By Terry Currier
This page covers Powerline Networking Surge Protectors Wireless Networking Wireless Security
If you want to see want the convention floor looked like click here
Click here to see information about Iternet Phone Service (VoIP), Video Phones, Cell Phones, Phone Ear pieces and Headsets
Click here to see information about GPS units
Will someone tell me how my wife does it? She has come with me the last three years (to Las Vegas not the CES show.) Last year she told me how just spend $150 dollars at the mall. Then she tells me that she later played the slot machines and won that amount. This year she’s telling me there were great sales and she has spent $300 dollars (so far.) Later that day she called my cell phone “I just hit $300 on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine.” I’m going to have to leave her home next year, my sanity just won’t take the progression.
The CES (Consumer Electronic Show) is the premier show for electronic devices for consumer use. This can range from automobile speakers to vacuum cleaners, and of course computers. You can see more information about them and future events they sponsor at http://www.cesweb.org/. It is a huge show, hosted in the Las Vegas Convention Center which has over one million square feet of space. They use it all plus Hilton, and Alexis Park convention centers. If that was not enough they even had circus size tents in the parking lot with more exhibitors. Motorola even built a ski jump in the parking lot, and wouldn’t you know it, it actually snowed there one day. The snow flakes melted when it reached the ground, but it did snow. If you were wondering who’s exhibit had the greatest number of visitors. That honor goes to the Texas Instruments booth. With 10 minutes to go in the Rams vs Seahawks football game it was packed. They had a 18 foot screen showing the game.
Besides looking at the exhibitors on the floor I also went to nine press conferences in the convention center. Beyond that there were there were two great press gatherings. ShowStoppers with 90 great companies to look at, and Lunch@Piero put on by Pat Mier PR is always a good place to get information.
ImageScape is sponsored by a number vendors who have products specializing in digital imaging. It is put together by InfoTrends a consulting and market research firm. They always have informative speakers with interesting statistics and predicted trends.
Unit sales (millions)
Why Consumers Purchased a Camera Phone (top 5 responses)
Key features attracting digital camera replacement buyers
When asked if users had a long term storage plan for digital photos 13% said they did not know, 41% said no, with only 46% saying yes. It reminds me of being in Costco at the photo lab which can copy all the images from a digital media to a CD, for a price. The clerk told us of a woman who was happy finding out about this, because she just kept buying more SD cards. The vast majority said they will use CDs for storage.
Top reasons people use online photo services
Powerline return to top
I went to the HomePlug Powerline press conference and found it to be very interesting. The HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc. is an industry-led initiative established to create specifications for home powerline networking products and services. Currently, the Alliance is comprised of about 50 industry-leading companies. http://www.homeplug.org.
I found out it is being used for much more than just networking. The HomePlug's new AV technology can be used to distribute high-definition TV signal over the powerlines within a home. Think of it, whole-house distribution of content without the need to install additional video recorders or run new wires. They can even use it to connect Broadband over powerlines. AOL, Comcast, and Earthlink is using Netgear and Linksys ETH adapters right now. The speed for HomePlug 1.0 is 14Mbps with built-in 56 bit DES security. It has a distance limit of 990 feet. The new AV standard (expected to be released Mach 31) features list a 200Mbps with a 128 bit AES security. There is co-existence multi-network operation and hidden node service. Management functions are capable of supporting plug-and-play (plug it into the converter and you are networked.)
Note, if the listed prices for product have been rounded up to the nearest dollar. I never liked the $9.99’s – which I put at $10. SRP is Suggested Retail Pricing, MSRP is Manufacturers Suggested Retail Pricing, and ESP is Estimated Street Price.
The Actiontec 14 Mbps HomePlug Ethernet Adapter can share your Internet connection to any room in your household that has a power outlet. Now computers located in other rooms can browse the web, send email, and connect to other networked computers or printers. It is also well suited for use with game consoles for online gaming. Connect one Adapter to your DSL/cable modem or router and connect the other to your computer. Plug both Adapters into any two power outlets in your home, and start surfing. No driver software required. Auto-configured transfer rates up to 14Mbps.
