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NETGEAR has weighed in on how it will handle the new FCC and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI ) rules that go into effect on June 2, 2016. The new rules require routers and software to be secured to prevent changing transmit power output or enabling unauthorized channel selection of the router on the 5 GHz band.
NETGEAR's official response is:
"NETGEAR has reviewed the recent FCC rule changes. We are aware of their potential implications on open source firmware availability for WiFi routers but believe we can continue our general practice of not prohibiting opens source releases for our WiFi routers."
NETGEAR joins TP-LINK, ASUS and...
Netflix has introduced fast.com, a simplified download speed test tool that gives home users a quick way to test their network connection.
Fast.com is a browser-based tool that immediately tells you how fast your internet connection is without the clutter of server locations or advertising other tools have. Just click to the fast.com webpage and the test runs.
Note the test shows downlink speed only, while other tools provide both up and downlink speed and latency. However, Fast.com's tool provides a handy link to speedtest.net
There’s probably more to the tool’s function that Netflix wants to say in its announcement, such as giving the streaming media company logged data that can be used to track speed rates of its regular and potential customers. But the simplified design will definitely make it easier for anyone to check how fast their downlink network connect is.
Fast.com is online and...
“Okay, Google” just got more interesting. Google introduced its entry in the home virtual agent market, Google Home, at this year’s I/O conference.
Built around AI-inspired technology, Google Home will be competing against Amazon’s Echo, creating a stir in today’s growing virtual agent business. Using far field microphones that listen and respond to verbal commands, Home’s virtual agent can run voice activated tasks such as playing music or movies, sending text messages out, and even running Google searches, all on command . Google Home will also work in tandem with Google’s upcoming Assistant smartphone app, as well as the company’s Chromecast and Nest devices.
Slated for availability in Fall ’16, pricing for Google Home is not available at this time, however potential customers can sign up for future updates about the product at Google Home’s home page.
(Ed. Note: And no, it doesn't double as an...
Updated - TP-LINK today announced its Talon AD7200 Multi-Band Wi-Fi Router is now available. The product was announced at CES 2016.
The Talon AD7200 is a 4x4 Qualcomm-based MU-MIMO enabled AC2600 class router with an integrated single-stream 802.11ad radio supporting a 4600 Mbps maximum link rate. The 4x4 2.4 and 5 GHz radios support maximum link rates of 800 Mbps and 1733 Mbps, respectively. MU-MIMO is also supported on the 5 GHz radio.
Hardware specs include a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, eight high-gain antennas, five Gigabit Ethernet ports (1 WAN, and 4 LAN) and two USB 3.0 ports supporting printer and storage sharing. TP-LINK says Smart Connect automatic band steering will be supported for the Wi-Fi radios in a future...
Belkin today announced its Wemo Switch, Wemo Insight Switch, Wemo Light Switch and Wemo Maker products are now certified to work with Nest’s Learning Thermostat.
Wemo switches can now turn on and off depending on an associated Nest Learning Thermostat's mode. For example, devices like lights can turn on when the thermostat switches to Home mode, or fans can turn off when the thermostat switches to Away mode.
The Wemo switch Works with Nest integration also adds some control of the Nest thermostat using Wemo’s app. These functions include thermostat status, temperature/humidity reading, thermostat mode control, and temperature setting.
The Works with Nest functionality is available now, enabled through the newly released Wemo app, version 1.15, downloadable from both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
I asked Linksys for its approach to handling the new FCC requirements, as a follow-up to this thread on TP-LINK's approach. Here is Linksys' official response:
"Linksys will conform to the FCC and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI ) rules that go into effect on June 2, 2016, that require our routers and software to be secured to prevent changing the power output or unauthorized channel selection of the router on the 5Ghz band. This impacts ALL our dual and tri-band routers including legacy, Max-Stream and WRT routers.
All Linksys legacy and Max-Stream routers will have the full host firmware locked down to adhere to the FCC and ETSI requirements. However, our current WRT router lineup (WRT1900ACS and WRT1200AC) does not need to be completely locked down. We have the ability to only lock down the radio portion of the...
Western Digital Technologies (WD) announced that Sandisk is now a Western Digital company with post-acquisition related activities starting immediately.
Three days after getting Chinese approval for its acquisition of SanDisk, Western Digital Corporation (WDC), announced that its WD subsidiary completed the process of making SanDisk Corporation a WDC company, stretching WD’s existing reach, even further, into the consumer and business storage markets.
For the acquisition to happen, Western Digital Corporation had to raise funds from different sources including $5.225 billion in secured notes, $8.875 billion in loans, $1 billion in revolving credit, and $3 billion in a raised bridge facility, altogether totaling $18.1 billion.
SanDisk took a huge step into Enterprise storage a couple years ago after it acquired Fusion-io, and now the SanDisk brand, its 74,000 employees, and its products will fall in line alongside WD and HGST as a WDC company.
Nest just announced that it is releasing OpenThread, an open source version of the IPv6-based Thread protocol used to connect smart home devices over low-powered wireless mesh networks.
