MicroLink dLAN starter kit
At first glance the MicroLink dLAN is a curious item. It uses power lines to carry data instead of wireless or Ethernet connectivity. The world of wireless computing is a marvellous place. Simply set up a base station and you can use your AirPort-enabled laptop anywhere in the house, at least that’s the theory. In practice, this is possible only in houses with wooden frames and paper walls, but my house is made of old-fashioned Victorian brick, making wireless range short, and a bit flakey. I’ve also been through three or four wireless routers in the past year, due to poor reliability.
That’s where the MicroLink dLAN kit comes to the fore. My ADSL connection isn’t near my computer, but I don’t want to run Ethernet cable through the house. Instead I use a wireless connection, but that is unreliable. With the MicroLink dLAN kit all you need is a power socket near the ADSL connection, and another near the computer. By attaching each adaptor with an Ethernet cable you can get a network running through the house without any drilling or filling.
The connection isn’t as fast as the gigabit Ethernet my machine is capable of, but then it’s far faster than the ADSL connection, and I don’t need it to be any speedier than that.
Installation couldn’t be easier, as simply plugging in the adaptors creates the network, which you then join by connecting your Ethernet cables. Presto! No more flaky wireless, no mess, and no spaghetti wiring.
The MicroLink dLAN isn’t for every environment, and sometimes wireless will be the right way to go. But if you have a desktop machine that is inconveniently placed away from your broadband connection, the dLAN kit is ideal. I’ve wired previous houses with Ethernet, and the dLAN adaptors mean I never have to do that again.