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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.

• 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.

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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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• 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.

Thursday, 30 August 2001
- There's a helpful article by Glenn Fleishman over on O'Reilly's Wireless Devcenter that describes a WAP11 bridging setup that the author set up.  Worth a read! [Thnx Monty Solomon!]

UPDATE - Looks like Linksys has updated their WAP11 firmware (1.4f.8) and Management utilities.  Should help fix the problems that many people have been having in trying to upgrade to the new wireless bridging featuresGo here for the updated info. [Thnx Peter Bellew!]

Wednesday, 29 August 2001
- Intel announced their 802.11b based AnyPoint Wireless II product family today at their Developer Conference. The product family consists of USB and PC card wireless adapters, and the Intel Wireless Gateway.  All the products are WiFi certified and support 128 bit WEP encryption.  Online pricing for the USB and PC card are running about $125-$140 and $105 to $120 respectively, with availability in 1-2 weeks.  The Wireless Gateway consumer version won't be released until October, according to the press release, but Intel says you can order the "business use" version now (although Pricegrabber is showing none in stock). [Thnx Jim Spitaels!]

- SOHOware is running a promotion on their router and wireless product lines. Check the prices, there are some pretty good deals!

- Looking to test your Tribes2 skills over the Labor Day weekend? The D-Link / VitalStream / Sierra Labor Day Tournament will be your last chance for this summer. Sign up here if you're interested!

Tribes2 Labor Day Tournament poster

- D-Link and 2Wire today announced a "strategic alliance agreement" between the two companies. They'll work together on interoperability testing, and will jointly develop software for integrated installation of their products.  2Wire is also going to market D-Link's Wireless, HPNA, and other network adapters in addition to their own.  Sounds to us like 2Wire is deciding to focus on their core routing products and let D-Link get you hooked up!

- Is 802.11a stuff really as fast as it's being hyped to be?  Take a look at this story from 802.11Planet, which describes how an Atheros reference design that's being shown around performed in a quick-and-dirty evaluation.

Tuesday, 28 August 2001
- No, we're not taking the week off, but a lot of folks are!  So excuse the lack of a lot of news these past few weeks!

- Been longing after a CompactFlash format 802.11b wireless card for your PocketPC?  D-Link comes to the rescue with their DCF-650W Wireless Compact Flash adapter.  Read our review to see if it'll cure your craving!

Monday, 27 August 2001
- ORiNOCO officially announced their RG1100 Residential Gateway and a number of wireless networking packages that bundle it with their USB client, PC card client, or both.  As we reported a few weeks ago, the RG1100 is essentially the RG1000, without the dialup modem and with 128bit WEP encryption. Both products support IPsec passthrough for VPN operation and client roaming among multiple gateways.  Online prices are averaging about $220 for the 1100 vs. about $250 for the 1000, and the products are also available through electronics retailers and college bookstores.

Saturday, 25 August 2001
- The problem that we posted a few weeks ago about the Xircom Handspring Springport module and SMC7004AWBR Wireless Barricade router not being on speaking terms has a solution.  Download SMC's 1.93k2 firmware and your problem should be solved! Go here for the download.

- Sonicwall has released version firmware. Among the fixes are compatibility w/ T-DSL PPPoE services, VPN enhancements, and support for monitoring events/alerts w/ SMTP. Go to Sonicwall's Web site for the download. [Thnx Zachary Taylor!]

Thursday, 23 August 2001
- That crazy guy, Bob Cringely, has yet another DIY broadband plan.  This time it's for rolling your own DSL.. almost. Check out this week's column!

- Ever want to see what the deal is with one of those "Internet Appliances"?  Well, TigerDirect is clearing out 3Com Audreys for $90!  It's actually not a bad little web terminal for that price and can connect either to your dial-up ISP (as long as it's not AOL or Compuserve) or buy a 3Com USB-Ethernet adapter (the only one that works with Audrey) and connect her up to your Ethernet LAN. No returns... of course! We're sure that someone has (or will) hack these for more fun, so let us know if you've seen something! [Thnx Alan Woodman!]

- SMC has released a V1.2 driver and client utility package for their 2662W Wireless USB adapter. It will be up on their Web site in a few days, but you can download them right now from us [driver] [client utility] [release notes].

Wednesday, 22 August 2001
- MultiTech's RouteFinder Wireless Router/Access Point is the first of its kind to include a dialup RAS that allows you to dial in to access your shared broadband connection.  Interested? Then read our review!

Tuesday, 21 August 2001
- SMC has released Version 1.30 firmware for their Barricade 7004ABR router.  They also have a new PTR program that will help users of certain HP printersGo to the Help page for the download and ReadMes.

En garde!
- Ever vigilant PN correspondent Monty Solomon sent in a link to a WiredNews story on AirSnort.  Although not quite a load-and-go application, AirSnort enables anyone with a PRISM2 based 802.11b card, Linux 2.4 kernel based system, and wlan-ng drivers to guess a network's WEP key after passively (no transmissions required) gathering between 100MB-1GB of data.  The program's creators-- Jeremy Bruestle and Blake Hegerle-- based it on the recent paper by Scott Fluhrer, Itsik Mantin and Adi Shamir, and according to the WiredNews article, created the basic version in about 24 hours.

