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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.

Saturday, 30 September 2000  
- Updated the Hardware Router chart with entries for:

Go check it out!

- While we're on this subject, a few comments on the above routers.  SMC calls their router an 8 port Barricade.  However, there are only 7 LAN ports.  The eighth port?  The WAN port! (C'mon guys....)
MultiTech says the RouteFinder supports Dial-In RAS via its serial port.  However, this router looks an awful lot like the SMC and Asante FriendlyNet routers that are OEMd from Amit.  If it is, then the Dial-In RAS isn't there!  (Remember that SMC and Asante had to remove the missing feature from their early product descriptions?)

- We're currently working on the ZyXEL Prestige 312 review.  Should be up in a few days.

Friday, 29 September 2000 
- Finally wrestled through the SonicWall SOHO evaluation and produced a six page review.  There's a lotta stuff in that little box!  Go here for the story.

- Looks like NetGear has posted new firmware for their RT311/314.  This release adds port forwarding to the browser admin interface, longer PPPoE user names (45 vs. 30 characters), and bugfixesGo here to download the firmware (v3.20b). Remember that this firmware will work with the ZyXEL Prestige 310 and 314, too!

- Been catching up on various things around the site.  We've created syslog and SNMP program pages for those of you looking for Windows or MacOS flavored applications to use with those protocols.  Various updates to the Linksys firmware update help info, for Linux and even OS/2 systems!

Wednesday, 27 September 2000 
ShieldsUp passes the 5 million mark!

- Steve Gibson dropped us a note today to let us know that ShieldsUP has passed the 5 million user mark today.  That's in less than a year!  Congratulations Steve and thanks for making such a great service available.  LANs around the world are resting more safely tonight, thanks to you...

- On a related note, if you think that ShieldsUP was good, wait until you see his next step in Internet Security Analysis!  If I told you, though, I'd have to kil... ahh, what the heck, go here to be amazed.

- And, of course, I'm late on the SonicWall review.  There's more in this little bugger than I thought!  Review up sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, 26 September 2000 
TV takes over your LAN

- Got a tip about a product that could be interesting to those of you who have a TV tuner on one of your PCs.  SnapStream Media's Personal Video Station (PVS) lets you use your PC as a VCR, then stream the recorded video to any PC on your LAN.  The full-featured version is $50, but they also have a free limited feature version that you can download and try out.  This product is a little different than what we normally review, but if there's enough interest, we'll give one a look, so let us know.

Router news

- The SonicWall SOHO review is in process and should be up in a day or so.  It's better than expected for some features, but not as good as expected for others.  Check back for the full story.

- The ZyXEL Prestige 312 review is on hold until we get some questions answered from them.  This box can make your brain hurt trying to figure out its four different NAT modes!

Monday, 25 September 2000 
More new routers

- SMC is fielding the SMC7008BR, an 8 port version of their popular 4 port 7004BR Cable/DSL router.  No pricing or availability info yet.
MultiTech will soon be shipping the RouteFinder RF500S Broadband Router.  It's a 4 port 10/100 switched router with a serial COM port that can be used for either WAN connection via an external modem, or as a Dial-IN RAS port!  No print server, though.  On-line pricing is about $165, but it's not available yet.  Both these will be added to the Router chart soon.

Sunday, 24 September 2000 
Some good news..

- Feedback form, review Opinions, and email firmware request operation has been restored.  Please report any problems to us. Thanks!

- Been checking out the new Linksys BEFSR81.  It's an 8 port 10/100 switched router with QoS (Quality of Service) features that allow you to set "High" or "Low" priority by application port number or by 4 of the 8 physical LAN ports.  It's supposed to be available thru on-line retailers tomorrow at a price of about $200 (click here to check Pricegrabber)  We'll have a more detailed review soon, after we get some questions answered by Linksys.

Saturday, 23 September 2000 
- A generous reader has created a Windows application that helps maintain a PPPoE connection for the Linksys router.  Go here for the scoop.

Site problems are back!
- We've been moved to the other server again. Until we're moved back, the feedback form won't work (send mail to, you can't post Review Opinions, and can't request Linksys firmware via email. Please bear with us!

Friday, 22 September 2000 
We're Back!   (we hope...) 
- Think we found the little beastie that's been causing us (and most importantly, you!) to be down more than up for the last week or so.  But, please let us know if you have problems with the site, especially with downloading files.

- With our problems (hopefully) behind us, we can return to reviews.  The ZyXEL Prestige 312, SonicWall SOHO and Linksys BEFSR81 8 port are on deck.

- Speaking of Linksys, we're getting positive reports on the 1.35 firmware.  Folks are saying that it's solving their PPPoE disconnect problems and that it looks like Linky will finally give you a full stealth probe report, even on UDP ports!  Click here to download it from their FTP site.

- D-Link has also been busy. 

