Trying to stream HD video into your living room or man cave can test the boundaries of your wireless home network and introduce unwanted lag or ugly jitter. That's a bummer, but if you're having trouble connecting multiple media center devices to your high-speed network, TRENDnet's new TEW-680MB media bridge might be the no-fuss solution you're looking for.
While connecting to a wireless network can be as simple as a few button presses or taps, there is a lot that goes into making the bits magically travel through the ether. We’re going to take a look at some of the building blocks that go into making your wireless network stable and fast, with an eye toward security and standards. We’ll also look at some of the devices that can improve your wireless network, and ways you can use your Wi-Fi capability while away from home.
Think Apple’s patent war against Samsung is ballsy and ridiculous? You’re right – it is. But there’s an even worse patent troll sculking around, and it’s much more sinister; while Apple and Microsoft are busy targeting other megacorporations, the Deleware-based Innovatio IP Ventures, LLC, is busy suing any mom-and-pop restaurant or hotel franchisee that offers Wi-Fi to its customers.
A leaked user guide has outed Comcast’s upcoming AnyPlay service, which will let customers stream live TV to assorted mobile devices. On initial offering will be iPad support, but other tablets are expected to be added as well. The service will rely on in-home Wi-Fi, and users will have to get a special Motorola cable box from the cable provider.
The problem with predicting the future is that there’s so much of it. You can predict some pieces of it because some trends are obvious, but you can’t predict how all the pieces are going to fit together, and even more difficult, you cannot predict what human beings will do with all those different pieces once they have put them together.
The smartphone is a great example. Robert A. Heinlein predicted cell phones in The Star Beast, first published in 1954. Other writers predicted tablets as well. But nobody predicted Twitter or sexting. Those were surprises.
We’re on the threshold of another leap forward in the punctuated evolution of computing technology and the first pieces are starting to appear. I think it’s inevitable that some of these pieces are going to mate, mutate, and evolve into something new.
Zotac's quickly building a reputation as the witch doctor of computers. The company isn't shrinking heads, it's shrinking PCs. Zotac's latest creation is the A75-ITX WiFi platform, a mini-PC built around AMD's A75 chipset with support for socket FM1 accelerated processing units (APUs) and utilizing the mini-ITX form factor. Despite it's small size, the A75-ITX WiFi comes wielding a very big spec sheet.
We took a look at the Ooma Telo recently, and found that this almost free VoIP service was a great solution for penny pinchers. Ooma’s Telo bay station connects to your home network and offers nearly unlimited calls, and all you have to pay is a few bucks in taxes. Today, Ooma has announced the system is getting a refresh with a new wireless adapter and free Bluetooth capability.
It's been more than a year since we anointed Netgear's Rangemax WNDR3700 (N600) as our "Best of the Best" pick for wireless routers, and to this day, its overall performance has been unmatched. Even Netgear's own WNDR4000 (aka the N750, because it supports theoretical speeds of 300Mb/sec on its 2.4GHz radio and 450Mb/sec on its 5GHz radio) couldn't topple its predecessor. The WNDR4000 scored a rather pedestrian 6 verdict compared to the WNDR3700's 9/Kick-Ass. Netgear might finally have a worthy successor in the WNDR4500 (aka, the N900 because—you guessed it—the router supports theoretical speeds of 450Mb/sec on both the 2.4- and 5GHz bands).
Inexpensive wireless routers have rendered powerline adapters a niche category in home networks, and one TrendNet continues to happily serve. The company's latest offering is the 200Mbps Compact Powerline AV Adapter, model TPL-306E, which is capable of extending your Internet connection to areas your router might not reach, such as an Internet television in your mancave or a game console just out of reach on the second floor.
Toshiba just trotted out what it claims is the world's first SDHC memory card with embedded wireless LAN functionality baked in. It's called the FlashAir, it has 8GB of storage capacity, and it sounds an awful lot like the Eye-Fi line of SDHC cards, doesn't it? In some respects, the FlashAir is similar, but it's also different in one very big way.