Tag: Gigabit Ethernet

Synology releases an app-based router


Synology Formally Announces Its Wireless Router | SmallNetBuilder

From the horse’s mouth


RT1900ac Wi-Fi router

Press Release

Product Page

My Comments

Synology is best known for their range of highly-flexible network-attached-storage devices but they have taken their first steps in to releasing network hardware, especially routers.

The typical Synology NAS is based on the “Disk Station Manager” or DSM platform which, like QNAP’s QTS platform uses user-installable apps to add extra functionality to these devices. Here, you can deploy these programs from Synology’s Web site via the NAS’s Web interface for a device that suits your needs, with some allowing the NAS to be that “office in a box” server for a small business.

Now they have released the RT1900ac Wi-Fi router which is based on the Synology Router Manager platform, a router-specific derivative of the DSM platform. There is the similar user-friendly graphic interface for the router’s Web dashboard that would be experienced with a Synology or similar NAS. As well, users can downolad and deploy apps that extend the router’s functionality to something that would be akin to other small-business routers or, more likely, the Freebox Révolution.

This is compared to a few attempts that Linksys and others achieved at router platforms that extend these devices’ functionality. One of these was to provide a mobile-platform-centric operation which wouldn’t work well with a heterogenous desktop/laptop/mobile/server operating environment where there is a desire to manage the device from a Web browser.

One of these apps is a VPN endpoint server so that you could run the Synology as part of a client-box or box-box VPN. It can work using the common VPN protocols including OpenVPN. Anothers of these is a RADIUS server that would earn its keep with managing wireless hotspots or enterprise networks with user-based access control. Oh yeah, secondary storage needs are taken care of courtesy of an SD card and a USB port for you to connect a thumbdrive or USB hard disk to.

There are expectations that the app platform can bring on extra functionality to this router such as different application-level gateways, VoIP servers, public-access wireless hotspots and the like. As well, it would be interesting to find out if Synology writes functionality in to the router’s software and their NAS unit’s software to have these device work tightly together, as well as supplying different routers that suit different needs and budgets/

What is an ideal home network?

Netgear DG834G ADSL2 wireless router

A wireless router that is part of a full broadband service

A home network needs to support both a wired and wireless local-area-network path for many different reaons. If you just use a wireless-only home network, you are exposing everything to the vagaries of the radio technology that the wireless network is all about such as interference to or obstruction of these radio signals. As well, a lot of sessile devices like desktop computers have the antenna and radio circuitry for the wireless network functionality located towards the back of the equipment and this can cause interference for equipment that uses a metal chassis.

It would be ideal to implement an Ethernet + wireless setup with a Wi-Fi network of at least 802.11n dual-band multi-stream specification providing the wireless coverage and Gigabit Ethernet wiring pulled through the house to all of the rooms. But a lot of factors can get in the way of this ideal such as the cost to pull Cat5 Ethernet wiring through an existing house or factor in Cat5 Ethernet wiring to each room in a new building.

On the other hand, I would head for a wireless + HomePlug powerline setup or one covering wireless, Cat5 Ethernet and HomePlug. Here, I would use at least 802.11n dual-band multi-stream technology for the Wi-Fi wireless segment and at least HomePlug AV500 for the HomePlug powerline segment. Using all three paths, where I include Gigabit Ethernet to some rooms like one or two of the main living areas, the office / den area and one or two bedrooms along with the other two technologies. This could create a home network that covers the house on what would be effectively a “beer budget”.

Devolo dLAN 1200+ HomePlug AV2 MIMO adaptor press picture courtesy of Devolo

Let’s not forget HomePlug as a network connectivity tool (European setup)

In some environments like a multiple-building setup or a network in a commercial building or apartment block, I would consider implementing HomePlug AV2 MIMO technology to assure reliable operation.

Why a wired and wireless network setup?

A wireless link provided by the Wi-Fi segment is to primarily serve the mobile and portable devices that are intended to be located on a whim. Whereas a wired link provided by Ethernet and/or HomePlug AV is to serve the devices that are normally fixed by providing reliable network connectivity to these devices.

