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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.

SMC Seeks to Power the Home Network

By Practically Networked Staff

10.30.2003.  SMC Networks' new line of EZ Connect HomePlug-compliant products are designed to give users everything they need to set up a wired network or extend an existing one without having to install CAT-5 cabling. The EZ Connect HomePlug line also offers configuration software that runs on the Mac OS as well as Windows, opening up HomePlug networks to the Macintosh for the first time.

HomePlug utilizes existing electrical wiring to enable network connections at speeds of 14Mbps, making it faster than 802.11b wireless (11Mbps rated speed and effective speeds of 5-6 Mbps) as well as standard 10Mbps Ethernet. With multiple outlets in almost every room, HomePlug presents a cost-effective, easy-to-adopt home networking solution.

The EZConnect line complements its speed with 56-bit Data Encryption Standard (DES) security and an extensive set of features, including Dynamic Key Management for added security; auto-sensing, rate-adaptive technology; small form factors; internal power supplies; Plug-and-Play compliance for ease of installation; and the EZ Installation Wizard software tool.

The complete HomePlug product line includes:

  • EZ Connect 14Mbps HomePlug to Ethernet Desktop Adapter (HP1D-ETH) - The $79.99 (MSRP) HP1D-ETH Ethernet-enables your electrical wiring, allowing any outlet in the house to serve as an Ethernet connection port for sharing Internet access, files, printers, and even home entertainment devices.

  • HomePlug USB Desktop Adapter (HP1D-USB) - Designed for computers without ethernet adapters, the $79.99 HP1D-USB connects any Windows 98, ME, 2000, or XP device to a HomePlug-enabled network through the device's USB port.

  • EZ Connect 14Mbps HomePlug to Ethernet Starter Kit (HPKIT-ETH) - A complete kit with everything needed to set up a HomePlug network or extend an existing network. The kit includes one adapter for connecting to an Ethernet router and another for connecting any Ethernet-capable device to the network. The $149.99 HPKIT-ETH connects any PC, whether Windows, Mac OS, or Linux-based.

The new EZ Connect family of HomePlug products will begin shipping in November.

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