The Actiontec HomePlug Wireless Kit creates an instant wireless networking with your existing power outlets. When connected to your cable or DSL broadband router, it creates a wireless network anywhere in your home where you can find a power outlet. Achieving connection speeds of up to 54Mbps over the 802.11g WiFi network and up to 14Mbps over HomePlug. The Actiontec HomePlug Ethernet Adapter Kit is $130 for two HomePlug Ethernet adapters and the Actiontec HomePlug Wireless Kit is $170 consisting of a HomePlug Ethernet adapter and access point.
The Powerline Ethernet Adapter (F5D4070, $100) links your Ethernet-equipped computers and devices over your existing, standard 110-volt electrical wiring. Simply plug one end of the adapter into an available wall outlet and connect the other end to any available Ethernet port. The Adapter sets up on any laptop or desktop, with the simplicity of Plug-and-Play technology to provide you with Internet, file, and peripheral sharing. Avoids network disruption and powerline noise by using PowerPacket-hopping frequencies to maintain network connections. Comes with life-time warranty and free 24 hour technical support. Their SurgeMaster® Surge Protector for HomePlug networks (F9M923-08GRY-PL, $63) features an outlet that is fully compatible with HomePlug networking equipment. Traditional surge protectors are not designed to work with HomePlug networking equipment and will limit the speed of the HomePlug data, or stop it all together. It has a 2360-joule energy rating.
The D-Link DHP-100 is a plug-and-play Ethernet-to-Powerline Bridge providing a convenient way to extend the range of a wireless access point or router. It is especially useful for homes or small offices when concrete walls, elevator shafts, successive floors, or other architectural impediments inhibit the wireless signal. It transmits data reliably even in noisy media environments by intelligently adapting to strong signal channels. Using proven Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), an advanced signal processing technique used by wireless and xDSL applications to ensure strong signal throughput while filtering out interference. Other features include Quality-of-Service (QoS) for prioritized random access, contention-free access, and segment bursting.
They make a 3-port HomePlug™ Internet router, the PE904-R. It operates on the Powerline 1.0.1 specs providing up to 14Mbps over home wiring. It also has 3 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports. There is a build-in DMZ firewall. SRP is $80.
This unit can be used to HomePlug enable one computer with a 10/100Base-T adapter, or to make a group of computers HomePlug ready through either a network switch or router. The Powerline Ethernet Bridge, Wall Mount, (1-Port) - GHPB31 is HomePlug Powerline Specifications 1.0 compliant. Encryption done by hardware, with no sacrifice to bandwidth. There is a low risk of interference by other RF sources.
Along with TII Network Technologies they have teamed up to introduce the a HomePlug embedded surge protector. The TII HNP6E lets users network voice, data, and audio devices through the integrated powerline port. Intellon and Sharp Corporation jointly had a demonstration showing the use of HomePlug AV® technology and Sharp’s high quality AV transmission technologies to distribute high-definition (HD) content from a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) to Sharp’s Aquos® LCD television over the powerlines within a home.
It’s fast and easy integration between your Ethernet and powerline networks with the PLEBR10 Instant PowerLine Etherfast 10/100 Bridge. It can be plugged into an Ethernet port on a router to equip a network with powerline capabilities, and take advantage of the router’s features. It can also plug directly into a cable or DSL modem to allow Internet access and data transfer rates up to 14Mbps over home powerlines. The PowerLine PLUSB10USB Adapter interfaces USB-equipped PCs to the HomePlug PowerLine network standard. Just plug it into the wall, connect your computer to it using the included USB cable. Once connected they can share resources like printers and storage space, and all kinds of files, with up to 12Mbps data rates.
Their wall-plugged Ethernet bridge Model XE102 is a truly simple way to bring the Internet to any room in your home. You can surf the Web, participate in online gaming, send and receive e-mail, and share files and printers, all from different rooms at the same time. It has new, easy-to-read icon LEDs, and protects your network communications from eavesdroppers and hackers, while not increasing your electricity bill. Compatible with 10 Mbps or 10/100 Mbps Ethernet products. Automatic rate adaptation chooses the best data rate depending on the level of interference caused by other electrical appliances.
The Powerline Ethernet Bridge M51 can be used to bridge any Ethernet device to your powerline network. It can be plugged into an Ethernet port on a router to equip a network with powerline capabilities and take advantage of the router features. It can also be plugged directly into a cable or DSL modem to allow access to the internet to each computer equipped with a HomePlug network adapter. They also have home theater systems with speakers connected through the powerlines.
