under my iMac and ran loudly and also got very warm. Not having a server room in our house I decided to investigate potential places to host it. Under the stairs, the attic and the outside shed were the potential sites – with only the shed guaranteeing silence.

However all these locations suffered from the problem of the lack of comms links anywhere near by – laying some Cat 6 was doable but very tricky if it need to go outside.. It looked like I was going to have to plug a wireless card in and rely on that. Then I recalled an article I read on a forum not long back about how Homeplugs have improved so much – if you don’t know what they are it’s essentially a device that plugs into a standard electrical wall socket and has an ethernet port. What it does is transmit the signal across your home wiring and allows network connectivity anywhere there is a plug socket. I’ve got mine plugged into my switch under my desk and hanging off a ten gang extension lead. The other end is on a 4 gang plugged into an extension that runs under the path from the kitchen into the shed. But wouldn’t you know it within seconds of plugging the shed server had picked up a DHCP address and was on both the LAN and the internet!

It seems stable and even seems fine when the tumble dryer on the same shed 4 gang is on. I’m impressed to say the least and in the future I’ll certainly be looking at homeplugs where I may previously have been looking at a wireless solution or laying some network cables. For those worried about their homeplug signal escaping accross the mains and into next door you can set a password much like a WPA or WEP key on a wireless network.