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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.



Tuesday, 19 December 2000 
-Maxgate's UG3200P adds a bi-directional printserver to their UG3200 router.  We got an early look at this addition to the Maxgate product line, so see how it did.


Monday, 18 December 2000 
2Wire wants to be your SOHO PBX 
Looks like having the first integrated Ethernet/ HomePNA2.0/ DSL modem/broadband router isn't enough for these guys!  They today announced their ICS2000 (not to be confused with Microsoft's ICS...).  ICS stands for "Integrated Communications System" and it adds a full range of digital PBX features to the 2Wire HomePortal line.  

Based on their HomePortal 1500, and listing for $999, the ICS2000 seems aimed more at Small Office than Home users. It adds Release 2.0 software and 3 "Phone Ports" to the HomePortal 1500's already impressive capabilities. The Phone Ports are POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service, i.e. your regular analog phone) to HomePNA2.0 adapters and allow your phone to be used with VoIP, VoATM, or even good ol' analog telephone service via the ICS2000.

Both the software and Phone Ports are separately available to upgrade existing HomePortals for $99 each.  Availability is Q1 2001. See this ICS Press Release or this Phone Port release for more details.  See our review of the HomePortal 100 here.

- ZyXEL has released new 3.20 firmware for their Prestige 312 Security Gateway and added content filtering, more browser configurability and more! Go here for the scoop.


Saturday, 16 December 2000 
-Been eyeing the SMC 11Mbps wireless stuff and wondering if they're a buy?  Check out the 2652W Access Point and 2632W PC Card reviews and see if they should be on your holiday treat list!

Friday, 15 December 2000 
-We've updated the Router and Wireless Product charts with new products from D-Link, Maxgate, and ZyXEL.

- The first PracticallyNetworked newsletter is out.  It'll normally be sent on Thursdays.  If you haven't signed up yet, just use the signup box right there in the upper left-hand corner of this page and get our latest news delivered right to your mailbox! 

Thursday, 14 December 2000 
-
Need a fast, inexpensive, and secure 802.11b wireless PC card to connect to your new Linksys WAP11 Access point?  Check out our review of Linksys' WPC11.

- Setting up this wireless stuff can be tricky work.  We've added some more how-to's to our new Wireless Troubleshooting section.

- Nexland has discontinued their single ported ISB2LAN router effective immediately.  They've also lowered the price on their 4 port ISB2LAN-H4 to $249 and have a $30 mail-in rebate until Dec 31, 2000.  The product is only sold direct, so go to Nexland's site for more info.

In the lab queue... 
New goodies are coming in fast and furious.  Here's what we have in waiting for the doctor...

  • Maxgate UG3200P 7port router with Printserver

  • SMC 2620W 11Mb Wireless Access Point and 2632W PC Card

  • Zoom ZoomAir WiFi PC Card, PCI Card, and software Access Point 

  • Buffalo Tech Airstation WLAR-L11-L 4 port wireless router and WLE-DA External Antenna

  • Netopia R910 Router

Wednesday, 13 December 2000 
Your router is NOT leaking! 
We neglected to point out in yesterday's news item about Steve Gibson's new LeakTest utility, that it's not intended to be used with hardware NAT routers! Most NAT routers don't provide any protection against unauthorized OUTBOUND Internet traffic, and that's what LeakTest is checking for. So relax!

- SMC has released 1.89e firmware for the Barricades.  Go here for info.

Tuesday, 12 December 2000 
Steve Gibson
(creator of ShieldsUp! and lots of other wonderful stuff) is at it again!  This time he's come up with a free tool to test the effectiveness of software personal firewalls like ZoneAlarm and BlackIce.  It's called LeakTest, downloads in a jiffy, and will tell you whether your software personal firewall program is doing its job in preventing unauthorized OUTBOUND Internet traffic. 
Go get your copy here.

Wappy arrives.. 
Linksys
zipped us our box yesterday and we got it into the lab faster than Santa eats those cookies and milk that you leave for him.  Should it be on your Christmas list?  You'll have to read the review!

Coming soon to your mailbox 
We'll be starting our email newsletter this week. It will go out each week on Thursday and will contain a summary of the week's news items, plus some things you probably won't see on the PracticallyNetworked Web site.  

If you haven't signed up, well, what are you waiting for?  Use the signup box right there in the upper left-hand corner of this page and be in the know! 

Sunday, 10 December 2000 
ZyXEL
asked us for a retest of their Prestige 310 (twin to the popular NETGEAR RT311), since they didn't do so well in the speed trials first time around.  We're happy to say that they passed with flying colors this time.  Read the updated review for more info.  

