The essential guide to HomePlug Ethernet adapters

HomePlug Ethernet adapters

Wi-Fi may be the most popular networking technology, but sometimes even the fastest wireless connection just doesn’t hack it. Perhaps the signal can’t get to the farthest reaches of your home or office, or maybe there are so many wireless networks competing for limited bandwidth that the Netflix movie you’re streaming keeps freezing or stuttering.

Ethernet is still the gold standard for wired networks, but few people have the cabling built into their walls, and even fewer are willing to tear up their walls to install it. Fortunately, you probably already have all the infrastructure you need to set up a wired network: The electrical circuitry in most homes and small offices can do the job. All you need to set up a power-line network are small adapters that plug into any wall outlet and connect via a cable to the Ethernet port of a network device.

Welcome to the world of power-line networking!

Standards are great, there’s so many to choose from!

The whole idea of a standard is that everything that complies with a given standard should work the same way and work together. Wouldn’t that be nice? In the real world, there are not only multiple competing standards, but standards sometimes fork, fragment, and splinter. Wired and wireless Ethernet technology is a relatively settled space. The same cannot be said for power-line Ethernet networking, especially not internationally.

The U.S. has largely settled on the IEEE P1901 standard for power-line networking, with the HomePlug Powerline Alliance trade group handling certification under the HomePlug brand. But the HomePlug Alliance departed from the IEEE standard to create its latestpower-line networking technology, HomePlug AV2. A spokesperson from the alliance told me the group saw no benefit in going through the admittedly time-consuming and often politically tricky IEEE standards development process this time around.

A related standard, IEEE P1905.1, marketed under the nVoy brand is used for hybrid home networks that rely on a combination of Wi-Fi, power-line, and MoCA (Multimedia over Coax, which is the cable that cable-TV companies rely on). If all that isn’t confusing enough, there are competing standards from a different international standards body (the ITU) for both power-line (HomePNA) and hybrid networks (G.hn).

Our best advice when deploying power-line networking products? Stick with the same standard and buy everything from one vendor. If you want to understand the ins and outs of the various power-line standards, read on.

The HomePlug standards

The HomePlug Alliance has developed three generations of HomePlug specifications. The original HomePlug standard, announced in 2001, supports physical network speeds of up to 14 megabits per second (although, as with most networking standards, real-world speeds fall considerably short of this theoretical maximum). Later products are backwards compatible with HomePlug 1.0, but manufacturers have moved on to faster successors: HomePlug AV and HomePlug AV2. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell which standard products are based on.

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HomePlug AV, announced in 2005, supports theoretical speeds of up to 200 Mbps, but most current HomePlug AV products feature proprietary enhancements that raise the theoretical speed to 500 or 600 Mbps. HomePlug AV2, ratified in early 2012, supports speeds ranging from 500 Mbps to 1200 Mbps; but the faster speeds are offered only by products equipped with optional enhancements in the AV2 spec.

The even faster version of AV2 is called HomePlug AV2 MIMO (Multiple Input/Multiple Output). It uses all three wires in an electrical circuit: Hot, neutral, and ground. It necessarily requires power cords ending in three prongs and AC outlets that can accommodate them. Many older homes (in the U.S., those built before 1962) don’t have ground wires in their walls and won’t benefit from this standard.

HomePlug AV2 MIMO

The products we tested are based on the HomePlug AV 500, AV2 and AV2 MIMO standards. In our tests, there wasn’t much difference in performance between the AV 500 and AV2 products, but the lone AV2 MIMO kit (provided by ZyXEL) proved almost twice as fast as the others. It was also more than twice as expensive as any of the other kits.

Note that the HomePlug Alliance does not certify so-called HomePlug AV 500 or AV 600 products for interoperability. If you use HomePlug AV adapters from different vendors, you’re only assured basic HomePlug AV speeds of up to 200 Mbps.

With HomePlug AV2, however, the Alliance is certifying both the basic 600 Mbps version and the 1200 Mbps MIMO version. Obviously there’s potential for confusion over the basic and enhanced AV2 specs, not to mention the HomePlug AV 500/600 products in the market. If you only pay attention to the claimed performance, it’s almost impossible to tell whether you are getting an enhanced HomePlug AV product or a basic HomePlug AV2 product, since you’ll see both numbers (500 Mbps and 600 Mbps) on both types of adapters.