Another advantage is to set up an extra wireless access point to increase your wireless network’s coverage. This can do that job better than the typical wireless network range extender because this setup can supply full wireless-network bandwidth in the remote area due to the use of a wired backbone rather than a weak wireless network with all the vagaries of radio.

Why include HomePlug AV even if Ethernet wiring exists?

WD MyNet Switch rear Ethernet connections

8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch for use when you wire for Ethernet

HomePlug AV can serve as an “infill” solution for a wired no-new-wires setup especially if you find that you have to locate a normally-fixed device in an area that is further from an Ethernet infrastructure socket. This can be of importance if you have to shift it temporarily to suit a new need or you have network-capable devices in an area where you didn’t factor the need for Ethernet connectivity in the first place.

This could also allow you to work an Ethernet wiring setup on a “beer budget” with a few rooms covered and use HomePlug AV or similar technology to provide wired connectivity to other rooms. Similarly, you may have a part of your house that is separated from the rest by a thick wall made of brick, masonry or cinder-block where the Wi-Fi network won’t perform past that wall and it is prohibitive to pull Ethernet or other wiring past that wall. Here, the HomePlug AV technology “takes it past” the obstacle.

Solwise to provide a HomePlug AV2 adaptor with integrated power outlet

Article – From the horse’s mouth


Product Page PL-1200AV2-PIGGY

My Comments

Solwise have released some earlier HomePlug AV2 adaptors for the UK and Irish market but they have come up with a HomePlug AV2 MIMO “three-wire” adaptor which has an integrated UK-standard power outlet. Of course, this firm have been known about pushing the HomePlug powerline-networking concept along with advanced Wi-Fi wireless networking in the UK market.

The Solwise PL-1200AV2 HomePlug AV2 adaptor implements the “three-wire” MIMO concept that HomePlug AV2 has facilitated where it can use the “Active (Line / Phase) + Neutral” and the  “Active (Line / Phase) + Earth (Ground)” wire pairs as data transfer pairs. This is to allow for robust data transfer and higher throughput, but I would place doubts on this working across the three wires with building-to-building HomePlug AV2 setups where an outbuilding that is wired for AC may be earthed independently. Let’s not forget that each HomePlug AV2 device works as its own repeater in order to increase the robustness in this segment or push out over larger areas. But it can be of benefit if you are considering this “wired no-new-wires” technology in a large apartment block or a commercial or industrial building.

This Solwise HomePlug AV2 adaptor also has an integrated 2-port Gigabit Ethernet switch which can provide an “on-board” to the HomePlug AV2 segment for two wired Ethernet devices. One advantage with this is that it could serve a desktop computer and a network-capable printer or a NAS; or serve a smart TV and a Blu-Ray player or PVR. Personally, I would like to eventually see a variant that has the 3 Gigabit Ethernet sockets as a switch, to cater for home AV setups. The integrated power socket makes sure that you are not forfeiting a power outlet just because you want to have HomePlug AV2 connectivity.

Personally, I would see a lot more coming about with HomePlug AV2 as a robust “wired no-new-wires” network setup with Solwise advancing the cause for the UK market.

Linksys returns to the small business and contract-supply field


Linksys Gets Back Into SMB Networking  | SmallNetBuilder

From the horse’s mouth


Press Release

Product Pages

SMB switches

LRT-214 VPN endpoint router

LRT-224 Dual-WAN VPN endpoint router

My Comments

Linksys are returning to the small-business field with a range of unmanaged switches and two VPN-endpoint broadband routers that are pitched at this user class.

All of the equipment works with Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and some of the switches provide 802.3at Power-Over-Ethernet power to half of their ports. For that matter, the cheapest switch in the bunch which is a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch calls for US$50. Here, they would also appeal as another quality option to contractors who are wiring a house for Ethernet.when they want a highly-reliable Ethernet switch as the central switch.

