According to Jon James, Virgin Media's director of broadband, his company plans to release a modem and router capable of handling speeds of up to 400Mbps by year's end, putting the ISP in position to deliver 100Mbps service in the near-term.
"We want to be ready for the evolution of network speeds in the coming years as we roll out ever-improving services," James said.
Virgin Media already has about 70,000 subscribers on its 50Mbps service, the fastest tier currently offered by the ISP. It wasn't that long ago, however, that Virgin Media promised 100Mbps service before the end of 2010, and the company has already trialled 200Mbps service.
At 100Mbps, Virgin Media says Internet users would be able to download a music album in just 5 seconds, an hour-long show in 21 seconds, and an HD movie in a little under 7.5 minutes.
As we mentioned earlier, the Linksys E3000 is actually a rebadged WRT610N. We’re taking a second look at it now because it remains Cisco’s best consumer router; as such, we owe it to our readers to compare it to the best of what the rest of the industry has to offer.
We updated the router with the latest firmware for this review and downloaded fresh drivers for the Linksys AE1000 dual-band USB client adapter, so we were quite surprised to see the router perform more poorly than it did when we tested it several months ago. Cisco Connect remains the easiest tool we’ve ever used to establish a connection to a router, but Cisco’s “fix” for a problem we described in our initial review has rendered the router a whole lot less appealing.
There are three external antennas broadcasting on the 2.4GHz spectrum, each one with three spatial streams to produce a record 450Mbps theoretical wireless throughput, TRENDnet says. You'll also find Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antennae technology to improve signal strength and boost wireless coverage.
"TRENDnet's ability to launch this ground breaking 450Mbps product ahead of other brands says a lot about our recent growth," stated Pei Huang, President and CEO of TRENDnet. "We are ecstatic to set a new performance threshold in the consumer wireless revolution."
Geeks like us invariably get sucked into providing tech support for less tech-savvy friends and family. You know the drill: “Hey, Mike. I just bought this new [insert tech product], but [insert problem]. Can you help me?” Fortunately, there’s a burgeoning class of tech products designed not for us geeks, but for geeks like us to recommend to friends and family. Cisco's’ new line of Valet Wireless Hotspots fits neatly in that category.
It wasn’t much of a contest: Netgear’s WNDR3700 V1 retained its crown as our Best of the Best router with spectacular TCP through-put, a strong feature set, and an even stronger price/performance ratio. It’s the second-most expensive router we tested, but it’s worth every penny.
The WNDR3700’s 2.4GHz radio delivered the best performance at every client location except one (where it placed second), and its 5GHz radio finished first in six of our seven locations. D-Link’s DIR-855 firmware is more customizable, but Netgear’s router offers several important features D-Link can’t match, including a DLNA-compliant media server, the ability to configure either radio as a wireless bridge/repeater, and NAS functionality that doesn’t require a client-side utility.
Digi International, maker of commercial grade networking equipment, announced the Digi TransPort WR44 router this week. According to Digi, this is the industry's first enterprise class cellular router with Qualcomm Gobi technology built in.
"The Digi TransPort WR44 with Gobi provides anywhere global connectivity for the enterprise and greater flexibility for device deployment," said Larry Kraft, senior vice president of global sales and marketing, Digi International. "This makes it easier and more efficient for organizations to connect to their remote assets throughout the world."
The router comes with an integrated Wi-Fi access point, an Ethernet switch, a 50-channel GPS engine, and support for a host of signals, including TXD, RXD, RTS, CTS, DTR, DSR, DCD, and RI.
Since the iPad's release over the weekend, some users have started complaining that the integrated Wi-Fi is busted. Reported problems run the gamut from not being able to connect to their network after bringing the iPad out of sleep mode, to not being able to get a signal unless standing right next to the router. And of course there are the usual complaints of dropped signals that seem to accompany nearly every Wi-Fi enabled device.
According to Apple, there are a couple of things you can try if you're experiencing wonky Wi-Fi support. The problem, says Apple, is that under certain conditions, the iPad may have trouble rejoining a known network after restart or waking from sleep. These specific conditions include using the same network name for each network and/or using different security settings for each network.
If this applies to you, Apple suggests creating separate Wi-Fi network names to identify each band, which you can do by appending characters to the current network name. Failing that, be sure that both networks use the same security type (WEP, WPA, WPA2, etc). Failing both of those, Apple says to try resetting your network settings using Settings > Genera l> Reset > Reset Network Settings.
And if all that fails? Wait for HP's Slate (our advice, not Apple's).
Keeping the Linksys name alive, parent company Cisco on Wednesday unveiled a new line of wireless routers, the Linksys E-Series. The sleek looking lineup is part of Cisco's effort to streamline its Linksys routers, as well as showcase the company's new Cisco Connect software.
"Linksys pioneered the first home router 10 years ago, and 50 million units later is the world's leading provider of home wireless routers," said Jonathan Kaplan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Consumer Products. "The new E-Series caters to Linksys' core technology-minded consumer base, with a simplified product lineup that is ideal for today's sophisticated home network user."
There are five new routers in all, including the E1000 Wireless-N, E2000 Advanced Wireless-N, E2100L Advanced Wireless-N with Linux, E3000 High-Performance Wireless-N (dual-band), and AE1000 High-Performance Wireless-N USB Adapter. Each one comes with Cisco's Connect Software designed to simplify the process of setting up and configuring settings, such as auto-assigning the WPA security passkey and SSID.
Pricing has been set to $70 (AE1000), $80 (E1000), $120 (E2000 and E2100L), and $180 (E3000).
Belkin, apparently inspired by the "explosion of multimedia content," is adding app support to its new wireless routers, the company announced on Wednesday.
"In a recent IDC survey, 72 percent of respondents own a digital still camera and use it at least once a month in the home," Belkin said. "As such, we can expect that more people will want to share their photos and videos in more places."
Belkin's detective work didn't stop there, and the company cited a Forrester study in which the digital music market has grown to $3 billion in the U.S. in 2008. Looking to capitalize on all this, Belkin's "Surf, Share, Play, and Play Max Wireless Routers" will offer a variety of apps, including Music Mover, which lets users play their entire music library on smart devices.
But it's not all about fun play. The Print Genie app allows uses to wirelessly print from any computer on the network, while the Memory Safe app performs automatic backups of photos and files to an external drive (sold separately, of course). Other apps include:
Self Healing: Automatically detect and resolve network problems
Music Labeler: Automatically identifies and labels tracks with correct title, artist, and genre
Daily DJ: Provides personalized playlists from your music library based on your mood
Torrent Genie: Downloads large media files whether your PC is on or off
Bit Boost: Prioritizes traffic on your network for video, gaming, and VoIP
Not all apps are available on all routers. Look for the new line to be made available in April starting at $50.
Oh, Cisco. What a tease you are! The company's been pumping up the general Internet crowd for a game-changing announcement, one that would--and I quote--"forever change the Internet." I was honestly hoping that said unveiled device would be like, a super-crazy consumer router that would... well. I'm not really sure what it would do. Gigabit speeds are more than sufficient for anyone's home networking needs right now (when I'm looking for this column on a terabit connection in five years, I'll have a hearty laugh.) And it's not like we have a new wireless draft on the way any time soon.
It would have been nice and revolutionary for Cisco to embrace--you guessed it--a more open-source platform for its hardware devices. One, it's what I write about and, two, we're kind of in a hardware lull, don't you think? When it comes to consumer routing and switching devices, there's only so much one can do. Aside from adding on new antennas, shifting antennas around in new ways, or adding more ports to the back of a device, what's really propelling router technology forward nowadays?