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Acer HomePlug Ethernet Adapter

User Manual



Copyright 2004 by Acer Inc., All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language or computer language, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, magnetic, optical, chemical, manual or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Acer Computer GmbH


Acer Inc. makes no representations or warranties, either expressed or implied, with respect to the contents hereof and specifically disclaims any warranties, merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose. Any software described in this manual is sold or licensed "as is". Should the programs prove defective following their purchase, the buyer (and not this company, its distributor, or its dealer) assumes the entire cost of all necessary servicing, repair, and any incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect in the software. Further, Acer Computer GmbH, reserves the right to revise this publication and to make changes from time to time in the contents hereof without obligation to notify any person of such revision or change.

All brand and product names mentioned in this manual are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective holders.


Table of Contents

0.0 Introduction to HomePlug networking




Understanding HomePlug Networking Concept ...............................




Understanding Encryption and Security ...........................................



0.3 Basic Requirements .................................................






Configuration ............................................................................



0.0 Introduction to HomePlug Networking

0.1 Understanding HomePlug Networking Concept

HomePlug Networking, not to be confused with Power over Ethernet, has very different usage and features. Power over Ethernet is a device that acts as a Hub or a Switch and draws its power from nearby unsuspecting computers connected to it by a Cat. 5 cable. On the other hand, HomePlug Networking uses your current existing or featured power lines to transfer network data. There are existing technologies that are similar to HomePlug, such as X10 or HPNA; however, HomePlug can reach speeds of up to 14Mbps.

HomePlug works simply by connecting a device to two computers in two locations, respectively, inside a house or building and plugging them into a wall outlet. Now you have a network connecting two computers. In addition, you can replace the computers with switches so that you are connecting networks instead of computers. The process is completed within minutes with no additional cables running everywhere and without painful cable pulling in the walls or behind closets.

The technology behind the real working mechanism remains classified. Hopefully in the future, more people will have a better understanding of HomePlug.

0.2 Understanding Encryption and Security

Encryption is a method of security used to prevent intruders or unwanted access from within or outside of your network. Encryption works by using a string of letters and/or numbers as keys to encode your data. Any computer will need to know the encryption key in order to access the data. Although the data may be exposed to all environments, encryption will still protect your data from threats.

HomePlug Encryption and Protection Schemes

The HomePlug device uses encryption to block outside access. The key is set by using the configuration software on the CD. By default, the protection is enabled. However, it is recommended that you change the default encryption key. All your HomePlug devicesmust use the same encryption key in order for the computers to be networked. Make sure that all devices are loaded with the same key.


0.3 Basic Requirements

-At least 2 HomePlug devices

-Available USB port for each computer

-Available empty power outlet

-Standard home power line wiring

-CD-ROM drive



Acer HomePlug Ethernet Adapter

Do not plug in the device onto the network yet. Insert CD. Replace CD with your actual CD drive. If CD doesn’t automatically load, run (CD Drive Latter):\eth\setup.exe

Click on Next to start installation.

Enter a username and organization and continue installation.

(Username and Organization have no importance in device operation. Windows might look slightly different on other platforms)

Click Next.


Click Install.

Installation is now complete.


2.0 Configuration

With the HomePlug Configuration Utility you will be able to configure and obtain status on your Homeplug network. Just launch the Newly created Shortcut on your desktop.

Device– On this window, the utility will try to detect what HomePlug devices are connected. Your HomePlug Mac Address will be shown here.

Refresh– Click on it when you need to refresh your information.

Connect– When you have more than one HomePlug device, you can select which device you want to connect to. Highlight the device and press Connect.


Network– This tab will show all HomePlug devices connected to the network. Scan the network for newly added devices.

MacAddress– The device ID or MacAddress is displayed on the tab to identify the unit.

Data Rate– Shows the speed that this device is connected at. This data will vary depending on the Powerline quality.

Security– Allows the user to change the encryption setting on the HomePlug device.

Set Local– Enter the password into the Network Password Box and click on Set Local. This will change the password to the local device only. Only devices attached to the unit will have the new Password.

* The Password is Case sensitive. This password must be the same on all HomePlug devices.

Advanced– Here users can do remote Password changes.

z Device Password is always taped on the bottom of the HomePlug unit.