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• 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.

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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.

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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.

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• 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.




Thursday, 31 May 2001

- We just posted 1.37.2b BETA firmware for the Linksys BEFW11S4 wireless router. Go to the Help page to download.

- Our review of Linksys' EtherFast Wireless AP + Cable/DSL router with PrintServer is up. Read the review and see if it should be on your shopping list!

- We've posted 1.1 Rel 02 BETA firmware for Linksys' BEFW11P1 Wireless router & print server. Go to the Help page to download. Make sure you download the new Update Utility to use with it!

Wednesday, 30 May 2001
-Buy.com has the D-Link DI-713P wireless router for $200. [Thnx Eric Keller!]

- The Wireless Networking Product Guide is now up.  It'll be awhile before we have all the data loaded in, but it was too much of a hassle maintaining both the old chart and the new database, so we just said the heck with it and are throwing the switch!  Let us know if you find problems!

Tuesday, 29 May 2001
- As promised, our review of NETGEAR's just-released RO318 router is up.  Go take a look!

- 3Com has posted unsupported version 1.97 firmware for their Home Ethernet Gateway Router (3C510) [Read our Review]. Go here for the download. [Thnx Pete!] 
(Revised from earlier post.)

- We've removed the 1.37.5 BETA for the BEFW11S4 router at Linksys' request.  Seems that it if you load it, you can't downgrade to an earlier version of the firmware.  They're working on a new version, which we'll post when we receive it (no, we don't know the timeframe).

PracticallyNetworked Recommended Logo Thanks to the friendly folks at Asante, we now have a nice logo to point out our Recommended products.  What?  You mean you haven't seen the Recommended list?  Well, go right on over and take a look!

- NETGEAR has released the RO318, an 8 port version of their new-generation RP114 router. Pretty aggressively priced, too, with web pricing about $165. Go check out the details and check back with us later for the review. [Read Press release.]

Saturday, 26 May 2001
- Asante has posted 2.11 BETA firmware for their FriendlyNET routers. Go to the Help Page for the download info.

Friday, 25 May 2001
- Just posted a correct version of the Linksys HPRO200 BETA. Earlier version was the old 1.37.1 version. Sorry! Go and download again!

- Hey folks, we're rolling in Linksys BETAs.  Just received and available for download on the Help page are the following:

  • BEFSR81 [2.38.2]

  • BEFN2PS4 [1.37.2]

  • HPRO200 [1.37.4]

Thursday, 24 May 2001
- Nexland has posted V1 Rel 29 firmware for their ISB router line. Go to their site for the downloads. [Thnx Marc Williams!]

-Egghead.com has the D-Link DI-704 4 port router for $60 after $20 mail-in rebate. Offer expires this Sunday 27 May. [Thnx Gib Gahan!]

- SMC has released 1.92E firmware for their Barricades.  Go to the Help Page for the download info.

Wednesday, 23 May 2001
- Linksys just let us know that their WUSB11 USB 802.11b adapter has just received WiFi certification, joining their previously certificed WPC11 PC card and WAP11 Access Point.  They tell us that the wireless routers are in progress.

- Netgear is running a $50 rebate for their FR314 Firewall router (get the coupon here) through June 30. [Read our review.]

- Maxgate told us about new, lower pricing on their product line (all prices are via web retailers):

The rebates expire May 31, but MaxGate says they'll probably continue the rebates through June.

- If you're a DSL or satellite broadband customer and have a USB modem, and have been frustrated that you can't use a hardware router, help may be on the way!  Draytek's recently introduced Vigor2200USB, slated to start shipments to European customers in September, supports the Alcatel SpeedTouch USB ONLY, and the company is considering adding more DSL modems to the list.  Let us know which ones you'd like to see, and we'll pass the info to Draytek.

Tuesday, 22 May 2001
- Linksys' 1.38.6 BETA release for their best-selling four and one port routers is available for download.

