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How It Works

Devices that are HomePNA ready simply can be plugged into a telephone socket to become a part of a HomePNA network. A network can be set up with or without an Internet connection. If you want to add an Internet connection, you’ll typically plug your cable modem into a HomePNA-compliant residential gateway. A gateway such as the HomePortal 100 from 2Wire offers connections for your broadband connection, phone line, and local Ethernet. It also offers a USB (Universal Serial Bus) PC connection so that one computer can be connected directly to the HomePortal by using a USB port. Setting up a HomePNA network becomes as simple as connecting your broadband connection to the gateway, connecting the gateway to one of your phone outlets, and then connecting any of your computers and peripherals to the other telephone outlets within your home. Other manufacturers of these residential gateways include Hewlett-Packard (HP), LinkSys, NETGEAR, and Panasonic. You can also buy gateways with built-in broadband modems so that one box takes care of both the modem function for your Internet connection plus the routing function of your gateway.

HomePNA has released two specifications for home networking at 1 Mbps and 10 Mbps via the standard RJ-11 phone jack. Their third-generation specification, version 3.0, targets multimedia applications and supports networking at over 100 Mbps. Version 3.0 was jointly proposed as a standard for HomePNA by Broadcom and CopperGate, and delivers data such as HDTV, digital audio, and voice steams at a rate of up to 128 Mbps. Version 3.0 also supports the Voice-over-HomePNA protocol allowing up to eight simultaneous voice streams within the home.


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