Surge Protectors and UPS return to top
Along with their other surge protectors, and UPS, Belkin launched PureAV HDTV Power Conditioner (PFHD) with build-in HD PureFilter™ circuitry. It helps to remove noise and interference from your AC for a better picture and audio. It is a low profile designed to fit behind or adjacent to most flat panel displays. It has a 10 foot cord (no more extension cords), and 4040 joules of surge protection. On the unit is a Ground Fault light to alert you if it is not plugged into a properly grounded outlet. There is a $350,000 connected equipment warranty with it. Prices range from $200 to $750
They announced the newest generation of WallHuggerTM surge protectors. The products feature the company’s new V3 TM technology. V3 technology utilizes advanced surge protection components that have 27% more surge absorption capacity and superior heat dissipation compared to other surge protectors in the market. The slim-line design of the unit allows it to be positioned as a tower against a wall or flat on a desktop. All WallhuggerTM surge protectors have integrated child-safe outlets and wider spaced outlets to accommodate adapter plugs. The slide-out extender bar provides four additional outlets which can be stored conveniently within the unit when not in use. The premium model provides 10 outlets, plus the four outlets on the extender bar. They carry a connected equipment warranty of up to $500,000. The products are priced at $50 to $100 MSRP. The Power Blocker® 2 actuates 1,000 times faster than the fuse/MOV technology used in traditional surge protection devices, for increased protection and sensitivity to surges. When a surge is detected, the circuit-breaker technology completely disconnects the MOV and connected equipment from the power for the ultimate protection.. It comes with a connected equipment warranty of one million dollars. Pricing ranges from $70 to $130 MSRP.
Wireless Networking return to top
Actiontec’s 54Mbps Wireless Cable/DSL Router gives you a simple way to set up your home or office network, without cables. Bundled with the Actiontec Installation Buddy®, it walks you through each step of the Router’s configuration process. To further simplify the process, the Router comes with color-coded cables and ports. The Router also functions as an Internet firewall, three different levels of protection allow you to customize your level of security. Security includes 64 & 128 bit WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) Encryption, WPA (Wireless Protection Access), Stateful Packet Inspection, “Ping of Death” prevention, and Intrusion Detection.
If you want the same thing but with USB connection rather than Ethernet look at the Actiontec 54 Mpbs Wireless USB Adapter. If you want a simple way to share printers look at the Actiontec 54 Mbps Wireless Multiport Print Server. You won’t need to dedicate a PC to function as a print server. Slightly smaller than a video cassette, the product incorporates built-in 802.11g wireless technology that allows the printer to which it is connected to communicate with any wireless-enabled computer on the network. It supports two USB printers and one parallel port printer simultaneously. Cost is $149.
Not a wireless network, but something a little different. For those of you with two computers networked together but using dial-up to get to the Internet, take a look at the Dual PC Modem. This is an external modem in which two can plug in and share the connection easily. What is truly different is the modem is controller-based, meaning the device creates its own processing power. Many modems today are Windows-based. They require your computer's resources to power the modem's functions.
Newly announced the Wireless A+G line from Belkin features a dual-band radio that operates in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands to provide your network with the versatility to support any wireless-enabled computer. The line includes:
The use of the 5GHz band allows you to network your computers in an uncrowded band. Providing you a reliable wireless connection free from potential interference from the crowded 2.4GHz band, such as microwaves, cordless phones, and other wireless networks. Features include:
I saw the Wireless Pre-N Networking products at CES but they actually were released in October 2004. It consists of a Wireless Router (F5D8230-4) and Wireless Notebook Network Card (F5D8010). With it the user gets 800% wider coverage and 600% faster speeds than 802.11g. There is improved resistance to interference from neighboring Wi-Fi® systems and other 2.4GHz devices. The products are certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance for their interoperability with existing Wi-Fi technologies.
