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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.

Friday, 29 March 2002

Internet Security Systems has released BlackICE PC Protection 3.5, the latest version of what used to be BlackICE Defender. This personal firewall software for Windows 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000 and XP includes intrusion detection and has added "application protection" against worms or Trojan horses. It sells online for $39.95

Thursday, 28 March 2002

Macintosh users can now go short-range wireless: D-Link has released their $49 DWB-120M Bluetooth USB Adapter for Apple Macintosh. It will only run on Mac OS X version 10.1.3. It will be available only at the Apple Store, and should be available in April. Free Bluetooth preview software for the product is also on the site.

SonicWALL's VPN Client 8.0 software is now available for mobile users making virtual private network connections. It features support for 802.11b wireless when tunneling from a wireless device. The software is available free to current SonicWALL product customers and can be downloaded at

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

D-Link has released a Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) firmware upgrade (version 4.67) for the D-Link DI-804 Cable/DSL Router. With it installed, Windows XP should automatically recognize and configure the DI-804. UPnP will open ports on the router automatically when using a program like NetMeeting, then close the ports when the software isn't in use.

Zone Labs and Imperito Networks are teaming up to create a combined VPN and firewall solution with secure remote access, in effect combining the best of their respective Zone Alarm and InstantVPN products.

Tuesday, 26 March 2002

3Com has announced the OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Secure Gateway, a higher security version of the standard OfficeConnect. This $350 version includes Stateful Packet Inspection firewall, PPTP and IPSec VPN tunnel support, and the usual NAT, traffic filtering, intrusion protection, etc.

New research from In-Stat/MDR entitled Bluetooth Real-World Deployment & Product Evaluations: A Users' Perspective evaluated Bluetooth products from various vendors and rated 3Com PC card and adapter and Red-M's 1000AP access points w/3000AS server the best Bluetooth PC networking products.

Monday, 25 March 2002

Sputnik is new software that will reportedly turn any PC with broadband and a wireless card into a wireless Internet gateway for other wireless systems on the network. The software, which includes built-in firewall router and SSL authentication, is free. An enterprise version is coming in the second quarter of 2002. It will include other features like remote configuration and support for security protocols like 802.1x. Note that when registering and using the Sputnik software, you become a "Sputnik Affiliate" available for bandwidth sharing with other Sputnik users who might happen into your area (you can view a map of affiliates on their Web site.)

2Wire has introduced its OfficePortal Broadband Router, a smaller version of the HomePortal targeted at small businesses. It includes a 4-port 10/100 switch, optional HomePNA (phoneline) networking, a PC Card slot for a 802.11b wireless card, and optional DSL modem. The product will likely cost $229 for a base unit and will only be available through provider partners, it will not be at retail.

SMC has added a new product to its SOHO router line: The SMC Barricade Plus Cable/DSL Broadband Router comes in both a wireless (SMC7004WFW, $259 street) and wired (SMC7004FW, $159 street) version. Both offer VPN funneling, Stateful Packet Inspection firewall, and parental control functions like URL blocking. They're also offering the Barricade PCI 10/100Mbps PCI adapter (SMC1255TX-PF), an Ethernet NIC that includes firewall functions via SMC software applications. Estimated street price will be $24.

Thursday, 21 March 2002

Linksys is using the new Intersil PRISM 3 chip in its Instant Wireless(TM) Network PC. PRISM 3 uses what's called Zero-IF (ZIF) architecture to get rid of the intermediate frequency (IF) stage that occurs in most radios.

Linksys has released the EtherFast Cable/DSL VPN Router (BEFVP41). It has 70 IPSec VPN tunnels, DES and 3DES encryption, a new processor from Hifn to accelerate authentication and encryption, and an embedded 4-port 10/100 switch. The BEFVP41 will sell for $179 street price

Wireless national ISP Boingo, with over 500 hotspots for Internet access currently in the U.S., will be shipping its access software on installation CD-ROMs for ORiNOCO Wi-Fi hardware (the Gold and Silver cards) from Agere Systems.

