Powerline networking is an emerging trend for home networking that uses existing electrical wiring to connect devices, as shown in the figure. The concept of “no new wires” means the ability to connect a device to the network wherever there is an electrical outlet. This saves the cost of installing data cables and without any additional cost to the electrical bill. Using the same wiring that delivers electricity, powerline networking sends information by sending data on certain frequencies similar to the same technology used for DSL.

Using a HomePlug standard powerline adapter, devices can connect to the LAN wherever there is an electrical outlet. Powerline networking is especially useful when wireless access points cannot be used or cannot reach all the devices in the home. Powerline networking is not designed to be a substitute for dedicated cabling for data networks. However, it is an alternative when data network cables or wireless communications are not a viable option.