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Tag: wifi

TRENDnet Concurrent Dual Band Router

Posted by Andrew at 2:00 AM on January 5, 2011

At CES in Las Vegas today, TRENDnet will be showing off the first concurrent dual band wireless 11n router.  This is the first router on the market that can offer full 450 Mb/s by using both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio bands.

With advanced MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) antenna technology and three streams per antenna, the concurrent dual band technology can generate a maximum theoretical throughput of 450 Mb/s and much improved coverage.

The router also comes with gigabit Ethernet ports to ensure high performance on the wired connections, making this an ideal partner for high-definition video streaming from NAS.

“A true 450Mbps concurrent router will provide networking enthusiast with another great option,” stated Sonny Su, Technology Director for TRENDnet. “With the proliferation of so many wireless networked devices, performance matters more than ever before.”

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) also makes connecting wireless devices straightforward.  Press the WPS buttons on each device and they connect up securely.

The TEW-692GR will be available this coming April for $249 from online and retail TRENDnet partners.

Side note: the Wifi standards 11b and 11g use the 2.4 GHz frequency and 11a uses the 5 GHz frequency.  However the latter never gained widespread adoption. 11n can use both frequencies, though until now most 11n wireless equipment used either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz but not both.

Buffalo AirStation Wireless-N Review

Posted by Andrew at 6:23 PM on November 23, 2010

In a little bit of a UK scoop, the folks at Buffalo lent GNC three of their latest wireless “n” products for a first review.  The three AirStation devices were announced and covered by GNC back in October, so we’ll skip the usual pleasantries and get down to business.

First up, was the AirStation N-Technology USB2 adapter (WLI-UC-GNM) which is as small as it looks in the picture.  Installation is very straightforward – run the installation CD first to install the drivers, pop the adapter into a spare USB port and job done.  I was able to connect to an existing 11g network and the 11n network without any problems at all.  There’s also a little application installed which allows selection between the 20 MHz and 40 MHz bandwidths which equates to the 75 Mb/s and 150 Mb/s settings.   There’s more on the real-world data transfer rates later.

Next was the AirStation N-Technology 150 Mb/s router (WCR-GN).  This is actually smaller in real life than the picture would suggest, being only 11 cm high, excluding the aerial.  After connecting the router to the network via an ethernet cable, the installation program allows the user to choose from two different possible scenarios – router or bridge.  Once selected, the installation program finds the router and configures it.  The user is asked to set a device password and to give the device an IP address.  Although a configuration program is included, I found it easiest to use the router’s web interface to set things up.

The configuration for the wireless side was pretty impressive, with support for multiple SSIDs, including one that was passed directly out over the WAN and was unable to access the LAN.  This caters for legacy devices such as media streamers or games consoles that only support unsecure WEP.

The WCR-GN supports WPS and AOSS, Buffalo’s equivalent. Frankly, I could never get the AOSS pairing to work. It’s so little effort to put in an encryption key, I’ve no idea why anyone bothers with these user-friendly time savers, because they never are and never do.

To give the 11n devices a proper evaluation, I carried out some data transfer rate testing using LAN Speed Test for TotuSoft.  The table below gives the nominal and measured data rates for different connection types.

Connection Nominal Data Rate Measured Data Rate
LAN 100 Mb/s 65 Mb/s
11g 54 Mb/s 20 Mb/s
11n @ 20 MHz 75 Mb/s 34 Mb/s
11n @ 40 MHz 150 Mb/s 44 Mb/s

Bear in mind that with all the encryption on the wireless transmissions, the measured data rate will be much lower than the nominal data rate.  These figures are broadly in line with other data rates reported on the Internet.  HD video requires a minimum sustained data rate around 25 Mb/s, so it looks to me that the 11n data rates are good.  Microsoft have an article on HD formats which is worth a read.

Finally, I got out the Nfiniti Dual-Band Wireless-N Ethernet Converter (WLAE-AG300N).  I was most interested in this as it promised to be convertible between an access point, extender and bridge, and a full 300Mb/s device.  The Converter has two ethernet ports meaning that things like Bluray players and IP TVs can connect through the bridge back to the Internet.

