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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.

• 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.

Thursday, 27 September 2001
-Actiontec just announced new products based on Atheros' 802.11a AR5000 chipset.  The first two products, debuting in November, will be an 802.11a Wireless Card and 802.11a Wireless Access Point, with suggested retail prices of $169 and $499, respectively.  Two other OEM-only products, a Mini PCI 802.11a Wireless Card & Mini PCI 802.11a Wireless Combo Card (which includes a 56K Modem) will follow in December.

- Arescom recently introduced two 802.11b wireless routers.  The ARESGATE 1000 Pro LAN Gateway lists for $229 and includes both Ethernet and a built-in 56K dialup modem for WAN connection.  The ARESGATE 1000 LAN Gateway is the same product, but without the built-in modem, listing for $209.  Arescom is running a $50 off promotion in their on-line store until October 31. [Thnx Phil Rice!]

Wednesday, 26 September 2001
- Linksys
announced the official release of the enhanced security and antivirus protection firmware upgrade for their BEFSR11 and SR41 routers. The new firmware adds an admin page to the router where users can order a bundle of Zone Labs' ZoneAlarm Pro personal firewall and Trend Micro's PC-cillin anti-virus applications, in 4, 8, 25 or 50 user bundles at a savings of about 70% off the list price of both products.  Users can also purchase a ZoneAlarm Pro only bundle and save about 60% off list. You can go to this page on the Linksys site for the download, or just use their usual Firmware update link.
[NOTE: Although the news release doesn't say so, this bundle is also available on the BEFSRU31 USB port router.]

- SMC has released new 1.93p firmware for their 7004AWBR wireless router.  Go to our Help Page for the ReadMe and download link.[Thnx Brett Dunst & Michael Tomkins!]

- Intersil announced a new Access-Point-on-a-chip reference design platform yesterday.  The hardware side of the design, an ARM9 based MAC, has actually been around for about a year.  What's new in this package is the inclusion of uCLinux-based OS, instead of a lower-level real time OS.  This should give product designers a richer (and more familiar) development environment.  The hardware is available now, and the uCLinux OS is in BETA test, with customer shipments starting in November.  Pricing has not yet been set, but will be in line with other OEM design platform packages.

- There's a pretty interesting free utility that will work with most PRISM based 802.11b PC client adapter and Windows 95/98/98SE.  It doesn't allow you to change card settings, but can give you plenty of quantitative info about signal quality, and even let you do a VSWR test on your antenna system. Go to our Wireless Tools page for a screenshot and download link. [Thnx Joe Prickett!]

Tuesday, 25 September 2001
An alert reader tipped us to a security problem with routers OEM'd from AMIT.  These include older SMC Barricade, and some D-Link models, as well as others. The problem allows the admin page password to be viewed via the IE History folder.  Go to this page for the details.

- SMC just launched a redesigned Web site, and, of course, it looks like they broke all our links. So, bear with us while we get them repaired!

- eCOST has the D-Link DI-713P wireless router for $170 after $50 mail-in rebate.  Pick up a DWL-650 wireless PC card for about $84, after $10 mail-in rebate too.

- The September edition of the HomeRF High Frequency News (PDF only) mentions that work has started on the HomeRF 3.0 spec. According to the newsletter: "two separate working groups have been formed. One is aimed at the development of a new, high performance, physical layer. The other is charged with identifying changes to the MAC protocols that will allow the network to gain maximum advantage from the high data rate physical layer".

Monday, 24 September 2001
We've updated our WinXP/ORiNOCO Gold help page with some info that may prove helpful if you're trying to get this combination working.

- 3COM has released new firmware for their Home Wireless Gateway. They say "This firmware upgrade fixes a NAT issue and also allows an IP address to be obtained from certain ISPs."  Go to this 3COM page for the download. [Thnx Vinny Benfanti!]

Friday, 21 September 2001
has released 1.93p broadband router and 1.93e wireless router firmware.  These can be used with the old versions of the SMC Barricades, as well as other routers. Go to the Help Page for the download links and ReadMes.

- We've updated the ZyWALL10 review with a few more details on the Content Filtering capabilities.

Wednesday, 19 September 2001
- Buffalo Tech's
802.11b wireless USB adapter seems to have a split personality.  Read the review to see what we mean!

-Sonicwall has released firmware for their Internet Security Appliance line. Among its fixes, the update includes a fix for a Content Filter list update bug. Release notes are here. [Thnx John Petrella!]

