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When web access is often as important as power, it makes sense to put the ethernet in the wall socket, says Matt Warman

By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor 7:00AM BST 03 May 2012

Power Ethernet Sockets extend your network without the mess of wires

From iPhones to ultrabooks, the latest technology is often described as “sexy”. That probably says more about the fetishes of reviewers than the products themselves, but even the most peculiar geek would struggle to find a power socket remotely alluring.

And yet – who would have thought it? – there is much to get excited about in the products of British start-up Power Ethernet. The idea is simple, and uses the same technology as Powerline Ethernet adapters. These use the existing mains electric cables in a house to also carry Ethernet-strength web access. But they’re adapters. Power Ethernet builds the ethernet connections directly into the wall socket, and eliminates, to some extent, the ugly mess of cables running from web router to adapter to power socket and then from adapter to wherever they’re ultimately to end up. In the process, it too eliminates the interference that can be a problem with WiFi networks, especially in densely populated areas full of cheap routers.

The advantage is the speed and simplicity of the solution – the downside, of course, if that most buyers will need an electrician to fit them and while you gain new ethernet sockets you still lose a plug socket. Once installed, however, a pair of the sockets creates a discrete network of its own, although more can be added. All that’s needed is to take up one of the sockets with an input, and the rest will share the output.Now all that’s needed is for more houses, especially new builds and refurbishments, to start to use such technology, if only to bring the current, ferociously high price down. And for some to start including wall-mounted USB sockets for charging too.

Score: 4/5

[Original article can be found at: The Telegraph Technology: Power Ethernet Sockets review]