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How to create the Digital Home

Early adopters of home networking will know just how much was involved, not just buying cables but drilling through walls, wiring up sockets and connecting everything together. No wonder that most of us prefer the modern convenience of wireless, or powerline technologies.

The Wi-Fi option

Most of us will get Wi-Fi when we sign up for wireless broadband, enabling home PCs and notebooks to connect and be linked together wirelessly, to both surf the Web and share photos, music and other content. Modern smartphones can also connect using Wi-Fi, as can tablets like the iPad, and games consoles, making it a very convenient and popular solution, enabling these devices to be used from any room in the house.

Wireless routers, such as those from D-Link, provide a very stable connection able to reach into every part of the home. Moreover, using the latest Wi-Fi technology (commonly referred to as Wireless N), HD Media Routers (DIR-657 and DIR-857), part of D-Link’s next generation of high performance solutions amplifiTM, can stream music and HD video to multiple devices at the same time. And that includes laptops and tablet computers, games consoles and the Boxee Box by D-Link connected to an HDTV. They even allow you share USB printers and hard drives.

Range can also be an issue with Wi-Fi, but here too D-Link has the answer - in the form of a technology calledSmartBeamTM. The Wireless N Router with SmartBeamTM Technology (DIR-645) uses 6 multi-directional antennae to find and track individual devices on your network, focussing bandwidth where it is needed most.

The PowerLine option

Wi-Fi is brilliant for most households, but there are still some situations where it might not give you the connection that you need throughout your entire home. In houses with lots of thick stone walls for example, or in shared buildings with lots of interference.  In which case, there’s PowerLine which uses domestic power sockets and electrical wiring to create a network, again, without the need for messy cabling.

PowerLine involves the use of small adapters - little bigger than a normal plug - that fit into ordinary wall-mounted power sockets. You’ll need at least two; one to connect to your router, while the other is then plugged into a computer or any other Ethernet device. Or if you want to do it all without the hassle of cables, a PowerLine Wireless Extender is a perfect solution.

PowerLine adapters like D-Link’s PowerLine HomePlug AV 500 versions ( DHP-500/501AV) are easy to deploy; just plug them in, switch them all on and – voila – you have a network. Moreover they incorporate the fastest PowerLine technology to support even the busiest of households that are streaming, gaming and surfing simultaneously.

In fact Wi-Fi and PowerLine go hand in hand, they are complementary technologies that can be used together to give you the connection you need around your Digital Home.