As before, the installation was a breeze and in the first instance, I set up the Converter as an access point.  This worked great and I was able to get data throughput in the 44Mb/s range.  Remember that although this was a 300Mb/s device, the USB adapter on the laptop was only a 150Mb/s device so the data rate was limited by the USB adapter.

Setting the WLAE-AG300N as a bridge back to the WCR-GN Router was less successful.  Although I was able to get the two devices to connect, I was never able to establish a 11n level connection; it only connected as if it were an 11g network and throughput was around 20 Mb/s.  I worked with Buffalo’s tech support to try and get a resolution but it wasn’t sorted by the time I returned the device.

Overall, the USB2 adapter and the 150Mb/s router worked well and I think they’re good value for money at RRPs of £19.99 and £29.99 respectively.  Judgement is reserved regarding the Ethernet Converter (£39.99) as it worked well as an access point but the bridging was poor.  If you were only setting up a 150Mb/s network, a pair of WCR-GN routers would actually be a cheaper way of establishing a connection from ethernet-only devices.

Thanks to Buffalo for the loan.

Smartphones As The New Facebook

Posted by tomwiles at 2:40 PM on November 19, 2010

Facebook hit critical mass and managed to move into the mainstream and is now sucking in mass numbers of new users. Much of the value of a many goods and services revolves around mass adoption – it becomes beneificial for people to use Facebook simply because so many friends and family are already on it.

We keep hearing statistics about smartphone adoption rates. No doubt about it, smartphones are increasingly popular devices and are quickly moving into the mainstream.

How does this translate into the real world?

I came across a guy a few days ago that had recently gotten an iPhone 4.0 specifically so he could do Facetime chats with his brother. This guy was in his 50’s and had never owned a computer or dealt with the Internet in any way. I was surprised at how well he had learned to run his phone. He was clearly thrilled with the smartphone and what it was capable of. Even though this fellow had somehow managed to resist getting a computer and the Internet, the smartphone managed to pull him in. Furthermore, this guy was using a lot of data above and beyond WiFi and Facetime. Even as a novice user, he had already purchased a few iphone apps. Additionally he expressed a lot of interest when I was describing Audible.Com audio books.

There’s a segment of the population I run into personally that doesn’t like the idea of or see the need for or perceive any benefit from paying for mobile data connections. These are the people that are hanging onto more basic phone models. I suspect that these same people likely resisted the idea of getting a cell phone in the first place – in other words, they are late adopters when it comes to cell phone technologies and services.

We are now entering the phase of smartphone adoption of where mass numbers of people will get smartphones simply because everyone else has them. I believe smartphones are poised to outstrip even a service like Facebook with the total number of smartphone users.

These new smartphone users are likely to use mass amounts of data. Cell phone companies wanted people to have data plans because of the extra revenue from larger data-enabled bills – now they’d better be prepared to deliver on the promise.

GNC-2010-11-08 #625 Back in the Saddle

Posted by geeknews at 10:29 PM on November 8, 2010

Feels good to be back in the full swing of the show. I am having a great trip here in Albuquerque and really enjoying myself, will be doing an Ohana meet up this coming Friday. If you want to come out to dinner and your in the local area drop me an email so I can pass location and time.

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RockMelt Social Browser.
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Bundling Software in Danger?
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Windows Phone 7 Launch and 2000 Apps.
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Google TV Gateway Fancast.com Blocked.
Nokia Shakes up Symbian Foundation.
Free Airborne Wifi On Google.
Hacker hits UK Navy.
Verizon to Broadcast Video on LTE?
Very Dangerous IE Bug!
IE Hack Kit For Sale.
TSA ban Toner and Ink.
Creative Commons big win in Belgium.
Patent Office gets more Screwed.
Ready for Mini Big Bangs.
Hey Best Buy Get Squared away on Roku.
Can you Fly?
48 Million iPads?
Bloglines Saved.
Limewire back from the Dead.
Boxee needs Cash.
Burglary Suspect Idiot.
Cassini Flying in Safe Mode.
Shuttle Pushes for Nov 30th Launch.
Laptops as Ovens.
Avidemux Editor.
Time Warner Look Back.
Zune Insider #93.

