Wireless RoutersA wireless router allows you to easily share a broadband Internet connection between different Wi-Fi devices in the home. It also helps manage home network security and simplify the sharing of files and printers. Many wireless routers can be purchased new for less than $100 USD (some less than $50 USD).
802.11n is the latest standard for Wi-Fi home networking, improving on the previous generation 802.11g technology. Both types of routers work well in typical households. 802.11g products can generally be found for lower prices, but 802.11n routers are designed to handle a bigger load.
Wireless Game AdaptersThough many new computers have built-in Wi-Fi capability included for free, the popular game consoles (Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii) do not. To get the benefits of wireless networking on a game console requires purchasing an add-on network adapter. Only certain models of Wi-Fi network adapters, called wireless game adapters, work with consoles. They typically cost between $50-$100 USD.
Wireless Internet Video CamerasA wireless Internet video camera captures and transmits live video feeds across a Wi-Fi network. Easily added onto an existing wireless home network, wireless cameras are useful for home surveillance either inside or outdoors. They range in price from less than $100 USD to above $200 USD depending on the product's features (including picture quality, motion sensing, and support for audio).
Home Network Storage SystemsA network storage system for home networks protects valuable data from being lost while still making it easy for everyone to share. Based on our online survey, many households consider adding a storage system onto their existing home network but haven't done so yet.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices plug into broadband routers and store data from the home's other devices in a central location. NAS enclosures for home networks range in cost from $100-$200 USD and higher (disk drives sold separately). Alternatively, those who like to give DIY projects as gifts can convert an old PC into a NAS device with FreeNAS.
Home Automation ProductsHome automation products allow more intelligent control of household appliances and other consumer gadgets. Though the total cost of a system may be high, modular components can be purchased separately and an automation network gradually expanded over time.
Schlage LiNK helps families manage the locks of a home's exterior doors. Internet thermostats allow homeowners to remotely control thermostat settings for increased comfort and energy savings. Do-it-yourself enthusiasts can set up home control servers such as Indigo that work with various INSTEON and X10 home automation hardware (sold separately).