This is an update of a deal from a few months ago.
Having trouble getting a Wi-Fi signal to go where you need it to go? It's a fairly common problem: I've been in houses where the signal won't reach beyond one room, let alone between floors. Now what?
One option is to run Ethernet cable through walls, floors, and ceilings. It's effective, but also a major pain in the tuchus.
A much easier option is to use a power-line networking kit, which takes advantage of your home's existing electrical wiring. It's a simple, plug-and-play solution.
And usually an expensive one. But today, Newegg has the Zyxel PLA-407 HomePlug AV power-line networking kit for $74.99 shipped. And that's your out-the-door price: no rebate required this time! (Thanks to reader Brian for sharing this deal.)
This is just about the lowest price I've seen on one of these kits, which for some reason haven't come down much (despite having been around for years). It's not uncommon to find them selling for $150.
The adapters work like this: you plug one into an electrical outlet near your router, then connect it to your router with an included Ethernet cable. Then you plug the other into an outlet near the computer that needs network access, and run its cable into the computer's Ethernet port. That's it, you're done!
You can buy additional adapters if you need connectivity in additional rooms.
The PLA-407 promises data transfer rates of up to 200Mbps--good enough for streaming HD video. It also has filters designed to reduce electrical interface and push-button encryption in case you need it. (I don't imagine many home users will.) I particularly like the adapters' pass-through outlets, which let you plug in a lamp or whatever.
I haven't found any meaningful reviews of the PLA-407, but Newegg buyers collectively rated it nearly 5 stars on average. This is definitely a fast and easy alternative to running Ethernet cable all over the place. I'm not sure how long this price will be in place, so grab one of these quick if you're interested.
Bonus deal: Also at Newegg, you can score Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2011 3-User for $4.99 shipped. That's after a $35 mail-in rebate, which comes in the form of a prepaid Visa card. I'm more of a Microsoft Security Essentials man myself, but I know some people prefer to have tech support available with their security tools.