Monday, 21 May 2001
- If you're trying to reach MacSense's Web site, it's now reachable at Xsense.com.  While we're on the subject, they just introduced a wireless 4 port router, the XRouter Aero.

- In response to the queries I received about the previously mentioned BEFVP41 VPN router, I checked with Linksys.  The reply was a not-too-firm July time frame, but your guess is as good as mine as to when it will really come out!

- Got another Best Buy deal for ya.  Get a NETGEAR RT311 single port router for $50 after sale and rebate! [Thnx again Brian Rose!]

Sunday, 20 May 2001
- Linksys has finally released 1.38.5 firmware for their 1, 4 and USB port routers.  From the reports from BETA users, it sounds like this version may fix many of the problems that have been plaguing users...especially gamers!  Go to our Linksys Help pages for the download info. [Thnx to the many alert readers who for their tips!]

- NETGEAR is running a number of mail-in rebates, good on purchases from May 18 to June 30 with this coupon [Thnx Bryan Deutsch!]

  • $30 off - ME102 802.11b Wireless AP [review]

  • $20 off - MA401 802.11b Wireless PC card [review]

  • $20 off - RP114 Web Safe Router [review]

  • $20 off - RT314 4 port Router [review]

- Best Buy has the NETGEAR RT314 for $70 after $30 mail-in rebate (different from the rebate above). [Thnx Brian Rose!]

Friday, 18 May 2001
OOPS!
- Those of you who responded to yesterday's news about the new AMIT firmware may have noticed that we reversed the links for the Wireless and non-Wireless routers.  They're fixed now, so go check and make sure that you've loaded the right stuff into your box.  Sorry for the error!

- If you're looking for a HPNA2 to Ethernet bridge, get on over to NETGEAR's on-line store.  They're selling their PE102 for $100! [Thnx Mike Natrella!]

- NETGEAR has a new 802.11b Wireless PC Card to go along with their ME102 Access Point. Read the review and see if it should be on your shopping list!

Thursday, 17 May 2001
- AMIT has 1.92E firmware posted that can be used on the SMC and Asante routers. This rev looks interesting with the addition of port range blocking for the DMZ host! Go here for the download details. [Thnx Flu!]

- NETGEAR's a little late to the 802.11b party, but their new ME102 Access Point is a welcome addition. See our review for details.

- Forgot to mention in the NW+I report that Linksys is going to be coming out with a new version of their much-maligned WPC11 802.11b PC card later this year. Dubbed the WPC11 V2.5,  we suspect it will use the Intersil PRISM 2.5 chipset. Remains to be seen whether it will solve the range problems that many users report.

Wednesday, 16 May 2001
- Looking for a Compact Flash dialup modem for your PocketPC?  Read our review of the TRENDnet CF 56K Fax Modem card and see if it'll end your search.

- The folks at DSLWebserver have done another network adapter survey article. This time they compare four USB-Ethernet adapters. Go on over and see who won!

Tuesday, 15 May 2001
- Our NW+I show report is up.  Take a look, even if you've read the previous coverage, because there's even more new networking product info!

- Amazon has the Linksys 4 port router for $95 after discount and mail-in rebate.

Monday, 14 May 2001
- Norbert Desautels has written a log utility that he says will work with routers manufactured by AMIT. This includes the SMC Barricades, Asante FriendlyNet and 3Com Home Internet gatewayGo to the Tools page for the download info.

- The bug in the Router Product guide multiple comparison feature has been fixed.  Thanks for your patience and to the folks who told us about it so that we could fix it!

Thursday, 10 May 2001
NW+I Update 2
- Some highlights from yesterday's travels. More details in the final NW+I report that will be up in a day or so:

  • There was a pretty good level of activity in the WECA/WiFi area in general.  Saw both Xircom's Springport and Symbol's Compact Flash 802.11b's cards.  Also had an informative visit with Z-Com, who OEMs 802.11b products to a lot of companies you know.  They also have a CF 802.11b adapter that will be shipping (via their OEM customers) shortly.  The Xircom adapter will come with the "Blaze" web-browser. Sounds like a few months until you'll be able to get your hands on these products though.    Only had a quick look at it, but it isn't based on web-clipping and looked similar in function to PocketIE for PocketPC machines.