DI-701 owners have some new firmware to play with.  The Version 3.0 BETA adds a new GUI, port range forwarding.and filtering! Go to the DLink FTP site and look for the "300" files.

They've also introduced the DI704 DSL/Cable Modem Gateway that includes a 10/100 4 Port switch for a on-line price of about $115.

Wednesday, 20 September 2000 
- Still trying to get the site stable.  Sorry for the problems, and please bear with us.  The problems frustrate us as much as they frustrate you!

- Linksys has released 1.35 firmware for Linky.  Main feature is improved PPPoE connection reliability ("PPPoE Keep Alive" has been restored.  Also looks like logging is back, but the logviewer.exe file is not included in the distribution.  You'll have to get it from the 1.33.1 distribution.  Go here for more info on the release.

Monday, 18 September 2000 
- Please excuse the problems with the site over the past few days.  We're trying to get the site to be more stable, so please bear with us.

Saturday, 9 September 2000 
- The Linksys router's ongoing problems with hosting Quake2 and 3 servers behind it has prompted some folks over in the Server Admin Forum to start a thread to seek a solution.  If you've got something to say, or want to see what others are saying, go take a look.

- Farallon jumps into the low-cost router market with their NetLINE Broadband Gateway.  Is it us or does it look like a MaxGate UGate-Plus with some cosmetic surgery?  It's not available yet, but Pricegrabber has it listed for about $140. Check the Router chart for the details.

- A few more wireless products have been added to the Wireless Chart

SMC's EZ Connect Access Point and PC Card have street prices of $350-$400 and about $140 respectively, but are 2Mbps products.  

has chosen the 802.11b 11Mbps route, fielding the DWL-1000AP Access Point, DWL-500 PCI wireless LAN adapter, and the DWL-650 PC Card wireless LAN adapter. Street prices are $300-$320 for the Access Point, $160-$170 for the PCI adapter, and $142-$150 for the PC Card adapter.

- MaxGate has added a Linux firmware updater for their UG3000 and UG3200 routers.  Get it here.

Friday, 8 September 2000
Who's behind the curtain? 
- An inquisitive friend has passed along what he learned about the SMC Barricade and Asante FriendlyNET routers.  Get the poop here!

ZyXEL's powerful new box 
- Started to look at the ZyXEL Prestige 312 and it's much more than a Prestige 310 (Netgear RT311) with a better firewall.  The 312 also supports five different types of NAT routing, including the ability to route to multiple IP addresses on the WAN side!  The firewall is a full featured stateful inspection firewall, allowing you to establish policies to pass or block specific kinds of traffic and protecting you against all sorts of nasty hacking stuff.  Logging and email alerts are also included.  I'll have a full review up in a week or so, but until then check out the details yourself by downloading the User Guide from this page.

Compaq gets into gateways 
- The Compaq iPAQ connection point is an interesting duck.  It includes HomeRF wireless, HomePNA 2.0 phoneline and 10/100 Base-T Ethernet connections and will share an internet connection among all three from either an Ethernet based broadband or dialup 56K Internet connection. Priced at $499, it's supposed to be out in time for Christmas.  (We'll see.  We're still waiting for the HomePNA /Ethernet gateways promised from NetGear and Linksys months ago...)  Looks like Compaq is betting on the less expensive HomeRF wireless standard to beat out WiFi in the home market. Check the Wireless Chart for a spec summary.

Thursday, 7 September 2000
- The Buffalo Tech AirStation review is finally up.  Sorry for the delay!

- Thanks to all the alert readers who have written about the lost-again, found-again Linksys 1.34 firmware.  It appears to have surfaced again on Linksys' FTP site, but we've also got it available here. No word from Linksys on why it temporarily disappeared, but it looks like the "ver.txt" file in the August 31 version of the updater file no longer refers to the PPPoE Keep Alive function that is in the 1.33.1 Beta.

Monday, 4 September 2000
- Spent the holiday doing general updating and trying to catch up on email.  We've added a few more tips and links to the VPN Help page, posted some new ICS Configuration maps, and updated the Farallon SkyLINE review with Win2000/ME BETA driver info. 

- Looks like Netgear's finally added info for their popular RT314 router to their Web site. Here's the link.

- Forgot to mention the new Linksys Tech Helper that they've got up on their Web site for debugging Linky.  Anyone used it?  Linksys is looking for feedback on it.

Sunday, 3 September 2000
- Once again, the Buffalo AirConnect review is delayed.  We received the model with routing capability, but also received the Japanese version of software and manuals! 

- In the meantime, check out the Farallon SkyLINE 11MB Wireless PC Card review.

Comcast to customers: Want VPN? Pay up!
- As a followup to the news item the other day about Comcast@Home banning VPN, a helpful reader sent a copy of their email exchange (available here) with customer support about the issue.  The upshot is that the Comcast folks want more $ for customers who use VPN.  Again, if you want to complain,  email or call 1-888-793-9800. Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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