Friday, May 23, 2008

Truly Wireless Networking

It's always bothered me that home networking requires so much wiring. If I want to install a switch or a router or a wireless access point, I need to connect to both an ethernet port and a power socket. This is especially annoying for wireless access points: I want them to be as high as possible, and for some reason all of the power sockets in my house are near the floor. (Is it just me, or is "wireless access point" a bit of a misleading name? Mine has both power and ethernet cables attached to it, and that doesn't seem right.)

For a while I've been toying with ways to get rid of all the wires. My first idea was to try to combine Power over Ethernet -- which eliminates the need for a power socket -- with Ethernet over Powerline -- which eliminates the need for network cabling -- and somehow eliminate both the power and the ethernet cables. Unfortunately, neither Power over Ethernet over Powerline nor Ethernet over Powerline over Ethernet works, it turns out.

But then I had an even better idea: what if I could combine a Power over Ethernet adapter with a wireless network adapter? Then I could have a truly wireless access point! Genius! If anybody wants me, I'll be down at the Patent Office...

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