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Extreme Social Networking

Posted by J Powers at 9:36 PM on October 29, 2010

Want to Facebook on Mount Everest? Maybe Foursquare at the Antarctic? Twitter from 50,000 leagues under the sea?

Wherever we go, we will be able to connect and communicate.

The most recent news – Mount Everest gets an Ncell  tower so you have signal on your climb up. It makes sense – if you get in trouble, you can contact someone to get you. I am guessing Ncell will have a special rental plan for your journey up and down.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard of a connection in an extreme place. Remember Parker Liautaud? The 15 year old who was the first to foursquare the North Pole? He used social media to record his journey. YouTube, Twitter and of course, Foursquare.

It’s a long cry from the days of Gilligan’s Island. No longer will the crew be able to worry about contacting the authorities. Just pull out a cell phone and dial 911.

How many have connected to the Airplane’s WiFi? Tweeting from 35,000 feet is not the mile high club, but it is pretty cool. At least you can watch some Netflix during the flight if you have to suffer through “Confessions of a Shopaholic” again.

Back in CES 2009, we interviewed Spot GPS – a device for extreme travelers to be located if something happens. Not exactly something you will be able to tweet with, but if you are suffering in an extreme situation, you won’t have to be like Aron Ralston and cut off your arm with a Swiss Army Knife to survive.

Even on extreme road trips, you can stay connected. Ford’s SYNC system allows you to jump in a Ford Fiesta and you can have the car tweet your whole trip.

So with all these new places to connect, it begs the question – when will we be able to connect on the Moon? Mars? Maybe just at Grandma’s house?

GNC-2010-10-26 #621 No New Tricaster Yet!

Posted by geeknews at 12:32 AM on October 26, 2010

Hey folks back in Hawaii for two shows only, then I will be in Albuquerque for 3 weeks on a consulting gig. Really weird doing the show without the tricaster, one thing for sure I have a whole lot less to do in the show which was kinda nice for a change. Had my outpatient work done on my arm today where the took some skin samples to from some suspect spots so should know at the end of the week whether I will need some more intensive treatment or not, fingers are crossed.

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United Gets Sued by Sight Impaired.
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French Overwhelmed in three strike law.
Peer to Peer Wifi no Base Station is Here!
The Walkman Cassette Player RIP.
Swedish in Space?
11-18-10 Next test by SpaceX
Japanese catch rare X-Ray event.
Super Nova Baffles Scientist.
Samsung Galaxy Tab at Pre-Order at Best Buy.
Logitech Revue Broken down.
Ubuntu goes Unity.
Time Traveler in Chaplin Film.
PlayOn coming to Roku.
Windows Phone 7 and Mac Connector.
Macbook Air Review.
Media Buyers Ignoring New media.
What you can watch on Google TV.
You Move and Alarm Goes Off.
45 New WordPress Templates.
Apple iLife 2011
FCC paints ugly Bandwidth Picture.
Can you go a day UnPlugged?
Discovery on the Pad.
65.3 Million Wii Remotes.
Ray Ozzie says strong words to Microsoft.
X-Ray vans cruising your street.
Is Google CEO on a Bender?
Broadcasters Blocking keeps them rich.
Ubercab told to Shutdown.
100k Android Apps.
Unlock your iPhone with no password.
Ohio Schools no more Snow Days?
Space is Packed.
Netflix shows its appreciation.

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Tango to FaceTime, “Move Over”

Posted by tomwiles at 8:49 PM on October 8, 2010

There’s a new cross-platform video calling app that just became available called Tango. There are versions for both the iPhone as well as Android. Tango does what Apple’s FaceTime does, except it also does it cross-platform as well as via 3G. Apple’s integrated video calling app FaceTime works only with iPhone 4’s and via WiFi data network connectivity.

