At CES 2007 in Las Vegas today, the Wi-Fi Alliance said it has certified the first products supporting Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). This is an optional technology meant to make it easier for home and small office network operators – those without an IT staff — to deploy secure wireless LANs.
Buffalo Technology is also on the list of WPS certified products, with its AirStation Wireless-A&G High Power Access Point (model WHR-HP-AMPGV) and AirStation Wireless-A&G High Power Notebook Adapter. Buffalo was the earliest proponent of PBC security setup for Wi-Fi with its AirStation One-Touch Secure System (AOSS) tech, way back in 2004. This tech will continue to appear in Buffalo products, including new hardware introduced at CES such as the LinkTheater Wireless-A&G Media Player. Buffalo plans to implement both AOSS and WPS together. A button on a Buffalo product would activate both, enabling PBS connections to both legacy AOSS clients and new WPS clients.
The Wi-Fi Alliance later this year will start testing of the 802.11n specification as it reaches the Draft 2.0 stage with the IEEE. This is a first for the Alliance, which in the past has waited until specs were fully ratified by the IEEE’s 802.11 Working Group. However, the number of products coming out with Draft-N support forced their hand — otherwise, consumers would be left to fend for themselves, as they have with Draft 1.0 products. That testing will coincide with the WPS testing, bringing the easy security to the higher-performing products.
“We are encouraged by the response to WPS,” says Hanley, who adds that the labs are ready for testing. She expects that plenty of new products with WPS — even some supporting the NFC and USB setup — will ship within the next six months.