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Waiting for Draft 2.0 updates

While the Wi-Fi Alliance's list of 802.11n Draft 2.0 certified products is growing longer, of course, there is still a catch. A product's appearance in the list doesn't necessarily mean that the products you can buy today are Draft 2.0 compliant. Nor does it mean that you can download firmware and drivers to bring them into compliance, either.

Linksys branding to be replaced by Cisco. No surprise here

The Uberpulse headline "Cisco kills Linksys brand, plans agressive move into consumer markets" is sure an attention getter, but comes as no surprise.

First, Chambers actually said: "It will all come over time into a Cisco brand"—which hardly amounts to an announcement that the Linksys brand has been, or will soon be, retired. And for those of us who deal regularly with the company and its products, it's really a statement of the obvious.

Site Navigation Improvement

You may have noticed a slight change to site navigation. I've removed the "Browse All.." side boxes and instead added a submenu to the top navigation bar.

The sub-nav bar changes when you mouse over the main topics to provide one-click access to any section from the current page. And as a side benefit, the sub-menu also provides an indication of the current section.

Just post a comment to register kudos, complaints and suggestions!

The Gotcha in Draft 11n Wi-Fi Certification

My previous post describing the D-Link DIR-655 / DWA-652's failure to switch from 40 MHz to 20 MHz channel mode when encountering a legacy WLAN, might be counter to what D-Link says is the expected behavior. But I have found that it is neither a violation of IEEE Draft 2.0 nor the Alliance's Draft 2.0 11n Certification.

Since that post, I've exchanged emails with D-Link and spoken with both Atheros and the Wi-Fi Alliance to try to find out how the D-Link products could not be performing as D-Link had described, yet receive Wi-Fi Draft 2.0 11n Certification.

Our 11n reviews resume

With the Wi-Fi Draft 11n certification process underway, I've decided its time to resume reviews of these products. This doesn't mean that I now consider the products to be "done"; far from it. But with the legitimacy of the Wi-Fi mark now being slapped on boxes, I figure someone has to see if these products are really living up to their claims.

Going back to our roots

When Tim Higgins first started Tom's Networking Guide for TG Publishing (TGP) I was not sure what would happen. But I did know that Tim was a unique voice on the Web, and we would not fail by being associated with him. Today, he launches SmallNetBuilder, and TGP is forunate to be a part of his vision. Tom's Networking always implied that it was a networking mirror of Tom's Hardware; Small Net Builder is a more accurate reflection of what the site is truly all about.

What are you using for dual-WAN routers?

Just got a call from a colleague who was looking for recommendations on dual-WAN routers to replace his faithful Nexland router that was finally starting to fail.

I haven't looked at dual-WAN routers in awhile (note to self, put these on the "to review" list) so didn't really have any helpful recommendations, other than to stay away from the Linksys RV082, which has had a troubled past.

So what are you using that you like? And what should prospective buyers avoid? Just reply to this post. You don't need to register to post. But due to those wonderful spammers out there, I will be moderating comments before they are shown. Thanks!

11n Draft 2.0 gear not working yet, but does anyone really care?

I share Glenn Fleishman's disappointment with this week's announcement by the Wi-Fi Alliance that they have only begun their certification testing. But judging from what I've seen so far, getting draft 11n gear up to spec is going to be a long, difficult process.

I spent a few days last week testing a D-Link DIR-655 router and DWA-652 Cardbus card, which are based on Atheros XSPAN silicon. These are the first products to have firmware and drivers posted that allegedly implement 11n Draft 2.0 compliance. My primary focus was to see whether the legacy protection mechanisms added in 802.11n Draft 2.0 were working in actual product.

Wireless Intruder Alert Systems

Something I'm surprised I don't get more questions about is how to tell when someone (who you don't want there) is trying to use your wireless LAN. I swear there used to be a simple application that came with early Macintoshes called "Knock Knock" that would pop up a dialog when someone attempted to connect to your Mac. I'm looking for something similar, preferably free, that runs on Windows.

Jumped the gun on Netgear 11n Draft 2.0

Come to find out that the news item we posted the other day about Netgear releasing 802.11n Draft 2.0 firmware was a bit premature.

The firmware for the WNR854T router, which is based on Marvell silicon, is the only draft 2.0 upgrade posted. The upgrade for the matching WN511T Cardbus card is still in verification. According to Netgear, it won't be released for "a couple of weeks".

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