3Com Ships Home Networking Kit

Networking giant 3Com teams with Microsoft on a new 'home-networking' line. Dell set to join the ranks with its new Dimension series.

3Com Corp. is shipping a line of 10M-bits-per-second home networking products that use phone wires and jacks to connect multiple PCs.

The HomeConnect Home Network Phoneline products are the first 10M-bps wares to reach the market and are based on the HomePNA 2.0 specification, 3Com said today. The company is shipping a kit that allows two PCs to be linked, and is also selling adapters that allow more PCs to be added to the home network.

3Com is teamed with Microsoft Corp. to produce the home networking line, and also said that Dell Computer Corp. is expected to announce that its Dimension desktop PCs will be loaded with 3Com home networking options early next month.

Home networking enables multiple PCs to be linked for shared Internet access and use of peripherals. It has arisen as a hot trend because more homes have multiple PCs, but lack multiple Internet accounts, printers and other peripherals. 3Com is rolling out its phoneline products in time for holiday gift buying, the company said.

The product line includes:

-- 3Com HomeConnect Home Network Phoneline Kit, allowing two PC users to set up a network. The kit contains two 10M-bps internal PCI (peripheral component interface) phoneline network adapters, two seven-foot standard phoneline cables, Microsoft HomeClick Network Software CD, Windows 98 Second Edition Update CD and a Microsoft games sampler for US$149.99.

-- 3Com HomeConnect Home Network Phone Adapter, which allows more PCs to be added to a network. The adapter kit includes one 10M-bps internal PCI phoneline network adapter, one seven-foot standard phoneline cable, quick start guide and the same Microsoft software CDs as the phoneline kit. The adapter is priced at US$79.99.

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