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BT launches Connected Home store for broadband gadget addicts

BT has launched a range of broadband extenders, WiFi boosters and network switches for making your internet connection reach around the home.

The BT Connected Home store is driven by research claiming that half a million people live in homes with more than 15 internet-enabled devices.

The survey found many struggled with WiFi black-spots or Ethernet-connected devices like smart TVs that are too far from their broadband router, so they’re not plugged in.

BT launches Connected Home store for broadband gadget addicts
BT’s Broadband Extender Flex 500, with power socket pass-through

Read Recombu Digital’s guides to Powerline and WiFiErik Raphael, Consumer Devices Director, BT said “The proliferation of connected devices in the home, whether it be for TV, gaming, social media or searching the web means that people want to access their broadband all around the home. 

“To cater for this growth BT is launching a range of connectivity devices to give people wired and WiFi access wherever they need it most with a series of broadband and WiFi extenders.”

The Broadband Extenders use HomePlug AV powerline technology to piggyback your broadband around the home via your electricity sockets.

New products include the Broadband Extender 200 and 500 ranges, which create a network with either 200Mbps or 500Mbps to share between devices (although practical speeds will be about a third of the headline figure).

They’re available as two-unit Starter Kits from £35 (you need one at your router to start the network), with individual add-on units from £25 each.

The Broadband Extender 500 range also includes a Flex Kit (£80), which has a pass-through power socket so you don’t lose a valuable power outlet, and a Multiport model (£60) with three Ethernet sockets. 

WiFi Home Hotspots let you extend your WiFi coverage into dead spots using powerline to place a WiFi booster in a power socket. 

It comes as both the 802.11n Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 working at 2.4GHz (£100 kit, £60 standalone), and the Dual-Band Wi-Fi Extender 600 (£60 standalone) on 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

There’s also a Dual-Band WiFi Kit 600, which gives you a 2.4/5GHz base station to sit next to your existing single-band router, plus dual-band WiFi USB dongles.

The Gigabit Ethernet Switches, available with either five ports (£25) or eight (£40), are designed for the office or behind your TV, so all your printers, laptops, games consoles and TV boxes can get a juicy Ethernet connection.

Some ISPs, such as TalkTalk, already provide powerline extenders to their customers, while Sky sells the Wireless On Demand Connector to encourage TV customers to connect up their Sky+HD boxes.

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