Intelogis Passport - Electric data network
by Jody Baram
When we first saw the Intelogis Passport home networking system at David Coursey's Digital Living Room last summer, we frankly weren't that excited. But that changed once we tried out this nifty networking solution for the home. One of the first to use electrical wiring as a network conduit, Passport is a welcome addition that works!
The initial system comes with modules for two computers and one printer. The large white plugs have to be plugged into the wall directly then into the provided power strips. Installation was a breeze once we reloaded Windows 95. The Passport software comes on both floppies and CD, and you can download the most recent drivers from Intelogis' Web site. After the software is loaded on your machines, you can even secure the network so your neighbors can't access your data. I spent less time getting the proxy server up and running than I did installing a networking card for my cable modem.
How it works
Passport uses the same electrical wiring plant in your home as your appliances. You can share files, peripherals and printers as you would expect from a networking product which originally came from Novell.
Multiuser game players aren't the only ones who should definitely benefit from a product like Passport. I like the convenience of being able to use my printer and cable modem from any outlet in my home without having to wire up every room. Can you imagine the day when automatic programming in your refrigerator would send an email request to a service like Netgrocer every time you run out of milk or butter? They could then send your staples to your house like magic!
We think the Intelogis Passport is a nice product. It is cheaper than wireless networking solutions and is sufficiently fast enough to accomplish any task you might want done in your home. As for this category, we think this is a killer app to make every home a smart home in the future.