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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.


Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Linksys has begun its yearly holiday rebate program, valid on Linksys products purchased through January 4, 2003. This year the rebate covers the company's 802.11b products (which they're calling Wireless-B) including the WPC11 PC Card, the BEFW11S4 access point router, WUSB11 USB adapter, and others. You can get a PDF version of the coupon to send in for the rebate at the Linksys Web site.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Linksys will be bunding Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2003 in current and future routers, both wired and wireless. The software can be installed with the regular router setup Wizard, and comes with a 60-day subscription to virus and intrusion detection definitions. Read more about it at 802.11 Planet.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Two senators, George Allen (R.-Va.) and Barbara Boxer (D.-Ca.), are circulating a draft bill to gain early support in the 108th Congress to promote a wireless approach to broadband deployment. They want the FCC to allocate spectrum for wireless broadband devices to get beyond just DSL and Cable modems. Read the details at InternetNews.

The latest Palm PDAs might stand a chance of going online wirelessly, now that SyChip has finally introduced -- at least in a test phase -- the 6060 SDIO (secure digital input/output) card. This 802.11b NIC client is the smallest yet, able to fit into the chewing-gum sized slot found in many modern PDAs. The card will come with drivers for Windows 2000/XP/CE, Pocket PC and PalmOS 4.x and up. SyChip has already announced that the embedded version of the card, the WLAN6060EB, will be built into the new Cyberbank POZ, a PDA to be released in early 2003 from Korea's Cyberbank Corp. that will also incorporate CMDA services.

SMC Networks announced its new EZ Connect 2.4GHz/5GHz Universal Wireless PCI Card (SMC2302W), a $159.99 802.11a/b compliant upgrade for desktop systems. It joins the dual-band CardBus PC Card the company brought out in September.

Netgear's Cable/DSL ProSafe Wireless VPN Security Firewall with 8-port 10/100 Mbps switch (FVM318) is more than just the standard combination of router, firewall, switch, and access point in one product -- it'll do VPN over wireless. On the wireless LAN side, the FVM318 lets up to 32 users create virtual private network (VPN) tunnels directly from their client systems to the router. On the WAN side, up to 70 external users can connect. The $799 product comes with a version of SafeNet's IPSec-based SoftRemoteBasic client for Windows 2000/XP for creating the wireless VPN tunnels. Clients can use any available 802.11b card.

Toshiba's Computer Systems Group is continuing to make a big push into Wi-Fi. It's already announced hotspot products and chipsets, and now the company has added an end-user wireless router to its portfolio. The WRC-1000 multi-functional wireless Cable/DSL router has the usual firewall and WEP support, but also adds 802.1X authentication for extra protection. The $179 product is available now. The company also continues to integrate Wi-Fi throughout its other products. The latest: the Satellite Pro 6100 Series notebooks due in December will be the first laptops to integrate dual 802.11a/b radio modules

Buffalo Technologies has a new $189 802.11b AirStation Broadband Router/Access Point (WBR-B11) which it says supports up to 40Mbps speed, via its own firmware tweaks. It did this in Japan first to support the faster speeds available there for broadband -- DSL lines are about 12Mbps downstream. The unit supports VPN pass-through, intrusion detection with pop-up and e-mail alerts, and prevents private information from being transmitted out. The company plans to announce a similar "intelligent access point" soon that will be upgradeable to either 802.11a or 11g via a miniPCI card swap or PC Card insert.

Asante Technologies has release a new series of FriendlyNET Routers. The FR1004 series includes Stateful Packet Inspection firewall and the wireless version, the $129 FR1004AL, also includes a parallel port print server. The wired version is only $99.

Boingo Wireless has expanded its network again by entering a deal with Canadian hotspot provider FatPort. All Boingo members can use their Boingo-sniffer software to get access to the Internet through FatPort supported hotspots without paying extra fees. FatPort locations are powered by the company's own FatPoint products, which venue owners can purchase for setup anywhere they have a broadband connection.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Boingo Wireless has released a Pocket PC 2002 version of its client software so PDA users can now log onto the hotspots in the Boingo network. Download it at pda.boingo.com.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

A report from Synergy Research Group says that the third quarter of 2002 saw a 10 percent increase in sales of Wireless LAN products. Cisco still leads the pack with sales for enterprises businesses; Links is number one in home and SOHO Wi-Fi product sales (with 19.6% of the market) followed by Buffalo Technologies, Netgear, and D-Link.

D-Link has upped the speed of 802.11b again. In conjunction with Texas Instruments, it will increase the bandwidth of its AirPlus product from 22 to 44Mbps second, which D-Link says brings a real world throughput of about 12Mbps in their tests. This increase will be available via firmware upgrade to all AirPlus products including the DI-614+ and the DI-714P+ wireless broadband routers, the DWL-900AP+ bridging/repeating access point, the DWL-650+ CardBus adapter and the DWL-520+ PCI Adapter. The dual-band DI-764 wireless router, the DI-754 Modular Dual Band Wireless Router and the DWL-6000AP Dual Band Wireless Access Point will also be upgraded on the 802.11b side. The firmware will be available in December for free from the D-Link Web site, and for sale for $29.99 at retail outlets.

US Robotics is now a member of the Wi-Fi Alliance (formerly WECA), and has received Wi-Fi certification for interoperability with other products for its 22Mbps Wireless PC Card (USR2210), 22Mbps Wireless PCI Adapter (USR2216) and 22Mbps Wireless Access Point (USR2249), all of which use the Texas Instruments chip set to get 22Mbps speed.

Speaking of Texas Instruments has announced another new chip for 802.11 -- the new TNETW1130 is a single-chip Media Access Controller (MAC) and baseband processor that supports multiple modes (802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g) and will us "Auto-Band" to find the mode you want, automatically. Read the full story at 802.11 Planet.

Thursday, November 7, 2002

Today is the launch day of the Microsoft Tablet PC, the portable computer that you write on like a legal pad, most of which build in 802.11b-based network connections. Several Tablet PC versions are being made by companies like Toshiba, HP, and ViewSonic. Check the full coverage out at InternetNews.com.

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

A new report from In-Stat/MDR says that while dial-up will continue to be the primary way households go online for a few more years, digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband services will grow by 3 million installed lines to a total of 7.6 million subscribers in the U.S. by the end of 2002, with 80 percent going to homes. Read details on the research at ISP-Planet.

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

A potential security flaw exists in the Linksys BEFSR41 EtherFast Cable/DSL Router that could leave it open to easy Denial of Service attacks. To protect yourself, make sure the BEFSR41 doe not have remote management turned on and that you're running the latest firmware. You can read more about this at 802.11 Planet.

T-Mobile will be selling Netgear Wi-Fi products in support of T-Mobile's growing number of public access hotspots for wireless users. Netgear products will be sold right in T-Mobile stores.

GigaFast says it will release all new HomePlug 1.0 products in 2003. The products will include a USB HomePlug Adapter (PE909-UI) and HomePlug Ethernet Bridge (PE902-EB), each for under $100. The company expects to have a router and wireless access point that use HomePlug later in the year.

 


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