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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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• 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 November 2000
- Things seem a little slow coming off Comdex and we're still waiting for the following review units to come in:

  • Linksys WAP11 Wireless Access Point

  • MultiTech RF500S RouteFinder

  • SonicWALL Tele2

  • Maxgate UGate 3200P

  • Netopia R910

  • SMC Wireless Barricade

Still no word on D-Link eval units for either the DI-704 router or their 11Mbps wireless line.  But looks like we'll be plenty busy anyway!

- Products we do have in, and are in process for review are:

- Corrected from earlier post
1.89D firmware
has been posted by SMC and AMIT (but not Asante) for the FriendlyNET and Barricade routers.  Go here for more info.

- A few readers have tipped us to Merilus' Firecard which is a PCI card that uses a Transmeta Crusoe chip that installs into your PC. It provides firewalling, routing, bandwidth management, virtual private networking, redundant failover, intrusion detection and more.  Comes in a SOHO and Enterprise flavors listing at $575 and $1195 respectively.  They won't be shipping until late Q1,2001 according to Merilus, but we'll see if we can get one to put through its paces sometime in January.

- New and updated Linksys utilities
has made their logviewer application available on their FTP site.  It receives the SNMP TRAP messages that the routers use for logging.  Go here for more info.  Another logging tool we previously mentioned is Router Rooter.  It's a little more complicated to setup, but it's been updated with new features and available from here and a link on our Tools page.  Finally, IP Poster, which automatically checks the WAN IP address of your Linksys Router and posts it to the site of your choice using FTP, has been updated to support Win95/98/NT and 2000.

Wednesday, 29 November 2000
- The Forums are off to a good start, so drop by and contribute!

- As we were weeding through the back email, we came across an announcement from SonicWALL. From November 7 through December 31, 2000 they're offering a trade-in program where you can trade up to a new SonicWALL SOHO2, TELE2 or XPRS2. Go here for the details.

- Speaking of bargains, the SMC 4 port Barricade router is selling for $99 at a number of on-line retailers and also at CompUSA (with rebate coupons).  Unfortunately, Asante hasn't matched the price on their FriendlyNET.

Tuesday, 28 November 2000
- We're back and working on updating the wireless and router charts with all the new products that are hitting the streets.  By the way, we're going to be revamping both these charts to be more customizable and sortable, so if you have any ideas on what you'd like to see, let us know!

- While updating the wireless chart, we found that the SMC EZ Connect 2Mbps products have been discontinued, so we've removed them.  SMC is focusing on their 11Mbps wireless line.

- By popular demand, we've added Discussion Forums to PracticallyNetworked.  You can access the forums via the new Forums Nav bar link at the top of each page.  Now you can swap product information, ask questions,  and otherwise make yourself heard!  
We've started off with four topic areas: Alternative Networking; Hardware Routers; Internet Sharing; and Linksys Routers, and we'll add more as we see how the discussions go.
We're also looking for Forum moderator volunteers, so if you're interested, drop us a note.

Wednesday, 22 November 2000
- Those of you who've been waiting to connect your 10Mbps HomePNA network to your Ethernet LAN or broadband modem need wait no more.  The NETGEAR PE102 Ethernet to PhoneLine bridge has landed!  Click on over to the review and see how we liked it.

- We'll be taking a few days off over the Thanksgiving holiday, so please excuse the delay in answering any feedback or questions you send in.

Tuesday, 21 November 2000
- The Comdex report is complete, and even updated with some new info from yesterday's edition.

Monday, 20 November 2000
- The first installment of the Comdex report is up, with news of new products from SMC, Linksys, Buffalo Tech and more!

- The Linksys WAP11 Access point is still not available and won't be until after Thanksgiving.  We'll test it as soon as it comes in.

- NETGEAR has launched a new, nicer looking Web site.  Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to find things in their Support area.  Never fear!  We've updated our NETGEAR/ZyXEL help page, so use it to find what you need!

Monday, 13 November 2000
- Managed to fit one more review in before heading off to the show.  Farallon's entry into the low cost broadband router fray is the familiar looking NetLINE Broadband GatewaySee how it measures up!

New stuff from NETGEAR
NETGEAR has announced that their PE102 10Mb Phoneline to Ethernet bridge is finally available.  Although the list price is $230, Pricegrabber lists a lowest price of about $145, but shows that no one has units in stock yet.

NETGEAR's also stepping into the 11Mbps wireless arena, using technology from Sharewave. There are basically two products, a WA301 PCI adapter and WE102 Ethernet to Wireless bridge, that will be available in various bundles.  List prices are $240 for the PCI card and $360 for a bridge and one PCI card bundle.  Availability isn't until "Jan 2001".  There's no info on NETGEAR's Web site right now, so here's the press release if you want more info.