I called a friend that has an iPhone 4 with my Sprint HTC Evo via Tango. Both of us were in moving vehicles in different parts of the country, and both of us were on 3G networks – my friend obviously on AT&T with his iPhone 4 in the Miami, Florida area, and me being on Sprint 3G on I-81 in Virginia. Tango took advantage of the forward-facing cameras both in my friend’s iPhone 4 as well as in my HTC Evo.

Overall the experience was quite impressive. If you have either an iPhone or Android phone, download the free Tango app and give it a try.

One really strange quirk with Android phones is that there can be two phone books – the “phone” phone book and the Gmail phone book. Tango relies exclusively on the “phone” Android phone book, so keep that in mind when looking for and/or setting up contacts to work with Tango.

GNC-2010-10-07 #617 6th Year Anniversary

Posted by geeknews at 1:30 AM on October 8, 2010

Considering how many shows have quit over the years that were with us in 2004, it is nice to be here and still cranking out the content. Thanks for hanging with me over the past 6 years, it has been a blast, the show continues to grow and that to me is the only sign I really need to know that the formula for the show continues to be working.

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Does he really know?
Bit.ly Raises 10 Million
Will Libya revoke .ly domains?
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The Nightmare Server Admin Situation.
Spotify being shown the Hand?
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Patch Tuesday.
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mWomen Program.
BT has to share those pipes!
Adobe + Microsoft = Maybe.
Lock the hacked machines down!
Upgraded Soyuz heads for ISS.
Bio-Engineered Corn.
WMAP Mission Complete.
Patent Approvals.
ASCAP cuts distribution payments.
DMCA Killing Political Ads?
Set Top Box battle.
Venus Atmosphere.
History of Universe.
Apple boots P2P App.
Wifi Available at Fedex Locations again for free!

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Two-Tiered Hotel WiFi may Satisfy Todd’s Need for Speed

Posted by J Powers at 9:20 AM on September 21, 2010
Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi

Actually, I stopped using hotel WiFi because of this, too. You end up getting speeds slower than a modem and sometimes you are paying $10-$15 a day for it.

However, with the cloud looming and people wanting to watch YouTube videos and doing live meetings like GotoMeeting, the average user’s need for better speeds is a necessity. The standard 802.11b wifi router in the office – 150 feet away from your room – just won’t cut it anymore.

Hotels like InterContinental are experimenting with Tiered WiFi. For $10 a day, you can get a speed to check your email and Facebook. However, for $15 a day, you get some better connection speeds. No word what the “Better” speed would be – I would hope it would be at least 2 down, 2 up.

Then again, with 3G and 4G connections getting better in the US, will hotels benefit from making a tiered connection?

When in Vegas last June, I rented a 4G connection. I didn’t use the hotel Wireless because the 4G had better speed and cost less. I could work in my room, in the convention hall, in the lobby or in another location alltogether.

I was even in the airport watching GNC’s live show while waiting for my flight.

Two things I can see using a tiered hotel plan. One is if you need even more speed than 4G – One machine can run on 4G while the other connects via wireless. The other reason is if your 3G or 4G is a limited plan and you don’t want to go over 2 GB.

For people like myself or Todd, we need a better connection just to keep up with our daily lives. Not everyone needs that – but for those of us who do, having the option will be great.

Easy iPhone 4 Antenna Fix

Posted by tomwiles at 9:20 AM on June 25, 2010

Inexpensive iPhone 4 Scotch Tape Antenna FixThere have been numerous reports that the newly-released Apple iPhone 4 is having some antenna issues. The metal ring that forms the outside edge of the phone can essentially short out due to the conductivity of human skin when it’s held in the wrong way.

One of my podcast listeners forwarded me this link to an item on MacDailyNews that details the problem, and details a very inexpensive, unobtrusive fix. Apparently all that’s needed is a tiny piece of  plastic or “scotch” tape applied to the right place and that’s enough to eliminate the issue.