THE REMARK ABOVE is more than a left-handed compliment. D-Link’s DIR-645 isn’t nearly as feature-packed as our current favorite wireless router, Netgear’s WNDR-4500, but the DIR-645 is nearly as fast on the 2.4GHz frequency band, and it costs almost half as much as Netgear’s decidedly kick-ass router.
If you’ve divided your router requirements into needs and wants, and you’ve determined that a single-band router is all you need, D-Link’s DIR-645 is a good choice. If attaching USB storage to that router is also firmly ensconced in your needs column, on the other hand, you should stay clear of this device. While it's outfitted with one USB 2.0 port that is capable of hosting either storage or a multi-function printer, you must install D-Link’s SharePort utility on every computer on your network that needs to use it. And only one of those computers will be allowed to connect to an attached device at any one time.
To answer Rodney King's question, yes, we can all get along, even U.S. cable companies, a handful of which formed a super alliance of sorts to give subscribers access to tens of thousands of hotspots. Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable are the five stateside cable companies working together to expand what's known as 'CableWiFi' into more areas other than New York City and central Florida, where the hotspot service has already launched.
The funny thing about surveys is you always end up wondering who exactly participated, particularly when the responses are quirky. Perhaps some of you will think exactly that upon learning that a new study of nearly 900 Americans supposedly reveals just how dependent we've become as a nation on Wi-Fi connectivity. How dependent? Well, three out of every 10 survey takers said they simply can't go even just a full hour without a Wi-Fi connection. Exactly what would happen to them at the 61-minute mark is a mystery -- spontaneous combustion, perhaps? -- but what's interesting is just how important Wi-Fi has become in people's daily lives.
Gogo, the guru of in-flight wireless Internet service, announced on Monday that it has hammered out an agreement to acquire the Airfone business unit from LiveTV, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JetBlue Airways Corporation. The main attraction for Gogo is the 1MHz spectrum license that will change hands as a result of the transaction, as it's currently held by LiveTV. So, what are Gogo's plans for the 1MHz spectrum?
What's even cooler than a kick-ass high-speed wireless network? A kick-ass high-speed wireless network powered by frickin' lasers. It may just lay in our future: researchers from the National Taipei University of Technology managed to create a rudimentary, working 1Gbps network that bypasses radio frequencies entirely, using basic AAA battery-powered red and green laser pointerss and about $600 worth of components. That's waaaaay faster than the 802.11n Wi-Fi routers found in homes today.
802.11n spent years tied up in draft status with the IEEE, and as a result it feels like it’s been around forever. By comparison it feels like 802.11ac, the standard being released to replace it, is moving at an amazing pace. In fact, Netgear is preparing to claim bragging rights on being the first 802.11ac compatible commercial router available for sale. Announced on Thursday, the R6300 will start shipping in May, and is capable of speeds up to 1.3Gbps on the 5 GHz band, assuming of course you have a compatible 802.11ac device on the receiving end.
After years of hemming, hawing and waiting for televisions to make the jump to digital, the very first "Super Wi-Fi" network went live in Wilmington, North Carolina yesterday. Now, Super Wi-Fi is a bit of a misnomer: the technology isn't really Wi-Fi at all -- it utilizes unused "white space" spectrum in the analog T.V. bands, instead -- and it's waaaaay slower than normal Wi-Fi to boot, with speeds up to 22 Mbps. So why is Super Wi-Fi's launch such a big deal?
AT&T is finally putting all that T-Mobile unpleasantness behind it with a new filing at the FCC. AT&T and T-Mobile have filed for approval to transfer about $1 billion in AWS spectrum holdings to T-Mobile as penance for failing to ram the $39 billion acquisition through. AT&T has already paid $3 billion in cash to T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom AG.
James Bond is a badass because he's always prepared for whatever situation arises. The guy's had gadgets for everything, from exploding keychains to to a stun-gun cigarette, along with just about anything you can imagine. That is, unless you imagine USB cufflinks that double as a Wi-Fi hotspot dongle in a pinch. Unlike most of James Bonds' gadgets, Wi-Fi cufflinks actually exist.
Now that we've all been spoiled by the 802.11n WLAN standard, a standard that underwent significant growing pains to get to this point (remember all those Draft-n devices?), it's time to start looking ahead to 802.11ac. How far ahead has yet to be determined, but if you ask Broadcom, the company will tell you it could become mainstream by the second quarter of 2013.