With Nest’s release of OpenThread, and with contributions from companies like ARM and Qualcomm, the newly announced open source protocol can run on Thread-based radios that, according to Nest, will help accelerate the growth and spread of smart home technologies and products, including those that are already using Thread, like Nest Weave and ZigBee.
OpenThread is now available on GitHub, along with sample code and documentation.
Microsoft announced that a key feature in Wi-Fi Sense will not be available in its Windows 10 Insider Preview Build as of build 14332.
Microsoft said that the cost of maintaining Wi-Fi Sense and its low demand were reasons why the feature was removed from the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build.
Wi-Fi Sense has drawn concern from users as it automatically connects Outlook, Skype and Facebook contacts to your shared wireless networks. The idea behind the feature was to facilitate granting network access to guests without having to dig around and give visitors Wi-Fi passphrases, however this list of contacts is not a granular one, and only presents an all or nothing option, making the feature unmanageable for those concerned with securing access to their networks.
In its blog post, Microsoft did say that not all of...
Domotz, a provider of home intelligence and remote tech support systems today announced it has acquired Fing, the world's #1 network scanning app.
Launched in 2011, the Fing app enables users to quickly scan a network and see all connected devices, evaluate security levels, detect intruders and resolve network issues. Fing has had over 12 million app downloads and 6 million active users who perform over 600,000 network scans a day.
The Domotz Pro monitoring system launched in 2014 and has been chosen to power maintenance service contracts by thousands of AV integrators around the world.
Fing and Domotz teams will continue working on the existing Fing app as well as new monitoring systems for home and professional users. Fing and Domotz plan to introduce their first joint product for home users in the second half...
Ignition Design Labs today launched the Kickstarter campaign for its Portal Wi-Fi router that was previewed at CES 2016.
Portal is a QCA-based AC2350 / 2400 class router with working MU-MIMO. Its main claim to fame, however, is IDL's FastLanes™ technology that provides access to the 5 GHz Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) channels originally reserved for radar systems.
Most routers don't provide access to these channels because they require constant monitoring for radar signals. If radar is detected, the router must change channel immediately and can't return to it for 30 minutes.
Portal doesn't have to wait 30 minutes because it uses a combination of hardware and cloud service to constantly scan for radar activity and change channel as needed. This opens up four additional 80...
Announced today, D-Link’s new DXS-1100-10TS expands upon the company’s family of 10 GbE smart managed switches.
Targeting small- and medium-sized businesses, the D-Link DXS-1100-10TS includes eight 10 GbE copper and two 10 GbE fiber SFP+ ports, and also features auto surveillance VLAN and auto voice VLAN support, loopback detection, cable diagnostics and bandwidth control. Security-wise, the switch includes static MAC, storm control and IGMP snooping functionality.
Port-level management for the DXS-1100-10TS is provided by the switch’s web user-interface.
The 10-Port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Smart Managed Switch (DXS-1100-10TS) is available now and is list priced for $1249.99.
Updated - Ubiquiti Networks has decided the challenges of battling for market share in the enterprise Wi-Fi space aren't enough. Today, it announced the creation of its "consumer electronics innovation laboratory" Ubiquiti Labs and launched its AmpliFi Wi-Fi system.
AmpliFi combines an AC1200 AC1750 class router and two Wi-Fi extenders into a "plug-and-play" three AP system. Ubiquiti has eschewed wireless mesh and stuck with tried-and-true wireless extender technology for AmpliFi. But the company has made things a bit more interesting by creating three flavors of its wall-plugged adapters.
The Standard, LR and HD kits come in at $199. $299 and $349, respectively. But only the HD model gets you a system that completely supports 802.11ac. The other two have N300 class (2x2) 802.11abgn dual-band radios, with the LR version getting a 2 dBm transmit power tweak.
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Securifi today announced its Almond 3 Smart Home Wi-Fi router. The AC1200 class router features Gigabit Ethernet WAN (1) and switched LAN (2) ports, USB port, built-in ZigBee radio and security siren.
Securifi specs the Almond 3's coverage at 1300 sq ft and says coverage can be extended by adding more Almond 3's to create a wireless mesh-based network.
The Almond 3 also functions as a smart home automation hub. It can control ZigBee light bulbs, door and window sensors, thermostats, locks, and other smart devices using a free companion Almond app. Bluetooth and Z-Wave smart devices can also be supported via USB adapters (not included).
Securifi also announced its family of Almond routers is now compatible with Amazon’s voice command-based virtual assistant, Alexa. Customers can now give voice-commands and get results by using Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap with Almond 3, Almond + and Almond 2015 routers.
NETGEAR added three new ProSafe 10 GbE smart switches to its XS line of switching products, targeting small- and medium-sized businesses that need cost effective 10GBase-T connectivity.
In addition to the currently available ProSAFE 12-port XS712T and the 28-port XS728T Smart Managed Switch models, the new set of switches are:
- NETGEAR ProSAFE 48-Port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Smart Managed Switch (XS748T)
- 44 x copper 10GBASE-T ports
- 4 x 1 GbE/10 GbE SFP+ ports for 10G fiber links.
- NETGEAR ProSAFE 16-Port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Smart Managed Switch...
- NETGEAR ProSAFE 48-Port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Smart Managed Switch (XS748T)