Most vendors put a HomePlug logo on their packaging, but that generic logo doesn’t indicate the version of the technology inside. The HomePlug Alliance could learn some lessons about branding from the Wi-Fi Alliance, which has clear markings for the old 802.11b through the latest 802.11ac standards. And since some of the enhanced HomePlug AV products were actually faster than the AV2 products, figuring out which you have won’t matter so long as you stick with products from the same vendor.

Setting up a HomePlug network

Because most people contemplating a wired home network already have a Wi-Fi network, vendors have made it easy to create hybrid Wi-Fi/HomePlug networks using your existing router by offering starter kits with two adapters. (All of the products in this review were such kits.)

The adapters are typically no larger than a small night light. Again, they plug directly into any available wall outlet, but some of the larger ones block the second outlet. Each adapter has one gigabit Ethernet port so you can connect it via Etherent cable to your router or switch at one end, and to a client device or switch at the other end.

Whatever you do, don’t plug HomePlug adapters into power strips that have built-in surge suppressors. The surge suppression will effectively filter out the signals carrying your data, rendering the adapter slow or completely non-functional.

HomePlug networks require no setup. When you plug in the network device, it should be connected within moments. Also, most current products have built-in encryption so that your network signal can’t be detected by someone else on the same power grid. You might, however, need to provide a password (using a utility on a PC) to add additional adapters, especially if you’re mixing adapters from different manufacturers.

While HomePlug products should work in most locations, you might run into problems in buildings with very old wiring. The HomePlug Powerline Alliance has also found some rare instances of incompatibility with AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupters) circuit breakers. The national electrical code requires AFCI breakers to service the AC outlets in the bedrooms of newer homes.

How we tested HomePlug adapters

To evaluate the performance of the HomePlug starter kits reviewed here, I measured TCP throughput and streamed a high-definition movie. For the TCP measurements, I connected each HomePlug adapter to a free LAN port on my router in the living room area of my loft, and I connected a Windows 8 notebook to another free LAN port to function as a server. I then connected a second Windows 8 notebook to a second HomePlug adapter plugged into a wall outlet in the mezzanine of our loft. I installed JPerf (a Java-based user front end for IPerf) on both notebooks.

I also streamed a high-def movie from the downstairs (server) notebook to the upstairs notebook using iTunes’ home sharing feature. While this test is anecdotal at best, it confirmed that each of the kits tested was capable of streaming high-def video.

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The bottom line

All of the HomePlug AV 500/600 products and the non-MIMO HomePlug AV2 kits delivered throughput ranging from 60- to 75Mbps. The Alliance says non-MIMO AV2 gear should be slightly faster than even enhanced HomePlug AV, but that didn’t prove true in my tests. TP-Link’s HomePlug AV kit consistently outperformed the other non-AV2 MIMO products (but not by much). But ZyXEL’s AV2 MIMO product blew everything else away with consistent throughput of 115 Mbps. Another HomePlug AV2 MIMO device, Trendnet’s TPL-420E2K came in second.

When we originally published this roundup, ZyXEL’s kit was also the most expensive in the bunch at $140. Its street price has since dropped to just $93, which is $17 less than that of the Trendnet. If you can’t spend that much, or if you can just get by with less bandwidth, TP-Link’s $72 TL-PA6010KIT matched or outperformed all the non-MIMO AV2 products.

Olio's small-batch smartwatch strives for form over function

 

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The startup plans to launch a limited run of 1,000 smartwatches this summer, with a primary goal of looking sharp. Olio’s watches have round designs, brushed stainless steel bodies, and either steel or leather straps. The steel version will cost $595, while a black model will cost $745 (plus another $50 for the metal watch band).

Just as crucially, they aren’t going to do a whole lot.

While Olio’s watches do have touch screens—these aren’t like the “horological smartwatches” that some Swiss brands are working on—the company is essentially entering the market without an ecosystem. You won’t see an expanding range of functions brought forth by third-party apps and partners, as you can expect with the Apple Watch, Pebble Time, and Android Wear.

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But Olio, unsurprisingly, is trying to pitch this as a feature, not a drawback. The company argues that current smartwatches are too overwhelming, so rather than trying to build up functionality over time, Olio is focusing on dealing with notifications in an intelligent way. The plan is to have a system that learns what you actually care about, and sorts alerts into two streams—past and future—that you can sift through.

