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Netgear XEPS103 powerline power brick

Why plug two boxes into the mains when you only need one?

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Review We at Register Hardware like powerline networking - using mains electricity cabling to send data throughout your house - very much, but an issue with most powerline adaptors is their 'one power socket, one data port' implementation.

Netgear XEPS103 powerline AC adaptor
Netgear's XEPS103: it's a power brick, a powerline network adaptor

Each device you connect needs its own powerline adaptor, every one of which needs a separate power socket. These two products from Netgear provide different solutions to that problem.

The first, the XEPS103, will appeal almost exclusively to people who already own a Netgear router. Let's say you've a Netgear WPN824 Rangemax router and you want to extend it with a powerline link. Your router's power brick takes up one power socket and the powerline adaptor another. The XEPS103 simply melds AC adaptor and powerline box into one. The upshot: you get powerline networking and wireless networking both through a single socket.

Genius, really, though you have to ask why the idea has taken so long to come to market and why Netgear's not bundling these things with its routers as standard.

The downside is that combining these elements makes for a chunkier box than either adaptor on its own, so the XEPS103 is fed through a power cable rather than being plugged directly into the wall. The 12V power feed and Ethernet cable it sprouts are bonded together for convenience, splitting apart only at the end.

The XEPS103 provides power to 15 Netgear routers and switches - you can find the full list on Netgear's website - and it may work with other devices, but check the 12V, 1A feed's polarity and size carefully first - remember, you proceed at your own risk if you try this.

You don't have to connect the XEPS103 to a router, either - it will work just fine as a standalone powerline adaptor.

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