AirSnort's home page has the info you need to get going, or you can go to the AirSnort SourceForge page, too.

- SMC has confirmed that they have a minor virus infection problem.  The non-destructive Eek(b) boot virus has recently been found on a small number of the Driver / Utility disks that are included with their SMC2632W 802.11b PC card.  Any anti-virus software with virus definitions updated since last April should be able to catch and remove the virus.  The virus does not affect the installation or operation of the card at all and is not destructive!

Monday, 20 August 2001
- We've updated our info about getting the Linksys routers to work properly with FTP. Go to the Help page for the info. [Thnx Ian Boyd!]

- USR has a 1.23 firmware update for their USR8000 router available.  We've added the download link and ReadMe info to the Product review.[Thnx Peter!]

Friday, 17 August 2001
- Wonder what Bluetooth networking is like? So did we!  But after testing out 3Com's Wireless Bluetooth PC Card, we're a little wiser.  You can be too if you read the review!

- SMC has released AP14g7 firmware and version 1.6 AP manager for their 2655W Access Point. It fixes a bug where the AP keeps losing its IP address and also adds a security feature that locks out the "ANY" ESSID commonly used by wireless sniffers. Go to the SMC Support site for the download.

Thursday, 16 August 2001
- Nexland's released V1 Rel3X firmware for their ISB router line.  The release includes support for multiple H323 (Netmeeting) clients. Go to their Support site for the download. [Thanx Paulo Lopes!]

Wednesday, 15 August 2001
- SNAPgear is a brand-new entry into the crowded SOHO router field, but they've got a pitch that may get your attention.  Check out our review to see what they've got!

- Actiontec announced they've started shipments of an 802.11b Mini-PCI card.  The card is Wi-Fi certified, fits a Mini-PCI (Type IIIA) interface, and supports 64 and 128bit WEP encryption. More details in the press release.
The card is only available to OEMs... no retail!

Tuesday, 14 August 2001
- A correction to our item last Friday on ORiNOCO's upcoming RG-1100 Gateway.  We were correct about the elimination of the dialup modem, but didn't catch the fact that it supports 128bit WEP vs. the RG-1000's 40 bit. Pricegrabber's listing it at $230, but no one has it in stock yet. [Thnx Phil!]

- ZyXEL has a number of specials running in their online store until the end of August [from dslreports via Scott Keen]

- SMC's sent us 1.93k2 RELEASE firmware for their SMC7004AWBR wireless router.  This release fixes the problem between the router and older 2Mbps 802.11b cards. Go here for the download.

Monday, 13 August 2001
- Version 1.2 of LinkLogger (a Windows utility for the Linksys BEF family of routers) is now available. This version adds three new reports and other features. Go to their Web site for more info.

- News of this interesting little gadget just popped into our inbox.  LiveWave's CC-100-LE Encoder/Server is a complete video encoder/server in a 6in X 6in X 2in box weighing under 2 pounds.  LiveWave is selling a bundle that includes the encoder, software, and a Panasonic video-conferencing type camera for $5000 until this Weds Aug 15Go to their Web site for details.

- BestBuy is running a few Linksys deals this week. Prices include $15 mail-in rebate [Thnx Monty Solomon!]:

- Buffalo Technologies has released Version 1.5 software for their AirStation line.  Included are support for the new USB client adapter and 128bit WEP. Go to the BuffaloTech site for the download. [Thnx Matt Sickles!]

Saturday, 11 August 2001
- We have a 1.20 BETA distribution for the troubled SMC7004ABR router.  A reader reports that it fixed a lot of the problems he was having.  Go to our Help page for the download. [Thnx Dan!]

- CompUSA has a couple of deals running [Thnx Monty Solomon!]:

Friday, 10 August 2001
- ZyXEL has released new firmware for their P310, P312, P314, and ZyWall 10 routers.  Go to the Help page for the download info. [Thnx Scott Klassen & David Smith!]

- Received a few more details on the ORiNOCO Fall 2001 Software release features.  IPsec client pass-through support has been added to the RG-1000 Gateway product.  Installer support for Win XP has also been added.  By the way, the RG-1100 that the RG-1000 readme mentions is just an RG-1000 without the V.90 dialup modem included.

Thursday, 9 August 2001
- Linksys has sent us 1.39.3 BETA firmware for their 1,4 and USB port routers that addresses the security vulnerability that we posted news about on Tuesday. Go to the Help page for the download.

- The ORiNOCO Fall 2001 Software update is now available via the normal Web site, instead of just the FTP server.  The ReadMes say that it fixes the WEP key entry problems in the Summer 2001 release.

Wednesday, 8 August 2001
- The Gateway Accessory Store has the SMC7004AWBR wireless router for $180 after $50 mail-in rebate and free shipping! Good thru next Monday Aug 13. [Thnx "dandy49"!]

