Google catches a lot of flak over privacy issues for its various services, but at the same time, the company knows how to create some goodwill for itself, too. Apparently in a giving mood as of late, Google is footing the $600,000 bill to bring free Wi-Fi hotspots to at least 31 city parks, plazas, and open spaces across San Francisco. The installation of free Wi-Fi service will kick off in December 2013 and is expected to be complete by Spring 2014.
Canon on Tuesday added a couple of new members to its Pixma printer family, namely the MG3520 Wireless Photo and the MG2420 All-in-One (AIO). Both are billed as being "easy-to-use models" and targeted at users in need of "superb quality and functionality at an affordable price." While we can't speak of the quality without having any samples on hand to play with, we do like that they're both priced less than a C-note.
If the Guinness brewmasters caught wind of SanDisk's new Connect line of wireless flash memory storage devices, including the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive and SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive, they'd say, "Brilliant!" Since they're not here, we'll say it for them, because it's the first word that comes to mind when spying the next generation of portable storage.
Now might not be the best time to upgrade your home networking equipment to 802.11ac since a final standard has yet to be ratified, but if you're gung-ho to make the leap anyway, there are plenty of companies that will oblige. Count Netgear among them. Not only is Netgear offering an upgrade path to 802.11ac, it's new R6100 dual-band router is $100, a relatively cheap price tag considering it's a next-generation router.
Mega sports site is working on a homerun deal with wireless carriers.
ESPN, the cable sports network that's mostly owned by Walt Disney Co., is reportedly knee-deep in discussions with at least one major wireless carrier in the U.S. to subsidize wireless connectivity for its users, meaning that its content wouldn't count towards a user's data cap. Sports fans would then be free to view as many videos on ESPN as they want without worrying about how much data they're chewing through.
Honoring 20 years of the World Wide Web by looking forward at the future of broadband Internet
Broadband has evolved considerably over the last decade or so in the United States. Whereas just a few years ago, large parts of the country were relegated to pokey 56K dial-up connections over standard phone lines, now multi-megabit broadband connections are commonplace and speed increases are being introduced regularly. In fact, in some test markets, broadband at gigabit speeds is on the way. And yes, that’s gigabits with a “G,” as in roughly 17,800x more bandwidth than 56K dial-up.
Note: This article originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of the magazine.
If Jerry Seinfield worked at Maximum PC reviewing overpriced gadgets, we’re pretty sure he’d be saying: “And what’s the deal with getting charged so much for so little RAM? You know, the 16GB version of the HTC Galaxy 5s costs $199 but the 32GB costs $299? And, what? No expansion slot for additional RAM?”
Note: This review originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
Netgear's latest router is for those who value 802.11ac over 802.11n performance.
The new R6520 Smart Wi-Fi router from Netgear is the company's newest product to support the 802.11ac wireless standard, and it's designed specifically for people who care more about the draft specification than with having the fastest 802.11n Wi-Fi performance in the 2.4GHz band. It's armed with a dual-core 800MHz engine to enable combined Wi-Fi connections at speeds up to 1600Mbps.
In case you’re wondering why we’re reviewing an 802.11n router when the first 802.11ac routers have already reached the market, we have several reasons. First and foremost, the latter didn’t make it to the Lab in time for our print deadline. Secondly, the IEEE isn’t expected to formally ratify the 802.11ac standard until early 2013. The 802.11ac routers on the market today are based on Draft 2.0 of the standard, so there’s a remote chance they could be rendered obsolete when the standard is finalized.
Yes, there are 802.11ac routers on the market, but they’re based on Draft 2.0 of the standard, and the Wi-Fi Alliance did not have a certification program in place at press time.
Is there anything more frustrating than dealing with a wireless dead zone in your home or office building? Sure there are, but no matter how it compares to other unfortunate events, dealing with weak Wi-Fi signals can be a maddening affair. Amped Wireless set about solving this problem with its new AP20000G dual-band Wi-Fi access point. According to Amped Wireless, this high power device will extend the range of your Wi-Fi coverage by up to 7,500 square feet.