As for the routers, these support VPN endpoint along with 802.1q VLAN functionality and are IPv6 ready. As for this functionality, they would support PPTP and IPSec protocols for box-to-box and client-to-box VPN work along with OpenVPN protocols for client-to-box work. They are also future-proof in the context that they implement Gigabit Ethernet LAN and WAN ports thus making them work with next-generation broadband setups and the more-expensive model offers dual-WAN operation for failover operation or load-balancing.

But who knows how Linksys will return to this market further especially when there are companies like Netgear, Draytek and D-Link keeping this market in their grip as far as small-business network technology is concerned.

Product Review–Western Digital MyNet 8-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch


I am reviewing the Western Digital MyNet 8-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch which is an Ethernet switch that is positioned for use as the “central” switch in a wired-for-Ethernet house. This device, which is part of Western Digital’s entry into network infrastructure hardware also has a port-based quality-of-service setup in order to prioritise traffic serving multimedia or IP-telephony devices.

WD MyNet 8-port Gigabit Switch

Price: AUD$99.99

LAN Connectivity

Ethernet 8 x Gigabit Ethernet
Quality-Of-Service Port-Based
2 High-Priority
4 Medium-Priority
2 Best-Effort


The device itself


Western Digital MyNet Switch front

Front indicator lights – orange for 10/100 Ethernet connection and green for Gigabit Ethernet connection

The WD MyNet Switch has a setup routine that is typical for any unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet switch that is pitched at small network use. This is where you simply plug the Ethernet devices in to the switch, then connect it to the power.

But this switch implements a port-based quality-of-service setup with dark-green ports for high-priority traffic, light-green for medium-priority traffic and orange for best-effort traffic. This is to assure that VoIP and audio/video streaming is passed through without any glitches.

In the product documentation, Western Digital recommends that a NAS full of multimedia files or PVR acting as a DLNA Media Server be plugged in to a light-green port and a network media device is plugged in to the dark-green port. This would be of best effect if you were viewing content held on the server without glitches caused by email checks or Web-surfing.


WD MyNet Switch rear Ethernet connections

Rear Gigabit-Ethernet connections – dark-green for highest priority, green for high priority, orange for best-effort and connection to other LAN segments

Compared to a lot of Ethernet switches, the Western Digital MyNet Switch has the status lights located up front rather than the lights being next to the Ethernet sockets. This may be a benefit if you have the unit on a desk or mount it to the wall using the keyhole slots and you have the sockets located on the opposite side. Here, you can still troubleshoot the network connectivity and link speed without having to swivel the unit around.

A test that I do for Gigabit Ethernet switches is to find out whether they do work properly with UPnP and Bonjour. This test has become important for me with network hardware because I once bought a “Chinese special” Gigabit Ethernet switch at a computer market and found that it didn’t pass through any of the broadcast data that was required for essential UPnP functionality. Then I replaced it with a D-Link Gigabit Ethernet switch and found that this one worked properly with these devices.

Here, I connected it between a UPnP-enabled printer and my computer then power-cycle the printer to see whether the printer presents itself as a UPnP device to Windows 7. The printer had presented itself properly to Windows 7 as a UPnP device. Subsequently I had plugged my WD MyBook World Edition network-attached storage device in to this switch and kept an eye on the availability of its DLNA server from behind the switch and it was still available.

There is inherent support for quality-of-service prioritising but this is a port-based affair. Here certain ports are coloured in distinct colours for applications where high QoS is desired with some marked as “Low” preferred for LAN, off-ramp and router uplinks. You may have to do things like plug the smart TV or network media player in to the green ports while you plug the regular computer that does a lot of Web traffic in to the orange ports.

Limitations and Points Of Improvement

There is no quality-of-service pass-through or trunking available with this switch for use with LAN connections. This can be an annoyance if you are trying to prioritise multimedia data across the whole network and is due to the industry not implementing standards for assuring quality-of-service across a logical network.


I would recommend the Western Digital MyNet Gigabit Ethernet Switch as a “central” switch for a small Ethernet network where quality of service for multimedia applications is considered very important such as most home networks. It would also keep the home network “futureproof” for IP-based telephony if the telephony equipment is connected to a “green” socket.

