Inexpensive wireless routers have rendered powerline adapters a niche category in home networks, and one TrendNet continues to happily serve. The company's latest offering is the 200Mbps Compact Powerline AV Adapter, model TPL-306E, which is capable of extending your Internet connection to areas your router might not reach, such as an Internet television in your mancave or a game console just out of reach on the second floor.
The way it works is you plug one adapter into your router and another into any outlet on the same electrical system. That's all there is to it. TrendNet adapters automatically sync up with each other over a secure encrypted signal, with no software installation required.
In lieu of software, status LEDs will help you troubleshoot a faulty connection. And don't worry about the device being always-on, TrendNet says embedded power savings technology can lower power consumption by up to 70 percent in standby mode.
The TPL-306E will be available in December for $55. TrendNet also plans to sell its powerline adapter as part of a kit (TPL-306E2K), which will come with two adapters for $100.