The D-Link DWL-G730AP is a portable and convenient wireless solution for the traveling business person giving 802.11g wireless connectivity with a maximum wireless signal rate of up to 54Mbps. It supports multiple operation modes including: Access Point (AP) mode to create a wireless connection where a single Ethernet port is provided; Router mode to share an Internet connection; and Wireless Client mode to connect an existing wireless network. Easily switch between these modes by using the 3-way configuration switch. For added mobility it can be powered over USB if power outlets are not available. In addition it supports VPN Pass-through and firewall features to protect your wireless network from malicious attacks.
Their D-Link Xtreme G wireless router just got faster, while maintaining adherence to the IEEE 802.11g standard. With a maximum wireless signal rate of up to 108Mbps, it employs five cutting-edge hardware-based compression technologies to achieve a significant boost in performance within the 2.4GHz frequency range. It includes management settings and policy-based content filtering for advanced network management. Filters can be set based on MAC address, IP address, URL and/or Domain Name.
Using the DWL-G810 Wireless Bridge you can convert your Ethernet-enabled device into an 802.11g wireless device, with a wireless signal rate of up to 108Mbps. For advanced configuration, there is a web-based admin utility for easy management.
Hawking Technology www.hawkingtech.com
Wanting to provide an easy-to-use, cost-effective means of sharing two broadband Internet connections with your LAN (Local Area Network) they came up with the H2WR54G: Hi-Speed 54G Wireless Dual WAN Router. It is a 4-Port Firewall Router with two WAN ports. The dual WAN ports also provide: an easy way to utilize two different types of broadband Internet connections on the same network (i.e., DSL, Cable, etc.), a method for selectively managing traffic between Internet connections (i.e., by port or IP address), and a back-up method that activates the second WAN if the first WAN should get disconnected. It also includes a set of powerful features, including hardware-based firewall protection, VPN passthrough, virtual server, DMZ and other functions, and combines wired and wireless networking to give you the freedom to connect however and wherever you want. The HWR54G Wireless-G Access Point is for sharing a single broadband Internet service.
Use their HWL1: WiFi Locator (Wireless B/G) to detect WiFi networks with the push of a button. Mobile users no longer have to power up their laptops to locate wireless network signals or "Hot Spots." Instead use the HWL1 to detect whether a WiFi signal is present and its the signal strength from your location.
With the Wireless-G Broadband Gateway - GWA501, you can surf the Internet, share files, chat with your friends, and print, wirelessly. The setup wizard will have you up-and-running in minutes, and the firewall and wireless security packages keep you safe on the Internet. It is 802.11g compliant. Cost is $130.
Their Wireless-G Broadband Router - GWA502, with exclusive Super-Fi technology employs an internal patch antenna. It can be finely-tuned for exceptional horizontal or vertical signals up to twice the range of traditional Wi-Fi Access Points. Super-Fi, with its ability to specially focus its signal, enhances security by keeping out unwanted access by neighbors. Comes with firewall and wireless security packages, 10/100 Base T Ethernet switch allowing you to network up to four additional computers. It has a 3-year limited warranty. Cost is $70
Linksys launched their next generation of Wireless-G (802.11g) routers and adapters with the introduction of Wireless-G with SRX. Speed and Range eXpansion, is based on MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) technology, a key component in the upcoming Wireless-N (802.11n) standard. MIMO uses multiple radios (2) and antennas (3) on a wireless router or client adapter for improved performance in range and speed. The Linksys SRX G Router (WRT54GX, $199) and Wireless-G PC Card with SRX (WPC54GX, $149) use this technology to provide users with faster networking speeds and a further reach of their wireless networking signal. With SRX there is a improvement up to 3 times the wireless network range when using all Linksys SRX access points and client adapters compared to when using standard Wireless-G devices. More range and coverage is obtained because the multiple antennas transmit and receive multiple data streams using the same frequency at the same time. Mixed wireless environments such as networks running SRX, Wireless-B and Wireless-G products run each client at its own maximum data rate. Users can encode all wireless transmissions with WPA. It has a powerful Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall to protect all the wired and wireless PCs against intruders and most known Internet attacks while also supporting VPN pass through.
