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  Most Popular Tutorials

• Microsoft Vista Home Networking Setup and Options
The most daunting part of upgrading to Windows Vista may be trying to figure out where in the layers of menus the networking and file-sharing options are hidden.

• Do It Yourself: Roll Your Own Network Cables
It may not be something you do everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a network cable on the spot can be very handy.

• Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router and by extension, your network is as secure as possible.

  Most Popular Reviews

• Microsoft Windows Home Server
If you have a home network, you'll welcome the easy file sharing, remote access and the image-based backup features of Windows Home Server.

• Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive
Iomega's fourth generation StorCenter Network Hard Drive brings many of the features found in higher-end storage devices down to an attractive price.

• MikroTik's The Dude
This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.



Wednesday, 30 January 2002

Cahners In-Stat/MDR sees new life coming in the powerline home networking market when the HomePlug standard arrives. They expect the market to go from $18 million in 2001 to $190 million in 2002, and potentially as high as $706 million by 2006. In-Stat/MDR considers HomePlug's advantages over HomePNA (phoneline) to include more outlets than phone jacks in homes and more HomePlug bridging/routing products for Internet connection sharing than HomePNA initially had. Order the report, "Power to the People: What HomePlug Means to Home Networking" at AllNetResearch.com

If you're seeking extra privacy protection while surfing, HP Pavilion PCs are now shipping with privacy and security tools from Zero-Knowledge, including anti-virus, password management, ad blocker, cookie manager, and a personal firewall. Some components may require extra purchase.

The router market was worth $7.9 billion in 2001; according to a report from Dell'Oro Group, that will increase to $11.4 billion by 2006. The growth will reflect a shift to higher bandwidth routers and the growing switch by service providers to routers capable of 10Gbps or higher bandwidth.

Small business up to enterprises customers of BellSouth's FastAccess DSL will be offered the SonicWALL SOHO3 for firewall/anti-virus/content filtering as part of a new deal between the two companies. No pricing information was provided. Customers interested can get information at 888-321-2DSL.

Companies looking to develop products for HomePNA 2.0 should look at Tality Corp.'s HomePNA Intellectual Property portfolio.

Tuesday, 29 January 2002

Netgear and SONICblue are teaming in a marketing alliance to push home networking products from the two companies. Their products include the network-enabled Replay TV 4000 digital video recorder from SONICblue and the cable/DSL gateway router line from Netgear, which provide Internet sharing to not only PCs but also SONICblue devices. The two companies will "provide complementary technologies, solutions and products" to each other in the future.

Intersil has announced it will bring to market a reference design and production chip sets supporting the 802.11g Draft Standard. Read about it at 80211 Planet.

Monday, 28 January 2002

According to Parks Associates' E-Home 2001 study of 711 homes with Internet access, households with broadband connections are more interested in online security than those with dial-up. They rated interest in having a firewall at 4.7 out of 7 compared to 4.1 for dial-up users. The same research shows, no little surprise, that broadband users are also more interested in having a home server -- at a rating of 4.1 out of 7 -- and a home network -- at 2.7 out of 7.

Friday, 25 January 2002

3Com has announced new Wireless 802.11b LAN products for businesses at a conference in Las Vegas, including three access points, a building-to-building bridge, and several 802.11a products are expected later in 2002. Get details at 80211 Planet.

Thursday, 24 January 2002

Broadcom is entering the 802.11b chip set arena with a two chip package including a radio chip and a family of processing chips. Silicon maker Marvell is also getting into the game. Both claim to have all-CMOS techniques of fabrication. Get the details at 80211 Planet.

Tuesday, 22 January 2002

Toshiba's newest super-small (.5 inch thick), super-light (2.6 lbs) notebook computer, the Portege 2000, has integrated Wi-Fi. It costs $2199.

Friday, 18 January 2002

AT&T Broadband will be offering Linksys products (wireless 802.11b as well as wired Ethernet) to its cable modem users for sharing the Internet connection. An additional fee of $4.95 per month per extra computer on the modem will net each PC its own IP address. Expected prices though AT&T Broandband for a wireless home network are under $350; products are being sold through an AT&T Broadband store at Computers4Sure.com.