Olio does want to offer controls for third-party connected home products, such as lights, thermostats, and door locks, but here the details are murky. An Olio spokesman said the company will tap into open APIs where available, and make partnerships in some cases. Otherwise, Olio will throw in some basic features like remote music controls, a stopwatch, and weather forecasts.

As for battery life, Olio will last for “multiple days,” and has a magnetic coil for wireless charging on the body’s back side. The watch is also waterproof, has a microphone for yet-undefined voice controls, and connects to Android or iOS over Bluetooth.

Apple Watch mini-stores to open in London, Paris, Tokyo luxury retail shops

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The Apple Watch will have its own sales space inside three major department stores in Europe and Asia, a move to get the product in front of potential buyers who may not be frequent visitors to the company’s physical and online stores.

The locations, at Selfridges in London, Isetan Shinjuku in Tokyo and Galeries Lafayette in Paris, will be staffed by Apple employees. The department stores Apple selected have reputations for selling high-end fashions.

There is no mention on Apple’s website about similar setups for the Apple Watch within U.S. department stores.

The department store locations will be strictly retail outlets and won’t offer product support, according to their listings. For help resolving technical problems, people should go to an Apple Store. The Apple Watch stores open on April 10, the same day the smartwatch becomes available for try-ons and preorders in the company’s retail stores. The wearable ships on April 24.

Apple has been highlighting the smartwatch’s style as much as its technology. Fashion magazines Vogue and Elle Australia featured the watch in their March issues. In Vogue, Apple showed the watch in a 12-page advertising spread while Elle Australia ran a story on how to accessorize with the device.

Rumors that the Apple Watch would have special department store displays have been circulating for months. According to media reports, the wearable will be given prominent locations in each department store.

At Selfridges, the Apple Watch will reportedly be displayed in the store’s Wonder Room, where jewelry and watches from luxury brands Gucci and Cartier are sold. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch store at Galeries Lafayette will reportedly take up a large section of the second floor near designers Saint Laurent and Celine. And the mall where Isetan Shinjuku is located added the Apple Watch store to its directory.

Opening mini-stores dedicated to Apple products within other retailers isn’t new for Apple. Best Buy stores feature special Apple sections and electronics retailer B&H Photo Video in New York City recently opened an Apple mini-store

LG's standalone Watch Urbane LTE will cost more than your average smartwatch

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LG’s first standalone smartwatch—and the first watch based on WebOS—is not going to come cheap.

The LG Watch Urbane LTE launched in South Korea today, with price tag of roughly $590, Android Central reports. That’s before tacking on a $9 per month wireless plan for voice, text and, data.

The price puts LG’s latest smartwatch on par with the mid-range Apple Watch, which starts at $549 for the 38mm model and $599 for the 42mm model. LG is hoping the Watch Urbane will stand out through its built-in SIM card and 4G LTE connection, as the Apple Watch and most other smartwatches require a paired phone to get online. The LG Watch Urbane also boasts a more stylish design than most smartwatches.

Unlike LG’s other smartwatches, which run Android Wear, the Watch Urbane LTE uses a custom version of WebOS. This includes some built-in apps for things like email, fitness, and voice commands, and allows for wrist-based payments with NFC.

The details on those NFC payments are still murky, however, and LG hasn’t talked about third-party apps. The watch will also require an Android phone for notifications, even though it isn’t using Google’s software this time around

U.S. launch plans for the Watch Urbane are still unclear. So far, AT&T has only said that it will carry the non-LTE Watch Urbane, which does run Android Wear. Perhaps carriers are getting cold feet after jumping in with Samsung’s Gear S.

USB Type-C peripherals are on the way, and storage devices are first up

 

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With Apple’s latest MacBook and Google’s newest Chromebook just out and featuring the new USB Type-C connector, we’re on the lookout for peripherals that use the interface, and storage devices appear to be first out of the gate.

Because the Type-C connector can be used to recharge laptops, it may ultimately do away with the need to carry bulky power adapters. Like older USB technology, Type-C will also connect monitors, external storage drives, printers, cameras and other peripherals. One beauty of the system is that cables have the same connector on both ends, and can be inserted into ports without worries about which side is up or down.

Storage devices will eventually benefit from Type-C’s USB 3.1 protocol, which can transfer data at 10Gbps (bits per second), double that of USB 3.0. But the first peripherals we’re seeing support only USB 3.0 speeds.

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LaCie’s storage drives

LaCie, which is well-known among Mac users, announced new Porsche Mobile Designportable drives. The drives are designed to work with Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook, and also are compatible with the Mac OS Time Machine back-up software.

