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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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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.

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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, 31 August 2000
Linksys wiggles some more
- Y'know that 1.33.1 firmware that we told you about yesterday?  Well, fugghetaboutit!  It's still up on the FTP site,  but the web page upgrade links now will get you RELEASED version 1.34.  Go get it from the Linksys FTP site since we won't be posting it.  Note that 1.34 removes some of the features in 1.33.1.

- The first of the 802.11b wireless reviews is up.  We're starting off with the 3COM AirConnect LAN kit. It's not exactly priced for the home networking crowd, but works pretty well. Check out the review.

- For those looking for more affordable 802.11b wireless networking, the Buffalo AirConnect is next, since we've exchanged our bridge-only version for one with a router, Ethernet LAN connection, and dialup modem built in.  Hope to get the review up sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, 30 August 2000
Linksys wiggles a little
- The 1.33.1 firmware that they made available for distribution has been reclassified as BETA, according to my sources at Linksys.  Which means that they won't answer support questions on it.  So even if you see "released" on the Linksys firmware download page, it's still BETA!

Tuesday, 29 August 2000
Wireless update
- The 3COM AirConnect review is in progress. Hope to have it up late Weds.

- Buffalo Technology is sending in a version of the AirStation that includes both a NAT router and dialup modem.  Word is from Buffalo that the router version won't support PPPoE for awhile, so you DSL users will have to have your own router handy.

Linksys firmware is available
- No, we were not mistaken when we posted the news about the Linksys' 1.33.1 release.  But they neglected to tell us that they were changing servers which caused the firmware to go missing for many users due to network DNS caching issues.  It should now be available from the Linksys FTP site. If you have problems, try connecting to

  We're also making it available via email request.  Go here to get your copy.

- Linksys also tells us that they're now bundling Sybergen's Sygate in their Networking kits and with their 1 and 10Mbps HomePNA kits and adapters.  Go here for their press release.

Monday, 28 August 2000
- Finally got the decks cleared to bang out some reviews!  First up is a Quick Check of the SMC Barricade router.

- A number of emails expressed concern with the Netgear RT314's lack of "uplink" connector for expansion.  Not a problem.  Read this for an explanation of how to deal with this.

- Linksys has released their 1.33.1 firmware.  Go here for a list of features in the release and to download from Linksys.

Saturday, 26 August 2000
- Yeah, we know that we promised some new reviews this week.  But while preparing the Airstation review, we noticed that the Wireless and Phoneline networking section needed some updating, and well, one thing lead to another.  We think you'll find the results worth it, however, so check out the new Alternative Networking section.  We've included some often requested examples of network setups that include Ethernet, HomePNA and wireless combinations, too!

- Looks like @Home is at it again with their goofy Subscriber Agreement restrictions.  This time, Comcast@Home is banning use of VPN as of Sept 15.  Where do they come up with this stuff?  If you want to complain,  email or call 1-888-793-9800. You can download a PDF version of the new subscriber agreement from this page.

- We've received a few copies of the new 1.33.1 BETA firmware for the Linksys routers from a few friendly readers.  We appreciate your sharing, but we've actually had this release for about a week, waiting for the word from Linksys that it's ok to post for download.  They've been burned on previous releases by generally distributing new firmware before they test with a small number of selected BETA testers.  As soon as we get the word, we'll post it.

Wednesday, 23 August 2000
- Alert reader Robert Zellers found that the SMC Barricade router had disappeared from the Web site earlier today.  A quick check with SMC revealed that this is due to temporary problems at and that the product should be available again later today or tomorrow.  The best current deal is at Computers4sure, and don't forget the $20 rebateCheck all the current Barricade deals at Pricegrabber.

Tuesday, 22 August 2000
- Started out with good intentions of finishing the AirStation review, but instead ending up creating a Wireless Product Comparison chart.  Give it a look and tell us how much you love it!

Monday, 21 August 2000
- Did some preliminary checks on the Buffalo Tech / Techworks AirStation and it's lookin' good.  If you want one, make sure you get the model WLAR-L11, which includes a bridge and NAT routing function.  My eval unit is a WLA-L11, which only has a bridging function.  So the review (up Tues or Weds) won't be able to talk about routing until I swap eval units!

19 August 2000
- Plowed through the email that's been piling up and did a number of updates.  Check out the Linksys WAN IP poster.

- Started to check out the 3COM Airconnect kit, but it's tough going.  The Access point has a lot of settings to twiddle, but it does not have a built-in NAT router.  $900 is a lot to pay for an 802.11b bridge, but the product isn't really aimed at the consumer market anyway.  We'll still press on to complete the review.