Proxim is merging with Western Multiplex, a company that makes wireless products that connects buildings. The new company will keep the Proxim name.

Wednesday, 16 January 2002

Compex has announced their latest product, the NetPassage 16 wireless-ready broadband router with 4-port 10/100Mbps switch built in. To use as a wireless gateway to the Internet and access point to the wired network, you insert an 802.11b PC Card. Compex is touting the product's "Pseudo-VLAN" for isolating wireless client systems to enhance data security. In addition to broadband support, there is a serial port for modem backup. The NP16 will cost an estimated $104 street; bundled with a Compex Wireless PC Card it will be $165 street price.

Tuesday, 15 January 2002

Magis Networks will be providing the Magis Air5 chip for new upcoming Motorola audio/visual products. Air5 supports 802.11a, HiperLAN2, and IEEE 1394. Get details at 80211 Planet.

Cirrus Logic has released a reference design called Wirelss Spigot that will be used to rapidly develop wireless Whitecap2 802.11b consumer devices. Read more at 80211 Planet.

Monday, 14 January 2002

The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) announced last week that since March of 2000, 232 products from 60 companies have been certified at Wi-Fi compliant. There are now 140 member companies, 16 of which just joined including Acer, Seiko Epson Corp., Ricoh, and Yamaha. You can find the complete list of member companies and Wi-Fi certified products on the WECA Web site.

A report from the eWEEK Magazine Labs is showing new 802.11a (Wi-Fi5) products as being five times faster (average throughput of 28Mbps) than current 802.11b products.

ZyXEL Communications has released three new ZyWALL firewall routers: ZyWALL 1, ZyWALL 50, and ZyWALL 100, each with the corresponding number of IPSec VPN tunnels. The built in firewall functions include content filtering, stateful packet inspection and DoS attack prevention. The ZyWALL 100 adds a DMZ port to make one system public and has a RS-232 serial port for a modem backup.

Thursday, 10 January 2002

Whither Whitecap? Panasonic has announced two new Home Gateway routers. The KW-HGW150 and KX-HGW600 are both 4-port hubs (with NAT firewall, IPSec passthru, PPTP support, port forwarding, PPPoE support, and DMZ to name a few features), but the latter is also a Wi-Fi access point. They are also selling Wi-Fi adapters: a PC Card, USB adapter, and a camera. The KX-HGW600 will be available in May 2002, with other product releases to be determined.

Motorola's Broadband Communications Sector is introducing a wireless digital audio receiver, developed with SimpleDevices, that lets users wirelessly stream digital audio to their stereo systems via HomeRF. When it will come out and how much it will cost has not been announced.

Wednesday, 9 January 2002

Epson is now shipping the Stylus C80WN wireless desktop ink-jet printer. This is a $399 version of the 4-color Stylus C80 with an 802.11b print server. Users can print though an access point or directly from Macs or Windows PCs with a Wi-Fi adapter. [NOTE: Print server is not built it, as pointed out by reader Robert Immel.]

WLAN semiconductor company RF Solutions has joined the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA). They company plans to deliver WiFLEX, its combo transceiver for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi5 products, early next year.

Proxim has introduced some Macintosh specific wireless product at the Macworld Expo this week. The Skyline 802.11b USB Adapter for Mac is a simple solution for Macs without Airport capability, and will cost $149. The Symphony HomeRF product line is getting a Mac user interface available free on the Proxim.com site in February. Look for Mac drivers for Proxim's 802.11a products in the spring. Catch details at 80211 Planet.

Tuesday, 8 January 2002

Not to be trumped by StarBand's news (below), Hughes Network Systems announced that its DirecWay broadband satellite service has passed 100,000 subscribers.

Actiontec announced two new Wireless Cable/DSL Routers at CES. Differing only in the number of 10/100 Mbps Ethernet ports, these new routers both support up to 35 users simultaneously accessing the Internet, VPN pass-through, DHCP client/server, and each has a USB port for easily connecting one PC. There's also a PC Card slot in each for future expansion. The 4-port version is $199.99 and the 1 port version is $149.99.

