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Trendnet debuts 500Mbps power-line adapter

Trendnet announces the first 500Mbps power-line adapter.

The new 500Mbps TPL-401E powerline adapter from Trendnet.
The new 500Mbps TPL-401E power-line adapter from Trendnet. Dong Ngo/CNET

Most power-line networking devices on the market, such as the Netgear XAVNB2001, the Western Digital WD Livewire, and the Linksys PLK300, are based on the HomePlug AV standard and therefore cap at 200Mbps. While this is plenty fast for general Internet-surfing needs, it's not fast enough for media-intensive applications, such as high-definition movie streaming. Trendnet is bound to change this.

The company announced today what it says are the first power-line options on the market to be based on the new IEEE 1901 standard. They will offer up to 500Mbps throughput speeds--again, that's 250 percent faster than the existing HomePlug AV standard can produce.

These devices are a 500Mbps Powerline AV Adapter, model TPL-401E, and the 500Mbps Powerline AV Adapter Kit, model TPL-401E2K.

Like all power-line adapters, the new products from Trendnet turn any electrical outlet into a network port, thus expanding the network to the entire home or building via the building's electrical wiring.

Trendnet says that its new offerings can support up to 16 power-line adapters, meaning you can add up to 15 Ethernet-ready devices to your home network without having to run network cables all over the place.

Unlike HomePlug AV-based adapters that use a 10/100Mbps LAN port, the new adapters from Trendnet sport a Gigabit Ethernet port. They also support 128-bit AES encryption and come with a Windows software utility that helps manage the power-line connections.

The new products are also backward-compatible with HomePlug AV devices. They will be available by the end of the month. The single adapter TPL-401E is slated to cost $100 and the TPL-401E2K (which includes two adapters) will cost $180.