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Belkin Launches 1Gbps Powerline Home Networking HD Kit

Peripheral manufacturer Belkin has announced a new product, the Gigabit Powerline HD Starter Kit, that will reignite the debate about whether promised manufacturers' speeds can really be trusted.

The pack will supposedly allow you to reach 1Gbps data speed by using your existing electrical wiring. For the magic to work, you will need to plug two of them in a new electrical wiring system and switch off as many appliances as possible to get as close as possible to that speed.

At 1Gbps, it is 5x faster than the current 200Mbps standard speed reached by most models. Unfortunately, Powerline is sensitive to old wiring, interferences and provide rather patchy coverage over long distances but can still reach speeds high enough for HD content.

A pair of those adapters are likely to cost around $150 in the US or £92 in the UK. It is currently available in the US and the rest of the world will have to wait till August to experience the benefits of Powerline HD.

Bear in mind as well that if you use a 1Gbps setup, you will almost certainly need appropriate network cards and cabling to make good use of it. Belkin is using Gigle's Semiconductor's mediaxtrem chip to back its claim.

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Belkin says that the kit itself won't be able to handle routing functions by itself, which is understandable. Meanwhile, you will be able to purchase a pair of Max Value 85 Mbps Homeplug from Amazon for £42 to test your current wiring setup and find out which speeds you can reach.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.