Freebox Révolution–the standard to measure a triple-play service by

Articles (French language – best resources)

Dossier -Test du Freebox Server | DegroupNews

Freebox Revolution – Test du Freebox Player | DegroupNews

From the horse’s mouth

Freebox Home Page – Free (France – French language)

My comments

Typically, the kind of equipment supplied to consumers by telecommunications carriers and Internet service providers for “triple-play”or similar Internet services has typically been drab in design and functionality. This is typically to work to the lowest-common denominator with both price, functionality and style.

The situation is very different in France where there is a lively competitive market for “triple-play”Internet service. Most urban or regional centres in this country are “dégroupée” for multiple competing ADSL-service operators. Here, these operators have access to the customers’ telephone lines as cable without paying France Télécom for a dial-tone service. There is also a steady rollout of fibre-optic service by the competing service providers for next-generation broadband Internet, with an overlaying requirement to provide competitive access to the ducts and poles for the fibre-optic service.

One of these major players is Free who have established a triple-play service for many years. Their latest iteration of the “Freebox” is now a benchmark for anyone offering a similar setup, whether in France or anywhere else.

I have previously covered the Freebox Révolution  in HomeNetworking01.info when a recent firmware update was released that integrated it with Apple’s ecosystem. As well, I have researched many French and English-language resources to learn more about this system.

The Freebox Révolution system

This system, like other triple-play setups offered in France, comprises of an Internet-gateway device, known as a “box”, and a set-top-box, known as a “décodeur”. These units have typically been interlinked by an Ethernet cable or user-supplied HomePlug kit, but is connected through a pair of “Freeplugs” which combine a power supply and a HomePlug-AV-Ethernet bridge in one box.

The units are a statement of industrial design in a similar way that Bang & Olufsen equipment are still a statement in this regard for consumer audio-video equipment. Both the Internet-gateway device and the set-top box have been designed by Phillippe Starck, known for extraordinary designs like the Parrot Zikmu network-enabled speakers or some of the LaCie external hard drives or network-attached storage systems.

Internet Gateway Device (Freebox Server)

This device consists of a broadband router, network-attached storage, VoIP ATA with DECT base station and audio player in one box.

It has a dual-WAN interface for either an ADSL2 service or an FTTH fibre-optic service. But the LAN functionality is one of the hallmarks of a cutting-edge device. It has 4 Gigabit Ethernet switched ports for Ethernet client devices as well as an access point for an 802,11n three-stream 450Mbps Wi-Fi segment. I mentioned previously that this unit also supports a HomePlug AV segment through the use of the supplied Freeplug adaptors. The Wi-Fi access point can also work as a separate “hotspot segment” for other Free subscribers.

The VoIP functionality works with an integrated analog-telephony adaptor and a DECT base station that you can associate 8 DECT cordless handsets with. These will provide full functionality with CAT-iQ DECT handsets.

The 250Gb NAS can work with the regular file-protocol suspects (CIFS, FTP, HTTP) but can work as a DLNA media server. It also works as a “staging post” for FTP, HTTP and BitTorrent downloads, the latter function being described as a “seedbox”. The recent firmware upgrades also implemented Apple TimeMachine support for incremental MacOS data backups. Of course, there is USB connectivity for 2 devices as well as eSATA connectivity for an external hard disk.

There are integrated speakers for playing media held on the hard disk, the Internet or an Apple AirPlay network but you can use it as an elementary amplified-speakers setup by connecting a Discman or iPod to its AUDIO IN jack. Of course you can play the music through better powered speakers or an amplifier using the AUDIO OUT jack.

This router is totally UPnP to the hilt with UPnP Internet-Gateway-Device for hands-free setup with Skype, games, MSN Messenger and the like; as well as being a UPnP AV / DLNA media server. Free could do better by integrating something like TwonkyMedia which can allow content discovery on metadata other than the file-system tree.

