Product Combines WLAN and ADSL Modem
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Actiontec Electronics, Inc. today introduced its Wireless Ready DSL-Gateway, incorporating 802.11b networking and broadband internet access.
Actiontec's Wireless Ready DSL-Gateway combines the features of an ADSL modem with a home networking solution in one unit. The Wireless Ready DSL-Gateway provides DSL access at speeds up to 8 Mbps. It also allows users to share Internet connection, files, printers, and multiplayer games across the 10/100 Mbps wired network as well as an 802.11b WLAN.
The Wireless Ready DSL-Gateway includes a basic firewall for security and is expandable via two PC Card slots. It is configurable via Web browser interface.
Actiontec stated that the unit enables any PC equipped with a wireless network adapter to share the Internet connection from any inside location up to 330 feet from the gateway and up to 990 feet from any outside location. It's built in Ethernet LAN port and wireless capability supports up to 35 devices connected to the network including PCs, printers, scanners, etc.
Actiontec stated that to install the unit, users plug the gateway into a power outlet and install the Actiontec 802.11b-compatible PCMCIA Wireless Network Card in the first of two PCMCIA slots. The gateway becomes an Access Point (AP) and modem in one unit.
The second slot in the unit, according to Actiontec, is designed to add features to the network that the company will release including a print server card, and a Voice over IP card.
Installation uses a Web-based wizard which the company states asks for little more than a user name and password. Advanced configuration is an option. The unit supports the DHCP, eliminating the need for unique address assignments to devices on the network. Anti-hacking protection is provided via Network Address Translation (NAT). The unit also supports VPN and has other security features enabling site specific and service specific blocking.
Actiontec stated that the price of the unit is quantity dependent. The Wireless Ready DSL-Gateway is compatible with Win 98/98SE/ME/2000/NT4 and Win XP. Actiontec intends to sell the unit through national ISPs and phone companies in the U.S. The company stated that it will offer a second version of the product that includes a 4 Port Ethernet Router but did not comment on availability at this point.
Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com