The drives also have traditional Type-A USB 3.0 ports to ensure compatibility with existing Macs that don’t have the Type-C connector. The portable drives will ship next quarter and be available in capacities of 500GB, 1TB and 2GB. LaCie didn’t immediately provide pricing.

We expect portable storage companies Samsung, Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital to follow suit and release USB Type-C portable hard drives and SSDs.

Flash drives from Emtec

Emtec has announced Duo USB-C 16GB, 32GB and 64GB thumb drives with Type-C and Type-A connectors. Beyond Apple’s MacBook, the flash drives can be used with Nokia N1 tablet and Google’s Chromebook Pixel, which are the only other devices with Type-C ports. The Duo USB-C drives provide read speeds of 110 megabytes per second and write speeds of 20 megabytes per second, which are not overwhelming, but in line with speeds of other USB 3.0 flash drives. Emtec did not provide pricing for the drives, which will ship in the second quarter.

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SanDisk’s 32GB flash drive

Another 32GB flash drive with USB Type-A and Type-C ports was announced by SanDisk. The Dual Drive Type C will connect into PCs and Macs. SanDisk didn’t provide a price for the product, which will ship in the second half of the year.

Apple’s cables

Apple’s introduction of the USB Type-C for the first time in its 12-inch MacBook will have users scrambling to upgrade cables so the laptop can connect to Apple’s iPad, iPhone and other existing peripherals. Apple is selling a standard USB Type C to USB converter for $19, a two-meter extension and charge cable for $29, and a USB Type C power adapter for $49. It’s also selling a $79 USB Type C Digital AV Multiport Adapter so the new MacBook can simultaneously connect to a 1080p HDMI display, USB 3.0 device and a USB Type C charging cable. For $79 you can buy a USB VGA Multiport Adapter, which is similar to the Digital AV adapter, but with a VGA port instead of an HDMI port.

Apple now sells a Lightning to USB 2.0 converter, so it’s possible it may in future offer a USB Type-C to Lightning converter to connect iPhones and iPads.

Cheaper cables

Amazon is selling a handful of inexpensive USB Type-C to Type-A converters, which could help connect existing peripherals to Type-C ports in the newer computers. The most expensive cable from Aukey is priced at $21.99, and the cheapest is priced at $7.88 by Chenyang.

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Type C for desktops

If you’re building a desktop, scouring online retailer sites could lead you to motherboards with support for USB Type C ports. These Type C ports support the newer USB 3.1 protocol, and are capable of moving data at speeds of up to 10Gbps. Asustek’s Rampage V Extreme boards for gaming desktops is selling for a whopping $519, but it supports the newer DDR4 memory and the latest Intel processors. Other Asus motherboards with the older DDR3 memory and USB 3.1 ports are being sold at prices ranging from $159 to$259. MSI is also bringing Type C connectors to a range of motherboards

Canary, the DIY home-security system, goes from crowd-funding sensation to mainstream

Canary

On July 22 2013, the folks at Canary launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise $100,000 to develop a home-security system that just about any household could afford. At the completion of their 34-day campaign, more than 7,000 backers had flooded the company with nearly $2 million in cash. Canary began shipping finished product to those backers in late October, 2014. Today, it’s embarking on what the company says is one of the largest retail releases of a crowd-funded product, with four major retail partners: Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Verizon Wireless.

As Canary co-founder Adam Sager told me at the kick-off of Canary’s crowd-funding effort in 2013: “The [home-security] market is dominated by the major installers with expensive, complicated solutions on the one hand, and by DIY systems which for the most part are pared-down products from the major installers on the other.” Canary, he said, would be as effective as those expensive custom-installed systems at a fraction of the price. If you’d been an early backer, the device would have cost $199. The retail price announced today still sounds like a remarkable value at $249. I say “sounds like” because we’ve yet to get our hands on a review unit that we can evaluate. That’s coming soon, according to Sager.

Canary

Most home-security systems—including the one in my own home—depend on a raft of sensors on doors and windows, and motion detectors that are mounted in common areas. These are supplemented with discrete smoke and CO detectors, and everything communicates with a central control panel that’s connected to your Wi-Fi network, backed up by a battery and a GSM module in case of a power failure. Security cameras, and the cloud storage needed to make them useful, are typically a pricey option.