Dell'Oro Group's research report on sales of 100Mbps Layer 2 Unmanaged Fixed Ethernet Ports for 2001 among the top manufacturers shows Netgear at the top of the list. In similar news, the Infonetics Report, "VPN and Firewall Products," pegs SonicWALL as the market leader in the dedicated VPN hardware market worldwide. The company has held this position since 2001.

Swiss-based Lightning is planning to launch a DSL modem product that will build in a router with Stateful Packet Inspection firewall. They plan to start with a $4000 enterprise user version and work down to home and small business users throughout 2002.

Broadband cable modem use has grown to 7.2 million in the United States as of the fourth quarter of 2001, according to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), with over 875,000 sign ups in that quarter, compared to 750,000 sign ups in the third quarter of the year. High speed cable modem Internet access is available to a total of 70 million households in the US

In-Stat/MDR has a new report, "Residential Gateways: The Coming Battle for the Digital Living Room," that says broadband service providers will be going one better than standard ISPs that stop at the modem. BSPs will provide full service gateways for home entertainment and control via the home network, a market that will go from $125 million in 2001 to $5 billion by 2006. In-Stat expects to see multiple network technologies in these gateways, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and FireWire.

A proposal before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could squelch red-hot wireless devices operating on the 2.4 GHz frequency. The call by Sirius Satellite Radio to silence Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other popular mobile technology has a wireless trade group girding for a "battle royale." Read the details at 80211 Planet.

Thursday, 14 March 2002

Agere today announced the $199 ORiNOCO AP-200, a dual 2-port 10/100 Ethernet switch and wireless access point. It can work for a standalone wireless base station or a bridge between wired and wireless PCs. It supports 128-bit WEP plus ORiNOCO's WEPplus addition, and even has "microwave oven interference resistance technology."

Users of BellSouth FastAccess DSL can now get the BellSouth FastAccess HomeNetworking Service for an additional $10 per month. The service hardware consists of a 2Wire HomePortal 1000 Residential gateway for sharing Internet connection via a HomePNA (phoneline) or Ethernet network. The service from BellSouth provides 24/7 tech support. There's a one time equipment charge of $149 for the HomePortal.

A new free software firewall for Windows 95/98/Me/NT4/2000/XP is shipping: Outpost Firewall from Agnitum. The software reportedly protects against spyware, adware, cookies, banner ads, emailed worms and viruses, backdoors, and of course, criminal hackers (AKA crackers). It will develop customized rules for your browsing so you can control functions like Internet connection sharing. It will also support third party plug-ins to expand functionality.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this morning approved a rule change reclassifying broadband via cable modem as an "information service," freeing the cable industry from regulations that typically are applied to "telecommunications services." The rule change is the first of several championed by FCC Chairman Michael Powell as a fast track to greater broadband deployment. Read more at News.

Finnish company Patria Ailon Oy has announced a Bluetooth based wireless security camera. The hockey puck-sized GoldenEye Bluetooth camera will work with the company's Ailonet Bluetooth access point and reportedly delivers VGA quality video and embedded motion detection software. It should be available in the second quarter of 2002.

According to Synergy Research Group, the WLAN market will grow 30% a year to reach $5 billion by 2006. Equipment sales will grow 60% from 2001 to 2002, with SOHO/Home use of WLANs to grow over 103% (compared to 32% in the enterprise).

Wednesday, 13 March 2002

No surprise here: brokerage firm Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. has released a report called Wi-Fi - Cordless Computing: Through the Air with Greatest of Ease that says Wi-Fi LANs have "the potential to redefine the face of computing over the next five years." Plus, they say now is a good time to invest in network equipment and semiconductor companies.

The StarBand two-way satellite Internet service provider has launched StarBand Small Office. The service provides network Internet sharing for up to three users for $129.99 per month or up to five users for $169.99 per month. Equipment price is $799. In addition to high-speed Internet, the service will reportedly feature VPN capability, static IP addresses, free e-mail and Web page hosting, and equipment installation.