- The anti-virus program vendors now have updates out for the Nimda/Readme virus. So go and update your anti-virus software!  If you're an IE or MS Outlook user, you should run Windows Update to get the latest patches for them, too!

- SMC yesterday announced their entry into the cable modem business with the introduction of their EZ Connect USB/Ethernet Cable Modem (SMC8002CM). The product is a DOCSIS 1.0 -certified broadband modem that can connect to your LAN or computer via its Ethernet or USB ports.  Pricing and availability info were not available.

Tuesday, 18 September 2001
- The nasty new "Nimda" or "Readme.exe" worm that just appeared this morning spreads both via unpatched MS IIS servers and email messages via MS Outlook. Antivirus software updates are not yet available.

The virus arrives often with a garbled-looking subject line. It doesn't appear to have a file attachment, but when you click on the message in your e-mail client you're prompted to run or save a file called either readme.exe or readme1.exe

If you see this e-mail and message click "Cancel" and then delete the e-mail immediately. DO NOT -- repeat, DO NOT -- click OK to run or save the file attachment. See this CNET news item for more details.

- Tzolkin Corp. just announced the introduction of AutoFailover. Available now, AutoFailover is a server monitoring, load balancing, and automatic failover service.  It's offered in SOHO ($30/month, $300/year) and Enterprise ($100/month/ $1000/year) flavors and can operate with static or dynamic IP addresses.

Saturday, 15 September 2001
New Version 2.31 firmware just released for Buffalo Technology's WLA-L11 802.11b bridge adds wireless AP to AP capability as well as simultaneous wireless repeating (the ability to communicate with wireless clients).  This is a first at this price point (about $220)! Go to our Review page for the download and ReadMe links. [Thnx Matt Sickles!]

Friday, 14 September 2001
- SMC-Europe
's site has new 1.93N firmware for the discontinued SMC7004 and 7008 Barricade routers. This upgrade adds 20 sets of forwarded port ranges, as well as bugfixes. Go to our Help page for the ReadMe and download link. [Thnx Jasonl!]

Thursday, 13 September 2001
- Zyxel's ZyWall 10
is a full-featured Stateful Inspection router with the ability to handle multiple WAN IP addressesCheck our review for the full details.

- A few readers have pointed out a white paper by the network security group in the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division that describes a secure 802.11b wireless networking system that they developed using freeware tools.  This paper does not contain implementation details, but has contact info for the system's developers.  We've added the link to our Wireless Security section.

- A number of companies have recently announced or have had systems that they say close 802.11b's security loopholes. Note that these systems are not compatible with each other, and also are not necessarily compatible with the 802.1x and 802.11i standards that are works in progress.  Here are links to some of these wireless security related products:

Wednesday, 12 September 2001
- Asante announced their AeroLAN AL2011 802.11b USB adapter yesterday. Pricing looks to be in the $150- $170 range, and the product should be available shortly.

- After some strong hints in the past few days, Intel formally announced their PRO/Wireless 5000 802.11a product line yesterday at Networld+Interop. The new products include an Access Point,  and Cardbus, PCI, and mini-PCI adapaters, with suggested list prices of $449, $179, and $229 respectively.  (No mini-PCI pricing was given.).  The Access Point data sheet says that an optional kit will provide both 802.11a and 802.11b operation, but no pricing or order code is available.  Intel says they're sampling these products now, with volume shipments in November. [Thnx Monty Solomon!]

- In the same announcement, Intel also described the PRO/2011B series of enhanced 802.11b products.  This new line adds PCI and USB client adapters to the PC card and Access Point of the previous PRO/2011 line.  Intel also said the new "B" line has "enhanced performance", but didn't provide details on what the enhancements were. Suggested list prices for the USB and PCI adapters are $169, and $199 respectively.

Tuesday, 11 September 2001
- Cayman announced four security related add-on products for their 3220 and 2E router lines. All products are available now from the Cayman Web site or through resellers.

  • BreakWater Basic Firewall ($39.95)
    [offers easily selectable firewall configurations]

  • BarrierReef Advanced Firewall ($99.95)
    [configurable Stateful Inspection firewall, using Elron Software's IM Firewall]

  • SafeHarbour VPN IPSec Tunnel ($149.95)
    [provides single IPsec tunnel termination]

  • Security Monitoring ($9.95)
    [monitors and records 8 security breach attempts]

- SMC has released 1.93n0 firmware for their 7004AWBR wireless router. Go to the Help page for readme and download link. [Thnx Michael Tomkins!]