The reason Canary is so inexpensive is that it’s an all-in-one, self-contained unit. The cylindrical enclosure houses a smoke and heat detector, a high-definition microphone, a motion sensor, an accelerometer, a security camera with night vision, a capacitive touch sensor, an air-quality monitor that can detect both carbon-monoxide and volatile organic chemicals, a humidity sensor, a 110dB siren, Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi client adapter.

The Canary doesn’t include a battery backup or a GSM module, so if a burglar cuts your power, the service that connects your home to the Internet, or both, you won’t be alerted to a break-in. The device doesn’t include any hooks to lighting controls or other connected-home systems either, so you won’t be able to arm or disarm the system when you lock your smart door locks, or have the lights turn on if the motion sensor detects an intruder’s presence when your home should be unoccupied.

“We haven’t seen a lot of demand for home automation, but we know there’s a lot of interest in the tech-publishing community,” Sager told me in an interview last week. “So we haven’t focused on those connections quite yet, but it’s possible to add that. We continually poll our customers to ask them what they want to connect to, but they just haven’t expressed a lot of interest in that.”

Canary

A Canary purchase could, over time, pay for itself through discounts on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance—provided you buy your insurance from State Farm. Even then the discount is relatively modest—a maximum of 7 percent, according to a Canary press release—and qualifying for the maximum discount requires signing up for an optional service plan.

Canary has rolled out three service tiers on that front: You’ll get 7 days of cloud storage for up to 50 video clips with the least-expensive $9-per-month plan, but that doesn’t include call-center monitoring. The Advanced Security package adds call-center monitoring and 30 days of cloud storage for up to 100 video clips at a cost of $19 per month. The Deluxe Package also includes call-center monitoring, and it increases your video storage to 90 days for up to 250 clips. It costs $39 per month. There are no long-term contracts associated with any of the three plans.

If you live in a larger home, you can deploy up to four Canary’s. You’ll pay an additional service fee for each if you elect for the service plans, but you’ll qualify for a 50 percent discount on the service plan for each additional Canary.

I still think the Canary will deliver a very impressive price/performance ratio, especially for a smaller home or apartment. And that should go double if you’re looking for a home-security system you can take with you when you move. I can’t wait to get my hands on one for a thorough review

Razer's OSVR virtual reality headset will get Leap Motion's hand-tracking

razer OSVR HMD

Oculus VR wants to develop the perfect virtual reality game controller before launching the consumer version of the Oculus Rift. Meanwhile Razer’s OSVR headsets, which are shipping to developers in June, will offer an experimental option that completely replaces game controllers with natural movement.

On Wednesday, Leap Motion announced that Razer’s OSVR Hacker Dev Kit will have an optional faceplate with Leap Motion’s hand-tracking technology built in.

This is the second big push into VR for Leap Motion, ehich also announced a VR mount for the Oculus Rift last August. At the time, the company said it hoped to partner with VR headset makers to make Leap Motion hand tracking a standard feature.

Why this matters: The whole point of virtual reality technology is to make it feel like you’re in a totally different world, be it a game or a virtual movie theater. While most gamers are used to console-style controllers, that’s still an artificial way to interact with an immersive experience. If Leap Motion’s hand tracking works well enough it could make interactions in virtual reality feel more natural without the distraction of greasy thumbs stumbling over the X and Y buttons.

Hand tracking wouldn’t be perfect for every gaming situation, mind you. It would get pretty tiring on the arms to continually hack away with a virtual sword instead of jamming a few button combos with your thumbs. Nevertheless, the promise of more freely interacting with virtual worlds is an attractive prospect.

More than OSVR

Leap Motion says it has big plans for integrating hand tracking technology into VR headsets. The company’s technology will support major gaming engines, including Unreal and Unity.

Leap Motion also said OSVR is the first of a “future lineup of head mounted displays that will feature Leap Motion’s technology built in.” It’s not clear if that means Leap Motion is already lining up other partners (such as Oculus or Valve and HTC) or if it just hopes to work with companies building VR gear.

Leap Motion’s faceplate will be available in Razer’s OSVR online store in May and will ship in June.

God of War III Remastered Coming to PS4 on July 14

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Remasters are a dime a dozen. We’ve seen Metro: Last Light, Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and DmC all grace the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (PS4) in the form of remastered special editions. And the list is far from over. Much like last year’s PS4 exclusive remaster of The Last of Us, Sony’s unofficial Greek god killing mascot, Kratos, gets his first outing on the PS4 in God of War III.