Tuesday, 12 March 2002

Intellon Corporation has announced that Philips new OEM wireless-to-powerline bridge will use Intellon HomePlug 1.0 chips in the product. It will serve as an access point for 802.11b networks onto powerline-based networks. There are details at 80211 Planet.

WaveSecurity has released WaveScanner ($1995) and WaveSentinal ($4995 for 1 server and 5 access points), the two components of its new WLAN security monitoring suite. The former checks for wireless-specific vulnerabilities; the later provides intrusion detection and logging for access points with little or no security.

Monday, 11 March 2002

SMC Networks has announced launch of its EliteConnect WLAN Security System. It uses VPN funneling to improve security over WEP. The system has a WLAN Secure Server (SMC2504W for $5999) and WLAN Access Manager (SMC2502W for $2999). Get more info on its Multi-Standard Security System at 80211 Planet.

Atheros has shipped a new CMOS chipset for 802.11a access points. This second generation of 802.11a chips, the Integrated Access Point Chipset (AR5001AP) is expected to reduce access point cost and adds new security functionality for AES encryption, VPNs, Virtual LANS, and 802.1x authentication.
The company also introduced a chipset family (AR5001X) that combines 802.11a/b/g for dual-band WLAN support. They should all ship in the second quarter of 2002.

Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) has announced the opening of a new testing facility for products in Reading, England, as well as adding 15 new member companies. Get the details at 80211 Planet.

Thursday, 7 March 2002

Zone Labs has released ZoneAlarm Pro 3.0. The Windows (98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000, and XP) software-based firewall and security program is completely redesigned. It now includes privacy protection including cookie and ad blocking. In addition to allowing only trusted programs to access the Internet, the program will "fingerprint" components of already trusted programs to prevent hackers from using them. It also promises enhanced LAN security, even for wireless networks, by assigning newly detected networks to trusted or untrusted zones. There are numerous other new features. The software sells for $49.95 for single users and includes one year of updates and online support. Users get free access to the Alert Advisor service, which may help improve end-user decisions about blocking, as well as provide a utility to graphically show the geographic location of a PC probing a ZoneAlarm 3.0 protected PC.

Wednesday, 6 March 2002

The total number of people with access to the Internet from home is approaching 500 million worldwide according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Read the full details at CyberAtlas.

Tuesday, 5 March 2002

In the continuing trend of seeing Wi-Fi built into laptops: Compaq's $2599 Presario 2800 with 1.7 GHz mobile Intel Pentium 4-M chip and Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics processor will feature an 802.11b MultiPort.

Monday, 4 March 2002

Privately held company XtremeSpectrum, devoted to bringing ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless connectivity to the masses, has demonstrated wireless digital video broadcast of up to 4 DVDs simultaneously via 10Mbps streaming MPEG-2 video to four flat panel monitors across a room, reportedly with "no interruption or degradation to the video or audio." UWB was recently approved by the FCC for commercial use. They expect products using UWB may be available for the 2003 holidays.

SMC Networks is working with network infrastructure company Vernier Networks to create wireless network security and management tools for small- to medium-sized businesses using Vernier's Layer 3-based security and authentication to assign specific rights to users as they log in, based on location, identity, time of day, etc.

EarthLink's $9.95 per month Home Networking service is now available for its users with cable connections, not just DSL. It's been launched in 21 Time Warner Cable markets, with 18 new markets to come by mid-year. They offer both a Ethernet and phone-line wired version, and a Wi-Fi package. The special deal announced last month consisting of a $50 price reduction and a $99.95 rebate is still in effect until March 31, 2002.

Wi-Fi capabilities will be built into the new Toshiba Tecra 9100 and Satellite Pro 6100 Notebooks with the Pentium 4 Processor-M. The Tecra 9100 starts at $2829 and also integrates Bluetooth; the Satellite Pro 6100 comes two configurations priced at $2399 and $2699. Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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