Power line network equipment uses existing electrical power lines as carriers for data communications signals. They sometimes have lower bandwidths compared to networks that use dedicated fiber optic, coaxial cable or twisted pair carriers.

Types of Power Line Network Equipment

There are many different types of power line network equipment. Examples include routers, hubs and bridges. Routers are protocol-dependent devices that connect sub-networks, hubs provide a central location for attaching wires to workstations and bridges interconnect local or remote networks Other power line network equipment is also available.

Uses

Power line network equipment may be used for short or long distance communication. With a local area network, like in a home or business, the equipment can plug into a wall outlet and provide a network connection. Power line network equipment may also be used for long distance communication with wide area networks, such as an internet service provider. For use in long distance communications, a central station would provide network services, while a user may use a plug-in device to obtain a network connection. Based on the intended use, the power line network equipment will vary; other network uses may also be available.

Selection

Selecting power line network equipment requires an analysis of performance specifications. These may include data rate, operating temperature and number of concurrent connections.  Other specifications of power line network equipment may include the port or interface type, and the number of ports available. The form factor of the device may also be important such as if it is a module, chip or a board.

Specifications

Power line network equipment is designed and manufactured to meet most industry specifications. They are used in many different applications. Some power line network components are used in power plants, the automotive industry, or aerospace industry. Other power line network components are also used in home appliances, the textile industry, and electronics laboratories.