Monday, 10 September 2001
Intermec announced their MobileLAN access 2106 802.11a Access Point.  No pricing or availability info was available.

Saturday, 8 September 2001
- Newcomer Crossport Systems' Pivio Plus is a Network Security System that could be interesting to small businesses who'd like to have a secure, shared Internet connection.  Read the review to get the details.

- Amazon has the SMC7004ABR Barricade router for $40 with free shipping after $40 mail-in rebate, and $10 off coupon. Use coupon code AMZNDSVRCARD, AMZNSWEEPBBR, or AMZNSWEEPBXX. [Thnx Will Stillwell & Athena!]

Friday, 7 September 2001
- Linksys has posted a new WPC11 driver at their FTP site.  The driver doesn't add any new features, but is a "universal" driver file for Win95, 98, NT, 2000, and Me.  XP support is still in the works, however.  Click here to download the file. [Thnx Larry Sargent!]

- TigerDirect has the discontinued 3COM 3C510 router on sale for $50. Remember that you should be able to use AMIT firmware to update it.  Tiger still is closing out Audrey's for $90, too! [Thnx Robert Huber!]

Thursday, 6 September 2001
- Windows XP RC2 users who want to use an ORiNOCO Gold 802.11b wireless PC card may run into trouble.  See this Help page for the details.

Wednesday, 5 September 2001
- Maybe you're tired of the "war driving" articles where the authors marvel over all the 802.11b networks they pick up while driving around that don't have WEP encryption enabled.  But at least this one over at Extreme Tech has a good section on what to do to protect your wireless network against being snooped.

- Reader Mayly Sanchez tipped us to a Linux driver for 802.11b cards that use the Intersil PRISM II chipset.  This driver even supports using the card as an Access Point! Go to our Linux Wireless page for the download info.

- Back in May, we told you about a router that would connect to a USB DSL modem, but was for sale only in Europe.  Seems that Draytek has recently been testing the waters for their Vigor2200USB router with BellSouth, and things are looking good.  So it's possible that BellSouth customers may soon be able to get routing with their ADSL USB modems!

Tuesday, 4 September 2001
- CompUSA is clearing out the old SMC7004BR Barricade routers for $50 after $50 mail-in rebate. Offer good through this Saturday 8 September. [Thnx Brad Skarupa!]

Monday, 3 September 2001
- Outpost has XSense's XRouter Pro for $100 after $30 mail in rebate.  Good through 31 Oct. [Thnx Anderson!]

- We've added a link to Jon MacKay's Linksys Logger, the first Linux/OpenBSD logging tool for the Linksys BEF line of routers. Go to the Tools page.

Saturday, 1 September 2001
- Cayman's 2E-H-W11 doesn't have a very snazzy name, but it does have some unique features for an 802.11b wireless router.  Our review will get you acquainted with what it can do!

- D-Link sent along a press release for their DP-313 802.11b Wireless Print Server.  It has three bi-directional parallel printer ports and is LPR compliant.  Administration is Windows-only, and there doesn't appear to be support for AppleTalk. On-line pricing is between $210 and $250.


- Linksys has version 1.39.4a "pre-release (BETA)" firmware that adds support for new optional ZoneAlarmPro and PC-cillin upgrades.  Pricing is $80 for a 4-pack of licenses, and there doesn't appear to be a free trial.  The firmware is for the SR11, SR41, and U31 routers only. Go to our Help page for the download info. [Thnx to many readers!]

Linksys' New Internet Security Features

UPDATE - NETGEAR's posted 3.26 Release firmware for their MR314, RP114, RP334, and RO318 routers.  In addition to other feature and bugfix updates, the RO318 update adds the missing port filtering feature along with bug fixes. The MR314 update adds MAC address association controlGo to the Help page for ReadMes and download links.

- Seems there's more to Linksys' 1.4f.8 WAP11 update than we first noticed.  The new firmware and Managment utilities add a new Access Point client mode, and now allows direct Add / Modify / Delete of MAC address association control entries.  Still trying to figure out what the new IP Filtering checkbox does, though!  Go to the WAP11 upgrade page for more info. [Thnx Stuart Winokur!] Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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