D-Link DHP-303: PowerLine adapter goes green

D-Link's new PowerLine HD Network Starter Kit comes with D-Link Green Technology, which helps save energy by powering down when not in use.

How PowerLine adapters work in a network. D-Link

If you want to take your network connection to a far corner of the house where the wireless signal can't reach, the best way to get this done is with a pair of PowerLine adapters. These little devices basically extend the network connection through the electrical wiring of the house and turn any power socket into a network port.

Generally, you need at least two adapters to make a PowerLine connection. Each adapter can be plugged into a wall power socket and each also has a network port. Once plugged in the wall socket, the adapters will have power and will transmit the data signal between the two.

D-Link recently released its next-generation PowerLine HD Network Starter Kit the DHP-303, which comes with a green twist. The kit includes two adapters that are equipped with D-Link Green Technology. This allows them to detect data transmissions to automatically power down when idle.

PowerLine adapters generally use very little energy and this kit is the first I've seen that's designed to even further reduce the power usage.

D-Link's new PowerLine HD Network Starter Kit D-Link

Other than that, the DHP-303 kit offers similar features as other products from Netgear , Cisco , or Belkin . It's capable of delivering speeds up to 200Mbps, fast enough for HD media streaming. It has support for Quality of Service to help prioritize data, enable smooth video streaming, and reduce lag for gaming. It also features an easy way to create a secure connection between the two adapters. You can simply get this by pressing on a button on each of them while connected. Users of Windows Vista will also be able to view the device in the operating system's Network Map.

The DHP-303 PowerLine kit is compatible with any device that uses a regular Ethernet port, including computers, printers, set-top boxes, and game consoles. All you need to do is connect one of the adapters into the router and the other into the network device, and then plug each into a power socket.

Unfortunately, D-Link's DHP-303 adapter has only one network port. This means if you want to connect more than one network device at the remote location, you will need to get a hub. New PowerLine kits from Belkin or Cisco offer up to three or four network ports at the remote location.

To make up for this, the DHP-303 kit seems greener and more importantly, comes with a friendlier price tag of $140, about $40 cheaper than the other vendors.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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