Fullplay Media Systems is showcasing its Fullplay Muse Media Center at CES this week. The Muse combines elements of a CD and DVD player, digital image viewer, and PC, playing music and video to any PC in the home via HomePlug, Ethernet, or USB connection. It features Dolby 5.1 surround sound, a 40GB to 320GB hard drive for storage, and a 248x64 pixel LCD readout.

Monday, 7 January 2002

D-Link is showing a number of networking items at CES this week, not the least of which are the first D-Link AirPro 802.11a Enterprise Wireless products. One very cool device: the $399 DCS-1000 network-enabled video camera for digital video streaming. The camera has one RJ-45 port to connect it via Cat5 cable to a router. Then any PC on the network can view the video stream by browsing to the camera's IP address.

LinCom Wireless, a fabless semiconductor making wireless chipsets, has announced that its ComboLink family of WLAN chips will be dual-mode to support both 802.11b and 802.11a networks. While geared toward NICs, the chips will work with access points.

A demo by Zandiant Technologies at CES is showing an in-vehicle MP3 player that gets music titles via 802.11. Get details at 80211 Planet.

Siemens announced at CES the Voice Data Gateway (VDG) with 2.4GHz HomeRF technology. It uses both broadband (cable/DSL) or standard 56K data modem connections into one unit for sharing data and voice transmission to various devices, including up to eight cordless handsets, or USB or PC Card adapters attached to PCs.. The VDG lets users access services from as far away as 150 feet indoors or 300 feet outdoors.

StarBand reports that it installed high-speed, two-way satellite-based Internet access for over 40,000 subscribers in 2001 throughout all 50 of the United States.

Intersil's PRISM 2.5 chipset is integrated into Z-Com's LANEscape XI-825, reportedly the first Wi-Fi certified Compact Flash Type II card for personal digital assistants (though other cards are out including the D-Link Wireless Compact Flash Type II Card. The LANEscape provides 64-bit or 128-bit WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) encryption and supports Windows CE 3.0, Pocket PC 2002 PDAs. It also works with Windows 95, 98, ME, and 2000, but you'll need a CF-to-PCMCIA adapter to plug it into a notebook. Get details at 80211 Planet.

Cahners In-Stat/MDR has a new report out called The Connected Couch Potato that finds HomeRF continuing to lose market share (down from 45% to 30% in 2001) to 802.11b networks as desire for wireless home networks picks up. Consumers like the prices ($150-200 for an access point, $100 or less for PC Card adapters). The total market for wireless home LANs in 2001 was $4 million worldwide, with 70% of the market going to Wi-Fi-based purchases. You can purchase the report at AllNetResearch.

Lugh Networks is showing new Home Powerline networking solutions for Hi-Fi audio sharing as well as data sharing over AC power lines at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas.

Sensate's 2nR-Musiker MP3 server software is also on display at CES. With it consumers can download, upload and stream MP3s to Windows and PocketPC devices. 2nR-Musiker supports just about every wired and wireless network, including Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi5, Bluetooth, IrDA, HomePNA, HomePlug, and, of course, Ethernet.

Thursday, 3 January 2002

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next week, Texas Instruments will be showing new IEEE-1394b communications technology. 1394b features 800 Mbps speed over Category 5 cable (or over fiber) up to a distance of 100 meters. By contrast, the existing 1394a handled sustained distances of 4.5 meters over copper. Devices using 1394b for digital home entertainment are expected sometime in the second half of 2002.2

Wednesday, 2 January 2002

Hewlett Packard's 802.11b Products have shipped: they include notebook PCs and a suite of home LAN products. Get the details at 80211 Planet.

Linksys has announced a new IPSec VPN Router, the EtherFast Cable/DSL VPN Router with 4-port Switch (BEFVP41). The $179 MSRP unit will allow up to 70 VPN tunnels for remote access.



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