  • SMC's new 2582W 802.11b bridge will support both wireless AP to AP and AP to client connections. SMC is also fielding three antennas and the cabling and brackets you'll need to use with them.  One of the antennas has been tested for a 9 mile range!  Also saw a new "face-lifted" 4 port Barricade router (the 7004ABR) that besides having the lights and ports moved to the front of the box, will sport a new, faster processor with more memory.

  • Saw Proxim's HomeRF2 demo, which was showing a streaming video type demo that's typical for anyone who's trying to show off high bit rate.  They say that product will be in the sales channel in Q3.

  • Netgear says they are still going ahead with their "multimedia wireless" (formerly their 11X) Sharewave-based product, in addition to the recently introduced 802.11b line.  The first products shipped won't be based on the new 802.11b compatible "Bodega" chipset, though. Don't know why they'd do that... but that's what they said!

- A correction to the info posted yesterday about UPnP.  Turns out that UPnP devices like switches, routers, etc. don't need a WinXP machine to set themselves up.  WinXP will support UPnP so that a PC's NIC will be able to talk to other UPnP devices to configure the PCs connection.  We'll be getting more info on this next week when we talk with Microsoft.

- There's a bug in the Product Guide multiple comparison feature that causes data to get mixed up between product on some of the specs.  Until we get it fixed, double check any product you're interested in by looking at its details individually!  Sorry for this problem and we'll let you know when it's fixed.

Wednesday, 9 May 2001
NW+I Update
- We'll have the full report for you next week, but in the meantime, here are a few highlights from the show so far:

  • Linksys' deal with Trend Micro and ZoneLabs is more than just a bunding of their anti-virus and personal firewall products with Linksys' router products.  The functionality will be more like Sonicwall's anti-virus capability, but in Linksys's case will include both anti-virus and personal firewall capabilty. Both products will be licensed on a per-seat basis and updated firmware in the router will check for current, running copies of the applications when a client tries to get out through the router.  This capability will be rolled out on the 1 and 4 port routers next month, with firmware updates for all Linksys routers available by the end of the year.

  • Buffalo Tech's AirStation Pro is definitely aimed at the "enterprise" market...at least for now.  Pricing will be around $600, but Buffalo will also be sourcing a nice assortment of outdoor uni-directional and omni-directional antennas.

  • From my conversation with the folks at Atheros' booth, it sounds like there really could be 54Mbps 802.11a wireless products that you can buy by the end of the year.  (They actually said "end of summer", but we all know how that one works by now.) I'll be visiting the guys who are actually making the products today and see what they say...

  • Ositis is movin' on up to serve the enterprise market with their new hardware products, the AccessNow VBN, AccessNow Firewall, and AVStripper. Final pricing hasn't been set yet and they won't be shipping product until August, but Ositis said that pricing will be in the $3000 - $5000 range.

- We didn't quite know what to make of the UPnP press release that we received from Linksys last week, but checking around at the show makes it clear that Microsoft now wants to automatically set up your networking products.  This new initiative which Linksys and D-Link have signed up for is tied to Windows XP and sounds like what Sun tried to get going a few years back.  One more brick in the Microsoft wall folks...

Monday, 7 May 2001
- If you take advantage of the $70 SMC Barricade deal at MicroCenter, make sure you call them and have them send you the rebate coupon.  The Rebate coupons on the SMC site expired on 4/30, but the MicroCenter coupons are good until 6/3/01. Unfortunately, they are not downloadable from the MicroCenter site. [Thnx Scott Keen!]