- Looks like ORiNOCO is gearing up for a Fall 2001 software release, which will include a fix for the WEP key entry problem. If you really can't wait a few days for the official posting, go here on their FTP server, and navigate to the folder that describes your product and OS. Then look for a folder titled "R7.2fall2001".  Not all products have one, though, so no complaining if you can't find one! [Thnx Carlos Talbot!]

- If you're trying to use one of the new Xircom Handspring Springport 802.11b wireless modules with an SMC7004AWBR wireless router, you're going to have problems connecting. No work-around is available at this time. [Thnx Dennis Revelotis!]

Tuesday, 7 August 2001
- Pretty rosy outlook for Linksys!  According to this article, Linksys has 57% of the low-end router and 28% of the wireless networking markets!

- If you have an older version of Linksys router firmware, there's a security vulnerability you should know about.  See our Help page for more info.

- The ZoomAir 11Mbps wireless PC card is a good performer at a fair price.  Read our review to see why we think so!

- Well, folks, we're not in Kansas anymore... at least not when it comes to WEP encryption.  Read this paper, published last night, which describes how a summer intern's project at AT&T labs implemented the Fluhrer, Mantin, & Shamir WEP attack and actually recovered a 128 bit WEP key.  Project from start to finish took about a week! [Thnx Monty Solomon!]

- We've also added an article from workingmac to our Tools page on Wireless Security Articles which is a good reminder that WEP was never intended to be an "industrial strength" security mechanism.

Monday, 6 August 2001
- It appears that Marius Milner's 802.11b "war driving" application, NetStumbler, has its own Web site now.  Also looks like you can download NetStumbler instead of having to email Marius to request it. (You may have to try a couple of times before you get a successful download.) [Thnx Brian Barrera!]

- Linksys recently released a free upgrade for their WAP11 Access Point that adds wireless bridging capability.  Does a $200 802.11b wireless bridge really work?  Read the Encore Review to find out!

- With 802.11b's WEP problems once again in the news, we've updated our Tools page on Wireless Security Articles with some new submissions!  We've also updated our Securing Your Wireless Network page with info on how to keep your Windows File and Printer sharing secured.  [Thnx yet again, Monty Solomon!]

Sunday, 5 August 2001
- We like to think PracticallyNetworked's got some of the savviest readers around and they've come through again on the new WEP security issue that we reported on yesterday.  Brian Barrera sent a link to an EE Times article that has a good description of the new findings and their significance.  Monty Solomon also sent a link to the actual "Weaknesses in the Key Scheduling Algorithm for RC4" paper that's started this latest brouhaha. (A July draft of the paper in PostScript form is also available here.) Thanks to you both!

Two interesting (and disturbing) issues that pop out of the findings are:
     - while the previously described WEP attack required the attacker to transmit to get a response back from the network to be attacked, the new method is entirely passive and doesn't require any transmission!
     - the attack scales linearly with the number of WEP bits.  The article quotes 15 minutes for a 40 bit attack, which would make about 50 minutes to break a 128 bit WEP code!

Saturday, 4 August 2001
- Here we go again!  A Reuters report yesterday said there's a new paper out that says 802.11b's WEP security is totally useless.  It contends that WEP keys can be obtained quickly and by methods employable by users other than encryption experts.  However, we haven't been able to find the paper itself (or references to it) to get the details.   Here's the CNET version of the story. [Thnx Eric McIntyre!]

- has D-Link's DI-713P wireless router for $162 after $50 mail-in rebate. Offer valid though Sept. 30! [Thnx Monty Solomon!]

Thursday, 2 August 2001
- This week's I, Cringely column has an interesting take on Internet security, Windows XP's raw sockets feature, and a certain company in Washington state!  Worth a read!

- We've added a few new cool links to our Tools section, including a free network protocol analyzer (packet sniffer). Check it out!

- Nexland let us know that their ISB Pro series routers passed router compatibility testing with the Cisco VPN Concentrator 3000 series of equipment.  Nexland had to develop new firmware to get the job done, but the firmware is available as a free download for existing customers. Press release here.

- The HomeRF 2.0 standard hit a new milestone today with the announcement of a demonstration of the ability to support voice calls without affecting data bandwidth.  The demonstration, which consists of a voice call from a Siemens cordless handset through a Proxim Voice Data Module (VDM) gateway to a standard phone line, validates the HomeRF voice technology from the silicon through the system architecture. The HomeRF 2.0 standard can handle four dedicated channels of high quality digital voice and 10 Mbps data transmissions in a single wireless protocol.  View the Press Release (PDF).

Wednesday, 1 August 2001
- SMC's 11Mbps EZ Connect Wireless Bridge can talk to wireless clients as an Access Point while it also wirelessly bridges to a remote LAN.  But is it the answer to your networking needs?  Read our review and find out!

D-Link's announced a Compact Flash 802.11b adapter cardCheck this article on 802.11 Planet for the details. Full press release is here. Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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