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NETGEAR Launches Wireless Router Entry

NETGEAR rolled out its wireless router to the public Tuesday, promising network administrators wireless 1 Mbps Ethernet capabilities out to 500 feet inside the home or office for up to 253 users.

The MR314 is the equipment manufacturer's first router, and the latest in a growing production line across its entire product line, incorporating the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer's (IEEE) 802.11b wireless Ethernet standard.

The company is touting its Auto Uplink technology, which eliminates the need for crossover cables by automatically adjusting any port to be an uplink to another switch, hub or router.

With the wireless router, a network of home or small business users can connect to one digital subscriber line (DSL) or cable high-speed Internet connection. The wireless Ethernet is transported on the license-free 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS).

At $369, the MR314 is priced slightly higher than D-Link's DI-713 ($300) and 3Com's home wireless router ($325). But according to NETGEAR officials, the trade off is in equipment quality.

Patrick Lo, NETGEAR president and chief executive officer, said his company had delayed release of the new router to make sure it passed a gamut of performance tests.

"User dissatisfaction, high failure rates and the inadequate performance of competing wireless routers show that it is imperative to test products extensively before they are introduced to the market," Lo said. "NETGEAR's mission is to provide the most innovative, reliable and easy-to-install networking products for homes and small businesses."

The wireless router includes extensive administrator functions to control the content downloaded from the Internet and protect individual users from hacker intrusions, using a 128-bit wired equivalent privacy (WEP) and configurable firewall that also uses network address translation (NAT) routing to hide individual IP addresses.

The router also lets administrators log the Web browsing activities of all users and ban email from undesirable email addresses, cutting down on the amount of spam that makes its way into user email boxes.

The MR314 also includes a four-port 10/100 Mbps switch for computes or Internet access devices that need Ethernet wiring.



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