Researchers at several prestigious universities like MIT, the University of Porto in Portugal, Harvard, Caltech and the Technical University of Munich, have managed to increase the throughput of existing wireless networks by ten times. They have done it without adding base stations, expanding bandwidth range or boosting the power of the transmitter. Instead, they used a mathematical formula that eliminates the need to re-send lost packets, which are blamed for network congestion and the reduction of useful bandwidth.
In my time in IT I have worked with a number of wireless devices for the consumer and for businesses. These have ranged everywhere from simple $40 products that are only meant to get you online (not fast, but online) to multi-component wireless systems costing thousands of dollars. All of these still use the same basic technology to get you connected and to pass traffic between your device and the internet. At their heart is going to be a wireless radio, but this does not mean that all wireless products are the same; quite the opposite in fact. There is a clear line between wireless for the average home and wireless for the average business. The factors are mostly in the software used and the features that you have at your disposal, but you also will often have more advanced hardware under the hood as well. Today we will be taking a look at standalone wireless access point that is aimed at the business market (although there are many things that consumers will like about as well). This is the NETGEAR WNDAP360 ProSafe Dual Band Wireless Access Point; let’s see if worth the $290 it will cost to put one of these in your office.
We have said this before and we will say it again; what can be locked, can be unlocked. We also would like to add that nothing is “secure” unless it is powered off, unplugged and perhaps at the bottom of the ocean. I will never forget the feeling of watching someone remotely open and close the tray on my XboX and that was wired and behind TWO firewalls. Let’s face it all you can really do is minimize the threat and have a good plan to react when something happens.
One of the nice things about the latest generation of the 802.11 wireless specification (802.11n) is that there is a lot of headroom available in it before there is a need to move to a new generation. When 802.11n first hit the market it was limited to around 150Mbps. This was due to quite a few factors, most notable of these was the use of spatial streams (breaking the signal into separate streams and reassembling them in proper order at the far end. Once this was combined with MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) things really took off. Now we are hitting the upper edge of the 802.11n spectrum with the 450Mbps routers and adapters. This new line is getting up there and finally pushing the upper limits of what you can do with this latest revision of the 802.11 protocol. We have another one of TRENDNet’s 450Mbps wireless routers in the lab. This time it is the TEW-692GR a 450Mbps concurrent dual band gaming router with a price tag of around $135. So follow along as we find out if this is really worth your time and money.
Wireless networking is one of those things that we all have come to rely on. We tend to expect to be able to connect just about anywhere now. I mean, even McDonalds has wireless now so why shouldn’t we? But what do you do when you come across one of those places that either does not have it, has poor quality (like many hotels) or you are just concerned about your security when on those open networks? Well there are a few companies that have a solution to this and we are going to take a look at one from EDIMAX today. It is one of the world’s smallest 802.11n wireless routers the EDIMAX BR-6258n.
Apple is famous for many things. They are famous for making the iPhone and iPad, they are famous for their never ending stream of patents for things that already exist and last but not least they are famous for making sure that you cannot use their mobile products without their approval. You see if you buy an iDevice your core file system is pretty much locked down. Now there are ways to get into the file system and move things around, but it can get messy and things do not always make the transition intact. The other side of this is that there is no way to add more storage to any of their products. It is not like an Android or Windows based tablet with an SD card slot or USB ports. So what can you do if you bought one of the 16GB non-3G iPads or if you only own the iPad touch? Kingston has an answer for you. Kingston has put their expertise in making flash drives to good use and attached a flash drive to a wireless controller that can also act as a wireless bridge. They are calling it the Wi-Drive and when you pair this up with the WiDrive app from the AppStore you might just have a relatively low cost answer to a lot of people’s needs. So follow along as we take a look at the $180 32GB Wi-Drive on a first generation iPad.
In news that surprises no one HTC has filed a complaint and suit against Apple today for… you guessed it Patent Infringement. All of this began not too long ago when Apple started its campaign against Android Phone makers claiming that Samsung, HTC and a few others have violated Apple’s patents on various functions and even the look and feel of their method of finger scrolling. Apple has one the first round in many of these cases, but things seem to be turning around.
It has recently come to light that Apple’s evidence in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 case is inaccurate. Apple’s legal team knowingly or accidentally submitted false evidence to show that the Tab was a copy of the iPad and iPad2. We do not know the outcome of this incident yet (but we are keeping our eyes open) but it is probably not going to be good for Apple.
Meanwhile HTC has just announced that it is filing its own patent suit against Apple that covers not only the iPad, iPhone and iPod but also every MAC computer with wireless technology that has “Wi-Fi capability that allows users to wirelessly network multiple devices at home, at work, or in public” as covered by US Patent 7,417,944. There is more to the complaint and suit which covers three specific patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,417,944, and 7,672,219 and 7,765,414). This is interesting as HTC has not even broken out their S3 Patents yet. These patents came from a purchase of ADC Telecommunications Patents back in April of this year that cover many wireless and even 4G technologies. ADC was later bought by Tyco Electronics (which became TE Connectivity) who sold its wireless communication division to Harris Corp.
Now think about this, if the ADC Telecommunications patents do not cut it they can always push for action based on the new S3 Patents HTC has recently picked up. As we said a couple of days ago; things are getting rather interesting.
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Not all that long ago (about a year to be exact) I engaged in a little online debate with someone about LTE Vs WiMax. At the time I was told that LTE was better and that WiMax would be a losing battle. I agreed with the comment about speed, but hastily added that MiMax is not a losing battle. You see the problem is that people often misunderstand that WiMax and LTE are not different hardware technologies (at least not on the backbone) but differ in the protocols used to push the data across that hardware. Clearwire was aware of this when they built their network; they knew that they could get WiMax out now and still shift over faster and for less money than the much of the competition can get LTE off the ground.
The down side is that Clearwire waited too long to start the conversion and have lost quite a bit of money on this deal. Of course they also could have had contractual restrictions that required them to reach a certain level of loss before they could make the shift in existing markets (read Sprint/Nextel)… that is pure guess work on my part but I have heard of worse in business. No matter what the reason the thing is that Clearwire is going to make the switch and will start in their existing markets to make the shift less costly and also to start off building revenue on the investment.
Now we have to figure out if the existing Radios inside the current handsets can be “flashed” to support the LTE protocol.
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Kingston’s Wi-Drive hits the retail and e-tail stores in the US today. With the low price of $130 this new device for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad (probably a contractual item) will be followed by one for the Android later this year. It brings the ability to carry up to 32GB of extra storage for your iDevice.
Not all that long ago AT&T announced that it had plans to merge (buy) wireless company T-Mobile. This was not terribly shocking news as T-Mobile is one of the only competitors in the market that is using the same GSM technology. In fact when the first unlocks hit the iPhone many potential AT&T customers fled to T-Mobile as an alternative. As you can imagine, AT&T would like to put a stop to things like this. So they plan to buy up the other half of the GSM market in the US.