Model WGU624 is a Double 108 Mbps wireless firewall router. It uses Super A+G technology to provide two parallel 108 Mbps networks at the same time. The first network - the 802.11g network is based on the most commonly used standard and is fully backward compatible with 802.11b devices. The second network - the 802.11a "Fast Lane" delivers speed and quality for demanding applications. It has been tested and validated to work with Microsoft Media Center Extenders and Xbox game consoles. It is the first product to include Extended Range (XR) Technology. XR provides three times the range of standard 802.11g. When used with the Double 108 Mbps Wireless PC Card (WG511U), users have a range of over 400 feet. It uses 5 GHz frequency range to avoid conflict. And for online gamers, a dedicated hardware DMZ port is provided for secure gaming.
With the WGT634U 108 Mbps Wireless Storage Router you can have convenient access to your media and other files wherever you go. Just attach a USB hard disk drive or memory stick to your router and store all your files from any computer on your home network. From then on, you can remotely access your MP3s, photos and other stored files on the USB disk or memory stick from any wireless LAN notebook or desktop PC. Wherever you are, you can share files with your friends and family members by using the familiar Windows click commands, "File>Open" and "File>Save As" or by using the "drag -and - drop" icon method. Wherever you are, you can easily retrieve or save files to your router - attached disk drive by simply clicking on a remote file access icon on your PC desktop screen. It protects your information with more than ten security and privacy features, including a double firewall. Easy to set up, Smart Wizard install assistant gets you connected in fewer than five clicks.
The SIGNALMAX MAX WR1500 is a 4-Port Wireless DSL/Cable Router ($100) with 802.11b/g compatibility. It protects your privacy with a secured firewall, and delivers data rates up to 11 Mbps (CCK). Operating range indoor is up to 1,200 feet while outdoor up to 5,400 feet (open-field line of sight performance.) The distance is guaranteed when used with the WLAN1500 Wireless PC LAN Card ($80). The card connects a notebook computer to any 802.11b/g compliant wireless network. Frequency range is 2.4 Ghz - 2.462 Ghz. They also have a USB adaptor, USB1500 for $80.
A wireless 4-port router the ZyAIR G-2000 delivers a highly secure, reliable, and easy-to-use wireless LAN solution for SOHO and advanced users. Wireless Access Point, 10/100 Mbps, Network Address Translation (NAT) and true Firewall features ensure maximum network security and efficiency. Security with SPI, DoS and Email alert to protect your Internet resources from intruders. 802.11g Compliant it can reach speeds up to 54Mpbs with 2 variable antennas. The easy-to-use installation guide and intuitive web-based configuration tool allow users to launch a network in minutes. They include content filtering to block potential harmful web content by URL blocking.
The G-405 Wireless Ethernet Adapter is IEEE 802.11g standard compliant and delivers wireless 54Mbps transmission speed. There is no need to install drivers, it quickly enables any Ethernet-ready device with wireless connectivity, including network printers, print servers, and more. In addition to basic 64/128-bit WEP encryption, it also supports enhanced wireless security mechanisms such as 802.1x authentication, and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). If you need the same features but with USB connection get the G-200.
Wireless Security return to top
Here are two companies which showed easy to setup security for wireless networks. Surveys show the majority of people do not setup security for their wireless network.
The LucidLink™ Wireless Security program from Interlink Networks is an easy to use Wi-Fi security software for businesses with three to 250 wireless users. The software intelligently configures the correct setup options for the leading 802.1X-compatible access points and wireless cards without the need for manual intervention; enrolls both permanent and guest users with two clicks; and automatically recognizes, connects and secures authorized users every time they boot up their PCs without extra steps like password entry. It supports wireless users working on either Windows 2000 or Windows XP PCs. It costs $449 for a 10-user license and scales to 250 users. The product is also available in a LucidLink Home Office Edition priced at $99 for three users.
Wi-Fi Defense™ ($30) provides strong home wi-fi security via its simple one-click interface to lock-down the network against outsiders, bolstered by a constant scan for intrusion detection. This is a "universal interface" that works across popular brands and models of home wireless equipment and is regularly updated to maintain currency. The technology detects all devices on the network, provides identifying information to assist the owner in designating each as Friend or Foe, and seamlessly locks-down the network to allow only approved devices. Adding a new device or allowing a visitor to join the network is also an easy task, and the application ensures that you maintain a locked-down network.
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Winners is a member of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG) is an international, platform-independent, nonprofit corporation (incorporated in Washington, DC) devoted to helping user groups throughout the world. Almost 400 user groups are members of APCUG. http://www.apcug.net/