D-Link ships hybrid power-line wireless router

D-Link is now shipping the first hybrid router, the DHP-1320, that can handle both Wi-Fi and power-line functionality at the same time.

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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 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
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D-Link's first hybrid router that offers both Wi-Fi and power-line functionality.
D-Link's first hybrid router that offers both Wi-Fi and power-line functionality. D-Link

After all the buzz at CES 2011 about a hybrid all-in-one option that combines Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and power line in one box, you now can lay your hands on an actual product.

D-Link announced today that it is now shipping the first hybrid router, the Wireless-N PowerLine Router (model DHP-1320).

The router combines a regular Wireless-N router with the 200Mbps HomePlug AV standard. This means the router's power cord itself provides power-line data connectivity, and you can use any other HomePlug AV adapters at the far end of the connection to extend the network there, via electrical wiring. Traditionally with a nonhybrid router, you'd need another power-line adapter to connect to the router to form the first end of the power-line connection.

According to D-Link, the DHP-1320 router uses Atheros Hy-Fi technology that's designed to expand coverage, improve performance, and simplify network setup and management. Atheros is also the company that first introduced the concept of hybrid networking back in October 2010.

Other than the built-in support for HomePlug AV, the new router seems to have the specs of a budget wireless router. It offers only single-band wireless networking with a cap speed of 300Mbps and lacks support for Gigabit Ethernet. It does provide support for IPv6, however, enabling consumers to future-proof their home networks for the next generation of networking.

According to D-Link, additional features of the DHP-1320 include:

  • HomePlug AV certified with up to 200Mbps throughput

  • Three-port 10/100Mbps fast Ethernet ports

  • Wi-Fi protected setup (WPS) for simple push-button wireless network configuration

  • Built-in QoS engine, which enhances Internet experience

  • Supports secure wireless encryption using WPA or WPA2

  • Supports 128-bit AES encryption for power-line network security

  • Power-line sync connection (ENY) button

  • Plug and play installation

Together with the DHP-1320 router, D-Link says that it's also now shipping a few other 200Mbps power-line accessory products, including a power-line AV four-port switch (model DHP-346AV), a Wireless-N extender kit (model DHP-W306AV), and a network starter kit (model DHP-307AV).

This allows consumers to create a hybrid network using the new DHP1320 router. Note that the router works with any HomePlug AV power-line adapters, however.

The DHP-1320 Hybrid Wireless N PowerLine Router is available immediately at an estimated price of $130.