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RealTime IT News

Wireless Cable Modem On the Way

The general setup for the average home or small business network goes like this: Take your cable or DSL modem, plug it into a router, and use it to share the high-speed Internet connection with all the networked PCs. Toshiba America Information Systems, Network Products Division (NPD) of Irvine, CA, has announced a new cable modem that might let you skip that router step.

Toshbia NPD's PCX5000 DOCSIS Wireless Cable Modem Gateway is not only a CableLabs' Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) certified cable modem, it also has Wi-Fi certification from the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA). That means it's automatically a gateway to the Internet for all 802.11b-capable PCs in range -- no extra router needed. A built in 4-port switch hooks up to any Ethernet-based network cards.

The PCX5000 also sports Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) compatibility with all Windows operating systems. The product will carry all three logos from Microsoft, CableLabs, and WECA.

The router/gateway functionality also includes security: the VPN-1/FireWall-1 solution from Check Point Software Technologies, and Safe@, a software program by Check Point owned SofaWare.

Most cable modem users don't get a choice of what they get for that initial connection, but the Toshiba PCX5000 will be available at retail in late October. Likewise, it will be available direct from multiple system operators who want to offer instant home networking to their customers.

Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.