Sunday, 11 November 2000
Linksys intros over 20 new products at Comdex

Here's the info that we promised yesterday.  Please don't ask us when these products will be available, because we don't know... yet.  We'll probably know more after this coming week.

Saturday, 11 November 2000
- We put the new 7 port SMC Barricade to the test, so check out the review and see how it did!

- Our 2Wire Home Portal 100 came in and we started to check it out.  But so far, no joy, maybe because of our test setup.  We'll be seeing the 2Wire folks out at Comdex next week, so we hope to have better luck when we get back.

- Speaking of Comdex, Linksys is going to be introducing a slew of new stuff!  Check back tomorrow when we can tell you about it.

Friday, 10 November 2000
TZO's myWanIP is out
- As per yesterday's news item, you can download from their Web site or download it from us [412kB .exe file].

Thursday, 9 November 2000
Got your WANIP?
- Our friends over at will be shortly releasing MyWanIP.    It's a Windows app (runs on all flavors) that will quickly give you the WAN IP address of the computer that it's running on.  It's 100% freeware, freely distributable, and works with ALL routers and ANY internet connection. For the latest info, you can check their Web site or come on back here for the download when they release it.

New Tools page
- You might notice that the Nav bar at the top of each page has changed.  "Links" has been replaced by "Tools". This new section brings the many networking tools that are scattered around the site into one handy spot.  Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, 8 November 2000
- The ORiNOCO RG-1000 review is up.

New arrivals
- We're finally starting to get new stuff in and will need to crack down on reviews after we return from Comdex next week.  Reviews coming "soon" are:

Tuesday, 7 November 2000
Scott cries "Uncle"!
- Guess there were enough of you who contacted Scott Kidby to request his Linksys router log capture servicePLEASE stop sending him mail.  He'll have something available in a week or so, maybe sooner.

New Linksys stuff
- A helpful reader pointed out that Linksys has posted a couple of new products on their site:

  • HPB200 - 10M Phoneline to Ethernet bridge.

  • BEFSRU31 - a three port version of the BEFSR41 router that also has a USB port on the LAN side (wonder what they're thinkin' on this one?!)

And for those of you who keep asking for a review of the new wireless stuff, the latest word is "after Thanksgiving" for our WAP11 unit (and you can't buy 'em yet either anyway...)

Sonicwall picks up the pace
- You may have noticed some different looking boxes in the latest Sonicwall print ads.  Well today Sonicwall spilled the beans.  They've rolled out the "2" series of their SOHO, Telecommuter, and XPRS security appliances.  These new products are basically the Sonicwalls that many of you know and love, but with peppy new innards that remove the old versions' main weakness - slower speed than many of their less expensive competitors.  The new "2s" have 10/100 WAN and LAN ports, drop the 4 port hub, and sell for the same price as the older units.  Check out the press release here.  Our eval unit will be on its way shortly, so that we can see what it does to our testbed!

Monday, 6 November 2000
Linksys log capture service, anyone?
Scott Kidby has developed an NT service that will run on any NT or Win2000 system.   This service will capture logs from a Linksys router (Linksys only) parse them into data (router ip, log time, source ip, destination ip, source port, destination port) and store the data into an OLEDB compliant database (i.e. Access, SQL Server 7, SQL Server 2000). It also does reverse DNS lookups asynchronously to allow logging to occur at full speed.  Scott's wondering if there's enough interest in this for him to put the effort into packaging it up nicely for distribution.  NOTE that it does not run on Win95, 98 or ME.  

Thursday, 2 November 2000
- Looking for a browser-based alternative to the "logviewer.exe" client for the Linksys routers?  If you have IE5 or above and the VisualBasic6 runtime modules, you might want to give Router Rooter a try.

Wednesday, 1 November 2000
- Yes, we're still here.  Sorry for not updating the site in a few days, but we've been attending to a number of housekeeping items.  We'll be back to work on new reviews, soon!

- Speaking of new stuff, Vicomsoft's new version 6.7 of their Internet Gateway includes a number of nifty new features:

- Remote control application -- Users can log in, with options for only allowing logged in users to access the 'net, open, close connections etc..

- NetBIOS browsing -- Supports multiple connected networks for network neighborhood browsing, like a bridge 

- DHCP server enhancements -- the DHCP server can 'learn' what clients it is currently serving, then restrict its serving just to these computers. This is ideal for users who have a cable modem connection, but only have a single ethernet interface on their server. (iMac etc.) No more worries about serving DHCP onto the cable/ADSL networks.

- PPP server -- if you've been looking for a way to dial into your broadband connection in order to avoid signing up for a dialup ISP account, this is just the ticket. Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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