RealTime IT News

New Wi-Fi Products in Vegas

Tradeshows mean sore feet, red-eye flights -- and lots of new products. Here are some of the latest 802.11 products announced at Networld+Interop in Las Vegas.

Netgear's Pro-Safe Dual-Band Wireless VPN Firewall (model FWAG114) is for small to medium businesses. It supports 802.11a and g in one router that incorporates two virtual private network (VPN) tunnels --not just for pass through, it can initiate and terminate tunnels to or from two different locations, using IPSec. Using the 802.11 functions, wireless clients can connect to the unit and be automatically connected to the other end of the VPN tunnel. The FWAG114 will go for $459 through Netgear's VARs and catalog sales and some higher-end retailers.

The company also announced a new ProSafe Wireless Access Point (model ME103, $249 MSRP), a business-class model with 802.11b/g built in and bridging capabilities. It's capable of coupling with Netgear's new antennas (which use standard reverse SMA connector), the $70 ANT24O5 5dBi Omni-Directional Antenna for point-to-multipoint connections or the $400 directional ANT24D18 18dBi Patch Panel Antenna with a range of up to 10 miles from point-to-point. They've got some antenna add-ons, such as a 500mW booster for $300 that allows the antenna to be located away from an access point without getting signal attenuation on the line itself, and a $75 DC Power Injector, so the antenna can go where outlets aren't (but it only works with Netgear antennas).

ZyXEL Communications is showing the ZyAIR B-3000 Bridge/Repeater, a combination of 802.11b access point, bridge and repeater. The company says it can create a wireless "mesh network" when bridging using wireless distribution system (WDS) connections with up to six units. The repeater function keeps the signal strength from going down. Multiple ESSID and VLAN support allow setups for different groups of users on a single unit. The unit will support 802.1X authentication and WPA/TKIP encryption. No price was announced, but the unit should ship this quarter.

As part of being one of the first companies to support WPA in a shipping product, Buffalo Technology has released an 802.11g Wireless Notebook Adapter (model WLI-CB-G54A) for $119 MSRP. In addition to the PC Card, which has an antenna interface, Buffalo also announce two other new AirStation 54Mbps products: a $139 PCI Card with Omni Antenna -- the 360-degree antenna has a four-foot cable so it can be placed somewhere other than the back of the desktop computer -- and a Standard Bridge Base Station for $189 with point-to-point or point-to-multipoint repeater/bridge using Wireless Distribution System (WDS). Most of the functions of this bridge are also found in the WBR-G54 router/access point, which only costs a few dollars more at $199 MSRP.

Symbol Technologies is building on what was one of the first WLAN switch products announced, by releasing an 802.11a/g version of its zero configuration Access Port, the "thin" access point used with its Mobius Axon Wireless Switch. It comes with 802.11a and 802.11b/g can be added. The unit runs on Power over Ethernet (PoE) and has Ethernet ports for daisy chaining more Access Ports. The product will be $249, the same as the original 11b-only Access Ports, and should be available this summer.