- We've started our poking around at NW+I and have some news for PDA users looking for 802.11b wireless solutions.  Check the pre-show report.

- As a follow-up to last Monday's 802.11a announcement by chip maker Atheros Communications, Proxim today announced that they'll be supporting 802.11a in their multi-standard Harmony product line.  Check the Press Release.

- Some of you have noticed that the new Router Product Guide will not let you compare products from two different "Details" pages.  This is on the "ToDo" list for Guide improvements.  In the meantime, here's a tip that will let you do the comparison.

Saturday, 5 May 2001
- ZyXEL has a few new product announcements for NW+I. See the pre-show report.

Friday, 4 May 2001
- If you've been thinking of getting a Linksys HPRO200 Phoneline 10M router, better read our review first!

-Looks like SMC is introducing some new products at NW+I.  Check them out in the pre-show report.

- D-Link says they'll have a free software upgrade at the end of the month for their 802.11b "Air" series of products that will add multiple network profile capability.

-Better late than never.  BestBuy has the Linksys 4 port router for $100 after sale and rebate. [Thnx Matthew Kelly!]

- Microcenter is selling the SMC 4 port Barricade router for $70 after $20 mail in rebate. [Thnx Jeffrey Deng and Mike!]

Thursday, 3 May 2001
-Our apologies to those of you waiting for the Linksys HPRO200 Phoneline 10M router review promised in today's newsletter.  We ran into some problems during testing and want to do some extra checking before releasing the review.  Check back Friday PM.  Sorry!

-Linksys just sent us 1.37.5 BETA firmware for their BEFW11S4 Wireless LinkyGo to the Help page for the download.

- Linksys will be announcing an alliance with Trend Micro and ZoneLabs next Tuesday at NW+I. See the pre-show report.

- Symbol Technologies will be showing an 802.11b Compact Flash wireless LAN adapter designed for PDAs and other goodies next week. See the pre-show report.

Wednesday, 2 May 2001
- Sonicwall has released new 6.0.1.0 firmware for its "2" series that adds WAN MAC address spoofing capability among other goodies.  Go here for the update info!  Sorry, but it doesn't work for the older series routers.  [Thnx Robert Barrett!]

- Farallon has new Beta firmware for their SkyLine 11Mb cards that supports AdHoc (computer to computer) mode. [Thnx Jon Glickman!]

-Yesterday's edition of Scot Finnie's newsletter has some new info on two-way satellite broadband services.  Starband outages, the delays in DirecPC's two-way satellite service, and a new player (WildBlue) are covered. The latest issue is on his Web site, but while you're there, sign up for the newsletter!

-FINALLY! After much longer than we ever would have thought it would take, the first of our new Product Guides is open for business.  The Hardware Router Product Guide replaces our old Hardware Router chart and is a huge (at least we think so) improvement! Now you can get all the info for up to four routers on one page, and search by price and Manufacturer.  Go check it out and let us know what you think!  Oh yeah, let us know what problems you find, too!  We put a few in there just to keep you busy...

- Sharewave just announced their "Bodega" wireless networking platform. It includes their new Whitecap2 Network Protocol, which incorporates support for Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) in addition to ShareWave's innovative multimedia and quality-of-service (QoS) capabilities. Sharewave says that Whitecap2 is also the industry's first embodiment of many of the core elements of the upcoming IEEE 802.11e wireless LAN standard. They'll be giving demonstrations at NW+I, so we'll be checking them out next week.  The press release is here.

Tuesday, 1 May 2001
- Sonicwall's made a few product announcements recently.  They'll be rolling out their Gigabit firewall/VPN gateway at NW+I, so see the pre-show report for more info.

Today, they released info on their new Vulnerability Scanning Service. It's a web-based automated subscription service that provides network administrators with a "hacker's eye view" of a company's network perimeter, including public servers, routers and gateways. You can sign up for a free trial scan at their Web site now, but no pricing info is available.

 



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