When connecting multiple computers with phoneline networking, one central computer "gateway" must be established. The gateway represents the network's primary device for connecting to the Internet. A few models of home network routers (sometimes called "residential gateways") support phoneline networking today. Otherwise, you must designate one computer as the gateway and install two network adapters on this computer to enable it for gateway functions. Depending on the type of primary device chosen, hybrid networks with a combination of phoneline, Ethernet or Wi-Fi devices can be created.
The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) develops technology standards that compatible phoneline equipment must support.
Optional Components - As mentioned above, a network router is optional when building a phoneline home network. Phoneline networking also works regardless of whether the residence is subscribed either to basic local telephone service or to DSL Internet service.
Limitations - HomePNA phoneline networking has proven much less popular than Wi-Fi or Ethernet alternatives. Phoneline networking products will generally be more difficult to find, and there will be fewer choices of models for this reason.
All phoneline network equipment must be connected to the same electrical circuit within the residence. Specifically, residences that have two phone lines installed, must choose one or the other line to connect all devices.
The range of an HomePNA (version 2.0) phoneline network is about 1000 feet (300 m). The maximum bandwidth of an HomePNA 2.0 network is 10 Mbps, while an HomePNA 3.0 network supports more than 100 Mbps. The speed of phoneline networking can suffer depending on the quality of phone cables installed in the residence.