Let’s not forget that the Freebox Server is IPv6-ready as expected for a future-proof device. This is being augmented by the fact that ADSL Free subscribers in zone dégroupée aras or FTTH Free subscribers can have an IPv6 connection now.

Set-Top Box (Freebox Player)

This unit has an integrated Blu-Ray player with Blu-Ray 3D support (after new firmware added) as well as a digital-TV / IPTV set-top box / PVR. It connects to the TV via an HDMI connector or a SCART cable, both offering that “single-pipe” connectivity between the Freebox and the TV. Of course, there are connectivity options for other audio-video setups like SPDIF optical; and you can connect USB peripherals like SD card readers to this unit for direct viewing.

It is controlled via a gyroscopic remote control but has a supplied game controller as an alternate input device. Of course, you can connect a USB keyboard and mouse to it as extra input devices or control it from your iPad using the Freebox Connect app.

One drawcard in my opinion is that it is a fully-fledged Internet terminal with access to an app store, namely the FreeStore app store. This allows you to download games and similar “lean-back” apps; as well as view the Web or check email from your couch. Just of late, this set-top box has had YouTube support baked in to its latest firmware update.

You can now use the Freebox Player and its associated sound system or television’s speaker to play material from your iTunes software or iOS device using AirPlay. This at the moment applies to audio content only.As well, you can discover and play content held on DLNA-compliant media servers on your network including the Freebox Server’s hard disk.

Plans and Pricing

You can equip that French home or apartment with this device for € 29.90 per month. This gives you inclusive unlimited telephone telephone calls to standard phone services in most countries (Europe, Francophone countries, US, Australia, NZ, etc); and mobiles in France.

The Internet service would be up to 28Mbps while you have access to most basic TV service. Pay €1.99/month extra for 185 additional TV channels while you can service another room with Free’s TV service for €4.99/month extra with a simple set-top box or another of this Freebox Player for €9.99/month extra.

Existing Free subscribers can upgrade for €199.99 less €30 for each year they have been with Free.

The prices are obtained from Free’s latest tariff charts available on their site and would appear to be ridiculously low for people who live in a country that doesn’t have a lively competitive broadband-Internet market.


What I see of the Freebox Révolution is a system of equipment for a home network that is all about an Internet service provider offering a future-proof attractive cutting-edge piece of equipment rather than offering second-rate equipment to their customers.

This is primarily driven by a country who is behind a really competitive Internet service market for consumers and that the competition is driven on value rather than the cheapest price possible.

A HomePlug AV 500Gbps switch–now with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports


ZyXEL To Ship 500 Mbps Powerline Switch | SmallNetBuilder

From the horse’s mouth

Zyxel press release

My Comments

Gigabit Ethernet is now becoming the order of the day with most current desktop and laptop PCs as well as network-attached-storage units being equipped with such a port. This is being taken further with routers having to be equipped with Gigabit Ethernet LAN (and WAN) ports in order to be considered fit for next-generation broadband Internet. This situation is also augmented with basic 5-port and 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switches now becoming more affordable.

At the moment, most HomePlug AV-Ethernet switches have been equipped with Ethernet ports that can work to a link speed of 100Mbps. This wouldn’t work in an optimum manner if you are connecting Gigabit-Ethernet-equipped computers to a HomePlug AV segment.

What Zyxel have done now is that they have announced a HomePlug AV Ethernet switch, the PLA4225, that uses Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as working to the unqualified 500Gbps extension of the HomePlug standard. This could allow you to provide a proper high-throughput HomePlug AV on-ramp for your desktop or laptop computer; fully-compliant next-generation-broadband “edge” router and NAS with these devices working at speed.

This is also in conjunction with them releasing the PLA4205 “homeplug” that works to the same powerline-network standard but uses a single Gigabit Ethernet socket.

Personally, what I would like to see for all of these 500Gbps HomePlug AV devices is that they are able to work to the full HomePlug AV2 standard once it is ratified and a proper firmware update is delivered.

But what I am pleased about is that the Ethernet connectivity of this HomePlug hardware is up to standard for people who use next-generation broadband Internet services with the proper routers.