Yes, the game is making the jump to Sony’s latest console, the company announced on its blog last week. It will be out on July 14 and priced at $40 (around Rs. 2,400). If we go by the price of The Last of Us Remastered, that should be Rs. 2,750 when it hits. Apart from a full-HD resolution and optimised graphics that take advantage of the PS4’s power, gamers can also look forward a new “photo mode” to share moments with friends.

“Every time I play through that game [God of War III] I see the unique brand of brilliance the Santa Monica team pours into every game they do. Imagine if a game like that came out on PS4, right? Well, thanks to the fine folks at SCEA (or Santa Monica Studio) we do not have to imagine any more because God of War III Remastered is here!” said Cory Balrog Creative Director at Sony Computer Entertainment’s Santa Monica Studio. Incidentally, Balrog is working on an unannounced game at the studio.

SCEA’s Aaron Kaufman on the same blog post, while responding to a user query,added that Sony has no plans to bring other God of War games over to the PS4. Kaufman also said the God of War III Remastered will be available both digitally and as a physical copy.

With Uncharted 4 being delayed to next year and Bloodborne out this week, this year seems threadbare for Sony. Re-releasing God of War III in the middle of July seems like an attempt to fill in gaps in the PS4’s portfolio.

Tata Photon Walky Wireless Landline With Wi-Fi Launched

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Tata DoCoMo, a Tata Teleservices brand, has launched the Tata Photon Walky wireless landline in India.The new wireless landline from Tata DoCoMo will be available at Rs. 3,850 with monthly tariff plans starting at Rs. 399 for 3GB of data and going up to Rs. 899 for 8GB of data for postpaid users.

The company claims that the new Tata Photon Walky is a multi-purpose device as it can be turned into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot device connecting up to 5 devices. It also allows voice calling. Tata DoCoMo says the Photon Walky is targeted at the “the new age Internet generation.”

The Tata Photon Walky supports download speeds of up to 3.2Mbps.

tata_photon_walky.jpgCommenting on the launch, Gurinder Singh Sandhu, Head, Marketing, Mobility, Tata DoCoMo said, “Tata Photon Walky is a unique device that will give the wireless landline users an opportunity to surf the Internet by creating a simultaneous Wi-Fi hotspot. With the rise in the number of smartphone and tablet users in India, there has been a shift in the way Internet is accessed by customers in addition to their otherwise voice usage. With Tata Photon Walky, we have addressed the Internet needs of multiple users including smartphone customers at home or on the move with a single, easy to use device.”

Tata DoCoMo late last year launched the Photon Max Wi-Fi Duo dongle with a 4400mAh battery at Rs. 2,899. The device also functions as a power bank for charging electronic devices. It features a microSD card slot to support up to 32GB storage. The Tata Photon Max Wi-Fi Duo (Review) dongle allows up to five devices to connect to the Internet.

Karbonn Forays Into Mobile Accessories With Power Banks and Custom Screen Guards

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Karbonn on Monday announced its foray in the mobile accessories segment with the launch of portable power bank and screen guards.The power banks and screen guard/ protector accessories come from company’s newly launched Karbonn Mobile Accessories vertical. Starting at Rs. 999, the Karbonnpower banks come in three different battery capacity variants – 5000mAh, 7000mAh and 10000mAh – and will go on sale via Snapdeal from Wednesday.

The 10000mAh Li-Po power bank from Karbonn packs a LED torch, TF card reader, and two standard USB ports along with an LCD display. The 7000mAh power bank also features dual charging ports and LED indicators. Karbonn claims that all three power banks use an intelligent IC for efficient load fluctuation management.

The screen guards from Karbonn will come under the brand “Ultra Clear”. Customised for Karbonn mobile devices, the screen guards will be available across all retail stores and various e-commerce portals.

Commenting on the launch of Karbonn Mobile Accessories vertical, Shashin Devsare, Executive Director of Karbonn Mobiles said, “The increasing mobile adoption in India has given an impetus to the demand for mobile accessories market which is burgeoning rapidly. Currently, the accessories market is dominated by grey market products which impact the functioning and efficiency of the device. The move towards expanding our product portfolio to include mobile accessories is aimed at offering the consumer the choice of technologically superior mobile auxiliaries which are affordable. We are highly optimistic about the growth of Karbonn’s accessories vertical and expect it to touch 100 crores by the end of FY 2015-2016.”