Powerline Ethernet Adapters and Powerstrip Liberators

I've used various powerline adapters for several years. They now can go up to 500 megabits per second, but 85 or 200 will be cheaper. I currently use TrendNet Powerline routers.

Why not use wifi? The bands are becoming crowded. You can try to use 5Ghz N routers, and they help, but if all your other devices - your phone, iPod, Kindle all have to use the 2.4GHz wifi, it can get congested. Wireless USB peripherals and Bluetooth also use the same band. Not everything supports the 5GHz band, so your laptop might not
work, or you will need a special card or adapter for your desktop. Then there's securing things and getting the network password right. And in apartments, every one of your neighbors is using the same band.

Powerline adapters need passwords, but they are between the adapters and you only have to use the setup utility once. They are basically ethernet bridges. I have my cable router plugged in where the cable comes in and the signal is best, then have my wifi and powerline adapters plugged into that router (it has 4 ports). I've not had any problem streaming or even sending files between computers. I have several 200Mb/s refurbished models and they work well for that, but I have gigabit switches at my central computer "nerve center". The powerline adapters also make printers a lot easier to setup. I have a Brother printer that is finicky about Wifi: it can attach USB, Ethernet, or Wifi, but even after typing in the correct information when attached with one of these other methods it often "fails to associate". Instead, I just use the powerline adapter, and instantly it is on ethernet with no headaches.

Ziotek ZT1212542 Power Strip Liberator 14-Inch Extension, 5-Pack.jpeg

Well, there is one. A powerline adapter uses up an electrical socket, which is where the "Liberator" comes in. Basically, a 3 pronged pass-through extension cord. The short plug-depth seems to play well with the powerline adapter, and the extension is hefty enough for my laser printer. The Liberators also work well with power strips or even to go sideways when space is at a premium.

There are a few rare cases where powerline adapters have problems. One is if there is something extremely electrically noisy on the same branch (and if it isn't noisy you need the passwords to prevent your neighbors from snooping). This usually involves some huge motor, arc welding, or other industrial process involving intermittent high current. Another thing is if there are any ground loops or ifhot and ground get swapped by adapters or bad wiring. Also it helps to avoid circuits with dimmers and microwaves, though I've only had the problem when some part of the house wiring was wrong enough to show bars on my old CRT TV when the microwave was on. The powerline signal cannot pass through the large (utility pole) transformers. There is a length limit, but I haven't been in a position to see how fast the signal goes at hundreds or thousands of feet.

If wifi works and the total cost of adapters and such is low, it might be a be a better solution, but for reasonable distances where there is lots of interference or if you only have ethernet, nothing beats powerline adapters.

-- Thomas Z

TRENDnet 200 Mbps Powerline AV Adapter Kit

Available from Amazon

TRENDnet 500 Mbps Powerline AV Adapter Kit

Available from Amazon

Power Strip Liberators
14-inches long
Pack of five for $12

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by TRENDnet

Sample Excerpts:

powerline schematic.jpg
This illustration demonstrates how the powerline can be used to extend the range of a home's ethernet without additional wiring or the use of WiFi.


Applecore Cable Manager

I have really been enjoying these simple rubber cores that cheaply and effectively organize cords of all sorts. They make it easy to wrap a cord around due to the shape (like an apple core...duh) with slits on both ends to thread cord through. I find the hardness of the rubber just right; firm enough to hold the cord, but soft enough to be easy to bend open to insert cords.

There are three sizes: small for something like earbud cords, medium for a phone/ipod etc. charger-size cord, and large for computer charges or appliances. I haven't tried the largest size yet, but love the ones I have. They come in a variety of bright colors which helps when it comes to finding and organizing cords.

-- David Rosenfeld

Applecore Cable Manager
Small, Medium, Large
$2, $3, $5

Available from and manufactured by Applecore

(image via GearDiary)


Most Hackable E-Reader

I'm interested in purchasing an e-reader of some kind (i.e. must use e-ink tech, no LCD screens) and wondering if anyone has any suggestions about which reader lends itself most to tinkering / extending / hacking? Are there any that make it possible to install your own software? (It would be cool to see i.e. Emacs running on one.)

Nook Color, hands down. Unfortunately, your eInk criterion limits you to cheap knockoffs. If you're willing to go LCD, you won't be disappointed with a Nook Color.

Cyanogen makes the ROM for it, and they are nearly impossible to brick. Heck, you can run a custom ROM right off the microSD card, never putting your warranty in jeopardy. And, because it's Cyanogen, you can read nearly anything, and have full Android Market access.

-- Christopher

Nook Color
Available from and manufactured by Barnes and Noble

Cyanogen Nook Color Rom
Available from Cyanogen

Have a different answer to this question? Submit your own!


Google does NOT want you to see this!

I noticed your web site recently, and couldn't resist telling you about something that could really change the way you view Google. If you aren't interested, I apologize: simply delete this email and I will never bother you again. But you are probably like I was, a business owner who used to be frustrated with how to rank on Google. But what if you could see inside Google, and know exactly what was going on? I have researched the Internet Marketing Industry for over 10 years, and have never seen anything like what I am about to show you.

What I am about to show you works because it IS a Search Engine itself

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My Gift back to the community.

Do you want to see what Google is seeing?!
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When I found this SEO Tool a few years back, I dismissed it as the latest SEO "gimmick". Boy, was I wrong. But instead of missing out on a great opportunity, my many years of experience taught me to always give everything a chance. When I researched more, I found out that the Search Engine was built just like Google -- it has its own "index" and it actively pursues new algorithms to remove SPAM and irrelevant pages out of its "index".

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My Gift back to the community.

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Instead of putting a query screen on its Search Engine, they put a series of screens on the "back end" of its Search Engine, allowing you to navigate through the guts of a Google-like system. This then enables you to see what a Search Engine sees, literally surfing the web through the eyes of Google! Brilliant!!

By entering your web site above, you get a free analysis of your home page. You can achieve amazing results with just this information; however, if you want to rocket into #1 position on Google for every page, you can purchase what is called an 'SEOPass' from the Search Engine, which unlocks every screen inside the Search Engine for your web site.

God Bless and Good Luck!

- John Spears, Retired Internet Marketing Pro


Naked Binder

For years I have used two-ring European-style binders from Leitz simply because it was very difficult to find a quality binder sized for US standard paper (8-1/2" x 11"). However, I recently switched to Naked Binders, and I find them remarkably well made and thought out.

Unlike the readily available, poorly made, vinyl binder with the covers only bonded at the seams, the paper and book cloth covers on these are fully bonded to the board underneath. The result is that a minor tear does not cause the whole thing to fall apart, and they feel like they are built to last. The D-rings are attached to the back cover rather than the spine so the pages lie flat and index tabs line up making a neat and clean presentation.
Ring Binder.jpg
The fact that they are environmentally responsible and made in the USA are bonuses. I bought a couple as a test case and quickly ordered more to replace all the binders in my home and office.

-- Scott Hintz

Naked Binder

Available from and manufactured by Naked Binder

Federal Government Getting an Increase of Unsecure Devices on Network