NetGear PA101 10 Mbps HPNA Home Phoneline USB Adapter RJ-11 review: NetGear PA101 10 Mbps HPNA Home Phoneline USB Adapter RJ-11

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Easy installation; excellent support.

The Bad Moderate bandwidth.

The Bottom Line This USB adapter offers an easy way create a home network.

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With the NetGear Home Phoneline 10X USB adapter, you can easily join the latest trend this side of Martha Stewart: building a home network of PCs. Its manageable software and easy setup make the NetGear perfect for those with lighter network loads. But if you're bringing together a group of power users, this device's modest bandwidth might leave you wanting. With the NetGear Home Phoneline 10X USB adapter, you can easily join the latest trend this side of Martha Stewart: building a home network of PCs. Its manageable software and easy setup make the NetGear perfect for those with lighter network loads. But if you're bringing together a group of power users, this device's modest bandwidth might leave you wanting.

Instant Network
Just connect one end of the adapter to a phone jack and the other to your PC's USB port. The NetGear also has a jack for your phone. You'll need an adapter for each computer you connect, so the larger the network, the greater the investment. At $99 a unit, this could get costly, but if money is no object, the NetGear network will support up to 32 PCs. However, Macs aren't supported, so even though your G4 may have a USB port, it won't be able to play in any of these reindeer games.

The included software practically installs itself, and the instruction sheet walks you through the few necessary steps. Since USB devices are hot-swappable, you can plug the device into your computer while it's up and running. If you've already installed the drivers, the new home network becomes instantly available. If you haven't completed that step, Windows 98 will prompt you to do so. You can decide whether to share drives or printers attached to any PC in the network. NetGear's configuration software lets you easily choose which local drives you want to make public or keep private and which devices you want in the collective. You can also share a single Internet connection. Any computer with a dial-up or DSL connection or a cable modem can function as a gateway to the Internet. But alas, the NetGear network doesn't include email services, so you'll still have to rely on the Net for that. You can attach your own email server and clients, but that could be costly and might be more trouble than it's worth. Should you run into any problems, NetGear provides unlimited, toll-free technical support via the phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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NetGear PA101 10 Mbps HPNA Home Phoneline USB Adapter RJ-11

Part Number: PA101
MSRP: $60.00 Low Price: $54.97 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Data Transfer Rate 10 Mbps
  • Connectivity Technology Wired
  • Interface (Bus) Type USB