Preparing for next-generation broadband

In most countries, there is interest in setting up most of the densely-populated areas for a form of next-generation broadband Internet service. This will typically provide at least 10Mbps, if not 30Mbps or 100Mbps which will be more than double what your typical ADSL or cable broadband service will provide.

Key features that are being promoted alongside these services include the reliable streaming or downloading of high-definition TV content to many TV sets in the house as well as VoIP telephony, which will include FM-grade telephone conversations or reliable videophone conversations that are beyond the realm of science fiction. The VoIP telephony features will also work alongside remote-terminal setups and other telepresence setups to allow knowledge workers and management workers to work from home, thus eliminating the need to travel in order to commute to work.

One main issue that may affect your home network is making sure it is ready for the next-generation broadband service. This is by preparing the infrastructure for high-bandwidth data throughput and setting up a router that can work with the next-generation broadband technologies like VDSL2 or fibre-to-the-premises.

Upgrading your router to next-generation broadband

The next-generation broadband service will use different connection methods to what you are using now. This will either be fibre-to-the-home or VDSL2 via phone lines and will require a different kind of modem. In some cases, this modem may be provided by your “next-generation” Internet service provider as part of the deal or at extra cost. Some of these service providers may sell a broadhand router that has an integrated modem for the broadband connection as well as router functionality. There is also an increased likelihood for these devices to support VoIP analogue-telephony-adaptor functionality because these services will also be about VoIP telephony.

If you have an ADSL modem router, its ADSL functions will become redundant under this environment unless it has an Ethernet WAN (broadband) connection option. This function may be available in a few recently-issued high-end units either as an Ethernet socket that can be configured to be a LAN socket or WAN (Internet) socket; or as a dedicated Ethernet WAN socket.

When you buy your next Internet router for this technology, the WAN (Internet) side of the router should offer a Gigabit Ethernet connection so you can use it with fibre-to-the-premises setups where you have an “optical-network terminal” modem; fibre-to-the-curb or fibre-to-the-building setups that use Ethernet-to-the-customer copper-cable runs or other connection methods that use a Gigabit Ethernet socket. It may be worth keeping your eyes peeled for “dual-mode” DSL modem routers that work with ADSL setups or VDSL2 “next-generation” setups when you upgrade your ADSL router.

It also may be worth looking towards upgrading to a router which has 802.11n wireless and Gigabit Ethernet for LAN connectivity.  Preferably, the 802.11n wireless network should be a dual-band setup but it doesn’t have to be a dual-radio (simultaneous dual-band) setup, as I will explain later. This will allow for higher bandwidth that the next-generation broadband Internet applications will need.

As well, you may have to pay attention to how the router handles “quality-of-service” with VoIP and multimedia traffic. It is because this kind of traffic will become more prevalent on these high-bandwidth networks and other Internet use like checking on email, viewing Web sites or “download-to-disk” applications doesn’t impair the experience you have during a phone call or when you watch streamed Internet TV.

Your home network

Here, I am talking about upgrading your home or small-business local network to cope with the increased bandwidth that next-generation broadband will provide. This setup is based around the use of a Cat5 wired Ethernet segment that you may have implemented or may want to implement as part of a renovation job; a Wi-Fi wireless segment used primarily for laptops, smartphones and similar portable devices and a HomePlug powerline segment that you may use as a temporary or semi-permanent “no-new-wires” network segment.

The Cat5 Ethernet segment

If you have wired your home for Ethernet and used a regular Ethernet switch as the network’s “central” switch, now is the time to upgrade it to a Gigabit Ethernet switch. This will provide a high-speed path to devices that have Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and can provide “next-generation” speeds in to the home network. The old 10/100 switch can work well as a “spur” switch for a cluster of devices that don’t have Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

Again, it may be worth looking for a switch that also supports “quality-of’-service” when you upgrade the existing unit. This is even though most of the Ethernet switches that support this are more expensive and require you to visit a Web interface to “fiddle with knobs” to achieve this goal because they are targeted at business users who have their network and Internet managed by dedicated staff or contractors. This may be rectified over the coming years with the implementation of “logo-mandatory” specifications and standards for seamless QoS management.

