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In my house I have cable broadband which is terminated in my living room. As I have my own server with firewall and server I wanted to connect my network into my server before it was connected to my wireless network. As my computer is in a study at the other side of the house I wanted an alternative way of routing the network connection without having to run wires around the house.
I therefore turned to Ethernet over powerline. This transmits the network information over the domestic electrical power wiring in the house.
First I tried an Advent powerline product, which was the cheapest one I found. It said that it worked with Linux, but that was an exaggeration. Technically you could use it with Linux as it just acted as an Ethernet network adapter. In reality it did not include any software to configure the device with under Linux. If you wanted to use the built in security then it needed to be configured by a Windows machine first. The devices worked for a while before refusing to talk.
I returned that product and instead got an equivalent from Devolo. The Devolo dLAN duo starter kit. This had the same claim on linux support, but actually includes the ability to configure the devices. This set is the slowest one that they offer running at a maximum of 14Mb/s. As I am just using my to extend my 2Mb/s broadband this was not an issue, but they do have faster alternatives.
The Linux configuration software can be downloaded from: Devolo Duo Support site.
The code has to be compiled, but this is as simple as:
sudo apt-get kernel-package
sudo apt-get install libpcap0.8-dev
sudo make install-cfgtool
sudo dlanconfig eth0
This then launches a text based program to allow the device to be configured, security to be enabled and to view paired devices. After enabling security it worked fine and it has been working since. In almost a year I have only had to reboot the devices once, but even then it may have been the modem that was hanging rather than the powerline network plugs.