- A more interesting product might be the Buffalo Tech / Techworks AirStation.  This one does have both bridge and routing functions, and at $280 list will probably find its way to more homes and small offices than the 3COM product.  We have one in and have started looking at it, so check back for the review this coming week.

16 August 2000
- Search is back up again. Let us know if you have problems, comments, questions.

- ZyXEL has let us know that their Prestige 314 has a limited-time promotional price of $175 and that product is starting to ship. The review has also been revised.

15 August 2000
Just gave the SMC Barricade a very quick run through.  A full review will follow in a week or so, but sure looks pretty much the same as the Asante FriendlyNET router in features and performance, including routing speed, but $50 cheaper!

- Got a call from Addtron and they're sending an ADR-E200P router in for review.  Pricing has been confirmed at around $90, but the unit does not have a print server or COM port. Go to the Router Chart for a spec summary.

- For those of you who like to write long Review Opinions, you can now use HTML tags to format your review.  Please don't get too fancy with your formatting!

14 August 2000
- The MaxGate UG3200 review is up.

- Just got word that the 3COM Home Connect Home Network gateway has been delayed for awhile, maybe months.

- The SMC Barricade eval unit just arrived.  It's not an exact copy of the Asante FriendlyNET router, since it uses a different circuit board.  But it does use similar components.  Stay tuned...

- Linksys and TZO team up
and Tzolkin announced that, effective immediately, they are bundling a Free 30-Day trial CD-ROM of the award-winning TZO.COM Dynamic DNS Windows and Linux client software and a 20% discount option in all packages of popular selling Linksys Cable/DSL Routers (models BEFSR41 & BEFSR11) throughout North America. Go here for the entire press release.

13 August 2000
- Back from vacation and trying to catch up on a number of assorted items that readers have sent in.  We're added some info about sharing a DirecPC connection, a few ICS Configuration port mappings, and updated the Linksys router help pages, including a hint for Quake III players.

- Our apologies for the delay in the MaxGate UG3200 review. It will be up sometime Monday.

- We'll be digging into the WiFi (802.11b) wireless products that have arrived for eval, soon.  Look for reviews on the 3COM Airconnect Access Point and cards, Farallon SkyLine 11 PC card, and Buffalo/Techworks Airstation Access point and PC card, within the next few weeks.

- Nexland informs us that they're lowering prices on their products as follows until the end of September, 2000.

ISB2LAN:  $249
ISB2LAN-H4: $299
ISB100E Analog and ISDN: $159

- Reader Anthony Oden did some digging on the too-good-to-be-true Addtron ADR-E200P. Seems that the print server and RAS capability have been removed.  Pricing (contrary to that listed on CDW and other sites) seems to be more like $150-$180.  Unit is still unavailable anywhere, still not listed on the Addtron Web site, and Addtron has not answered our requests for an eval unit.

3 August 2000
- A helpful reader says there is a syslog client for Macs, so Mac users can take advantage of the Netgear/ZyXEL RT311/P311 and RT314/P314's logging feature.  Go here for the info.

- The ZyXEL Prestige 314 review is up.  It's a Quick Check review because the router is essentially the same as the Netgear RT314.

2 August 2000
- Ok, ok, stop sending us email!  The Netgear RT314 product review is up!  The ZyXEL Prestige 314 twin review will follow shortly, but it will be essentially the same review.

- Starting to get questions about SMC's new Barricade router. The feature set looks like a lot like the Asante FriendlyNET that we just reviewed, but for $160!  An eval unit is on the way. It's been added to the Router Chart in the meantime, so go check it out.

- From the "Is this for real?" Dept...
An alert reader tipped us to the Addtron ADR-E200P.  This router is not on the Addtron Web site, but is listed on CDW as a "Special Order" product.  If this isn't vaporware, it's a 4 port 10/100 switched router with a built in Windows printserver for, get this... as low as $83!  If anyone actually has one of these, send in a report and we'll post it!

1 August 2000
-Another free personal firewall!
(makers of Sygate) just announced that they are making their Sybergen Secure Desktop(tm) personal firewall software free for personal use. Go here for a product overview and free download link.

- The Netgear RT314 product review is in process and should be up tomorrow.  This puppy is pretty fast... faster than our test setup!  The ZyXEL Prestige 314 twin is also on the lab bench and its review will shortly follow the RT314's, but don't expect much difference between them!

- We've updated the Asante FriendlyNET review.  Turns out their triggered port range mapping feature is more flexible than we first thought!  Check out Page 2 of the review. Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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