The marketing term Tri-Band is not really new. It was something that marketing people came out with to help sell new 802.11ac routers and access points. Why would they do this? Well most consumers are not going to understand what these new devices bring to the table without some new and catchy term attached to it. However, there is a down side to this type of marketing. When consumers start asking where he third band is they become a little disillusioned. To see this, you just need to look at some of the reviews on Amazon or other online retailers. So with that in mind we will talk about what Tri-Band really is and why it is very important to the future of consumer wireless.
WiFi is one of those services that people simply expect to see these days. When you walk into just about any public building you are going to start looking for the “free” WiFi that they have. Most people do not stop to think about that that looks like behind the scenes especially when you are in a smaller business. In a large business you have multiple wireless access points (WAPs) that are run by a central controller. This centralized control system makes it relatively simple to control both the business side and the guest side of the wireless network. These tools can be very expensive and out of the budget range for most small companies. Instead a small business will end up with either an edge device with built in wireless (and really bad service), a single WAP or multiple individual WAPs that need to be managed independently and have their own problems.
One area that is booming in the consumer electronic field is health and fitness wearables. For the last year or so we have watched multiple new products hit the market as this particular vertical tries to find an identity. One of the items that we have been able to take a deeper look at in the lab is the Jabra Sport Pulse Bluetooth headphones. These are interesting because in addition to being headphones they can also take your pulse and track progress through different workouts. Let’s take a look and see if these stand out from the crowd or if they are just another device in the sea of also rans.
One of the biggest issues with wireless is that you never really get the speeds you are promised. Right now the maximum theoretical speed you can get in consumer wireless is about 1.3Gbps. This is assuming you are running the right router and wireless adapter which means that both have to support three antenna as well as the full 802.11ac spec. To be perfectly honest with you that is not likely to happen in the real world as most wireless adapters do not support AC1300 (full 1.3Gbps). Instead you end up getting AC800-900 with the rare AC1200 popping up now and then. Even if you have both ends at AC1300 you are still not likely to see the nirvana of 1.3Gbps wireless.
For the majority of people the term wireless means a simple router or access point (AP) and that is that. However, when you look at wireless on a larger scale you have to have a means to control access points in your organization with a little more efficiency. The thought of going from AP to AP and manually making changes to ensure proper coverage or channel plans is one that would keep most network engineers up at night. However systems that offer a centralized management point for multiple Aps are typically out of the range of small and even medium sized businesses. NETGEAR has stepped in and created a few products to cover this market. We have their WC7600 Wireless controller and a pair of WN370 Access Points in the lab, so let’s check this bundle out and see how it fits in.
Intel has been working on making the “PC” a standalone unit for a very long time. The started the process by developing he standard to put the audio card on the motherboard and have been pushing to include more and more info either the CPU itself or mount it on the motherboard. This has not been a surprising move simply because the world keeps looking to smaller and smaller devices to perform its computing. However, Intel wants to take things one step further by getting rid of all of the cables that are needed to run a PC.
The need for a place to put your digital stuff is always going to be. There really is just no getting around it. The question is, do you want to trust your files to the cloud, or do you want to keep them in your possession? For some the cloud looks like an attractive alternative. It is inexpensive and you can access you information from anywhere you have an internet connection. At least the cloud used to be an attractive alternative until the news about how poor security is at many of these places along with the news that when you put your files online you lose some of your ownership rights. So what do you do when a bigger or external drive will do the trick? Well simply put a Network Attached Storage device is perfect for this. Almost all of them come with multiple drives in some form of RAID to protect your data and, in many cases, can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection. Today we are taking a look at a NAS from Synology that is aimed straight at the home. This is the two bay DS214SE 2200. So let’s dive in and see if Synology can do for the home what they have done for small to medium businesses.
There is no doubt that gaming is a huge part of the PC market. This one “segment” has so many verticals inside of it that it can be difficult to keep track of. You have GPUs, Keyboards, Mouse, Headphones, Speakers, Monitors, and of course the actual games that this stuff is designed for. Inside these smaller verticals you can find a wide range of products from the truly inspired to the “what were they thinking” groups. Today we are taking a look at a product that, at first glance, belongs in the inspired group. This is the Thermaltake Level 10M Hybrid gaming mouse. It is the sibling of the original Level 10M and has a lot to prove if it is to follow in the footsteps of that mouse. So let’s get started and she just how well it does.
Home networking gear has been making some leaps in speed and sophistication since its introduction. These leaps have made wireless in the home more usable and configurable. Much of the work on this side of the product (making things easier to configure and use) has been behind the scenes, but this work has pushed wireless technology further into our homes. Now the big ticket item is the new 802.11ac wireless standard. However there is still a huge market for 802.11n wireless products with dual concurrent bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz). Right now these wireless products are what you are going to see in the market and what consumers are interested in simply because of their prevalence. So with that in mind we are taking about an 802.11n wireless router from Asus, the RT-N66U Dark Knight Wireless router.
Ericsson has introduced a miniature antenna modules for mobile networks, which should ensure the presence of the signal of mobile networks and improved capacity on up to now poorly covered areas within the building.