The Nerdiest Thing I've Ever Wanted

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Wi-Fi sucks. Well, it sucks if your router is lurking in a subterranean realm of your apartment and your gaming rig is located aboveground with an iron staircase in between the two and you don't want to run 100 meters of cable or wire the apartment with ethernet because you don't own the building.

Like Fedex, I don't want my express deliveries to be late when they arrive at somebody's door. Except by special delivery, I mean sniper bullet, and door, I mean grill, and by grill, I mean face. You know, in Battlefield 3. Wi-Fi isn't cutting it. The latency from a relay would be lethal (to me). And ethernet is an impossibility. So what I need is the fastest powerline networking setup money can buy.

If you're not familiar, the concept of powerline networking is pretty amazing: It turns your home's electrical wiring into a ready-made network. Ethernet cables sprout from power sockets like Matrix-y beanstalks. The cooler reality of powerline networking: It's never remotely as fast as the label says it is, and you need newer wiring in your house for it to work well. But it's been getting faster every year, and this year's newerish 500Mbps models are finally just fast enough, particularly for the dreary corners of your home that Wi-Fi simply won't touch.


Netgear's Powerline AV+ 500 is one of the fastest kits—if not the fastest—delivering a solid 100Mbps or so in speedtests. It's around $120.


It's probably the nerdiest thing I've ever desired. (Barring a once hotly desired pair of Power Rangers suspenders.) And it's not even for a good, human reason, like streaming a girl's favorite episode of How I Met Your Mother in HD to watch on my TV. (Side note: Why do women really like that show? I do not know a female that does not like it.) No, I just really like shooting people in the face across vast distances of terrain, imagining their shock and terror and aggravation, their tiny digital lives suddenly shattered from afar, sending them back to spawn to contemplate the meaning of their seven-second mini-existence. Maybe they were aiming at a friendly tank or fighter jet. Maybe they were sipping on some tea, like I do when I'm scanning for heads to pop. Now they're just waiting to spawn, which is kind of weird if you think about it. [Netgear]