Saturday, 9 December 2000
Holiday Deals! 
SMC has lowered pricing on their 4 port Barricade router to $100!  Or get it free if you purchase a EZNET-24SW Switch.  Go here to check pricing and for rebate details.  Asante looks like they're holding pricing for their FriendlyNET twin at $130 (including a $20 rebate...check their pricing here.).

-We've posted a fix for Asante/SMC dial-up mode users who are having problems with getting their routers to stay disconnected from their ISP.

- NETGEAR is working on a new fix for Half-Life users.  Some users have reported success by flashing their routers with the ZyXEL 3.23 firmwareGo here if you need download info.

- If you're wrassling with getting a Wireless Network up and running, try the new Wireless Troubleshooting section.

Thursday, 7 December 2000
NETGEAR wants to help you Half-Lifers 
The Senior Online Support specialist from NETGEAR asked us to put out the word that they're looking for volunteers to help them kill off the Half-Life problems that users have been complaining about in the Forums and Opinion pages.  If you want to volunteer, post a message with your REAL contact info to the "NETGEAR Half-Life Debug Team" folder in the forums. Someone from NETGEAR will be in touch.

Wappy on the way... 
-
Just received notice from Linksys that their WAP11 Wireless Access point eval units are available.  Ours should be on its way soon and we'll fast track it for review.  By the way, Linksys has applied for WiFi certification and is waiting approval.
- We also received estimates on the availability for some of the other new products:

  • BEFW11P1 - Instant Wireless Cable/DSL Router with 1-Port PrintServer: estimated ready for review in about 2 weeks

    BEFW11S4 - Instant Wireless Cable/DSL Router with 4-Port Switch: expected
    out in mid to late January. 

- We've been getting some tips and feedback for using the Asante FriendlyNet and SMC Barricade print server feature.  They've been added to the Help page.

- Check out the new Forums if you haven't.  Plenty of good discussions going on and looks like it'll be a good place to get answers to your questions faster than you can get them from us!

- We've gotten wind of a new firewall in the works from ZyXEL.  Not much else to tell, other than more info will probably be available in a few weeks.

- You'll notice this new icon
                    
popping up around the site.  It's a quick way to send either a link to an article, or the entire HTML article to a friend.  Yeah, you get the usual advertising along with the link, but we gotta pay the bills somehow!

Tuesday, 5 December 2000
Inexpensive routing with Dial-In RAS has arrived!
Just finished putting the MultiTech RF500S Routefinder through the paces.  There's a lot to like and with on-line pricing as low as $140, you gotta check it out!

Monday, 4 December 2000
New ICS Configuration maps!
Just added the following maps:
    - Active Worlds
    - Need for Speed- Porche
    - ZSNES
Get them here. Note that when we add these maps, we also add the port information to the Application Ports page for your mapping pleasure!

- We've revamped the Troubleshooting section in preparation for expansion!  We've also added info on how to reset your Asante or SMC router to factory defaults and a solution for slow SMTP server access through a router.

Sunday, 3 December 2000
- There's a new champ in the router speed competition and it even includes a HomePNA2.0 bridge!  Check out the 2Wire HomePortal 100 review.

Saturday, 2 December 2000
- There's a new firmware release for the ZyXEL Prestige 310 router, but you'll have to hunt for it a little. Go here for the details.

- Also looks like ZyXEL has introduced the Prestige 316. It's a combination Ethernet-Ethernet router with one LAN port plus an 802.11b wireless access point built in.  No price or availability info yet.  They also have a PC Card client adapter, with PCI and USB adapters for the card also available.  We've also had word on a couple of other products, but need to confirm with ZyXEL first.

Review in Progress
Working on the 2Wire HomePortal 100 review, which should be up in a day or so.

New Arrivals!
- MultiTech RF500S RouteFinder router. This is the one with a serial port that can be used for Dial-IN RAS. We'll let you know soon on this one!
- ZoomAIR 802.11b PC Card, PCI adapter and Access Point software.

Friday, 1 December 2000
SHOCKWAVE MOVIE VIRUS WARNING!
Happy December!
This one arrives via e-mail with the subject line: 
"A great Shockwave flash movie."

The message reads: 
"Check out this new flash movie that I downloaded just now ... It's Great Bye" 
and the attachment is called CREATIVE.EXE.

Clicking on that attachment renames all JPG and ZIP files on the victim's computer with the appendage "change atleast now to LINUX." It then drops a text file called MESSAGEFORU.TXT

Read the full story on MSNBC.com

 



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