If you are working on building new premises, considering renovations on your existing premises or are even just planning to rewire your existing premises to current safety expectations, now is the time to consider wiring it for Ethernet. I have written a good article on this topic in the context of new renovations, extensions or rewiring projects. At least make sure you place an Ethernet socket near every TV-antenna (aerial) socket in the house so you can cater for IPTV which will be part of the next-generation broadband environment.

The Wi—Fi wireless segment

As part of the upgrade, a wise step would be to implement 802.11n Wi-Fi in your wireless-network segment. As I have explained in the article “Understanding 802.11n High-Bandwidth Wireless Networking”, there are different varieties of access points and routers for this technology.

One way to go about this while maintaining your regular 802.11g equipment would be to set up another extended-service set with a 5.4GHz single-band access point or a dual-band router set up on 5.4GHz. The existing 802.11g router could be put in to service as an access point running the existing extended-service set. You then focus computer equipment that is equipped with dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi interfaces to the 5.4GHz 802.11n segment while equipment like smartphones, netbooks and Internet radios work on the 2.4GHz 802.11g network. The WPA security key can be the same for both Wi-Fi segments and you could have one SSID being described as <PRIMARY-SSID-54g> for the 5.4GHz segment and <PRIMARY-SSID> for the 2.4GHz 802.11g segment.

As well, the Wi-Fi equipment should support or implement WMM (Wireless Multimedia) quality-of-service “out-of-the-box” but most current equipment doesn’t support it. This is again due to uncoordinated quality-of-service signalling and quality-of-service not becoming a “logo-mandatory” requirement.

The HomePlug powerline segment

This network segment may need to be reviewed if it is going to be the primary wired carrier for all of the multimedia data that next-generation broadband Internet will deliver. This is more so if you are using a HomePlug link to provide content to a DLNA-compliant network-enabled TV set or IPTV set-top box.

Here, you would need to use a HomePlug AV segment for any multimedia applications, a temporary building-building link or as a “no-new-wires” wired backbone between access points in a multi-access-point 802.11n wireless network. This can coexist with your existing HomePlug 1.0 Turbo segment which can be used for applications like connecting Ethernet-enabled network printers to the network or maintaining a backbone for a multi-access-point 802.11g wireless network. As far as any HomePlug AV-Ethernet bridges go, you should prefer those units that have Gigabit Ethernet so as to provide proper throughput to the equipment.

The up-and-coming HomePlug AV2 standard, which allows for higher throughput, MIMO-based operation and each HomePlug AV2 device being a repeater, can allow HomePlug AV devices to become part of that segment.

Purchasing subsequent computer equipment

Any desktop or all-in-one computers or network-attached-storage equipment that you subsequently buy should support a Gigabit Ethernet connection. This issue may not be of concern if you buy relatively-new equipment but can be of concern with older secondhand desktop computers. These can be upgraded through the installation of a Gigabit Ethernet PCI or PCI-Express card in these computers, which requires at the most a small Phillips-head screwdriver to complete.

When you buy Wi-Fi-enabled equipment like laptop computers, you may need to look for equipment that has 802.11n technology. This may be a limitation if you intend to buy a secondary-use laptop or netbook which may not have this functionality or buy smartphones, Internet radios or similar devices that have integrated Wi-Fi functionality because most such devices stick to 802.11g technology to keep costs down or allow longer run-times when run on batteries. This could be worked around through the creation of a “compatibility-mode” 802.11n extended-service-set on the 2.4GHz band or establishment of an 802.11g extended-service-set with its own SSID for these devices to use.

The situation will be likely to change from this year onwards because of work being undertaken to build small-footprint low-power-requirement 802.11g/n chipsets that are optimised for battery-operated devices and manufacturers being interested in implementing the technology in their devices.


Once you know how to have your network ready for next-generation broadband by replacing devices that may slow down the data throughput, you are then able to take advantage of what this new technology offers.