3e Technologies International (3eTI) of Rockville, Maryland, is making its 3e-520 Series Wireless Gateway commercially available for the first time. Previous rugged, industrial versions of the product have been put into use on the Navy destroyer USS Howard and in a nuclear power plant.
3eTI calls the SOHO/enterprise version of the 3e-520 gateway is the first to have broadband sharing support not only via 802.11b wireless (with 802.1X security) but it also has support for Bluetooth and IrDA wireless (the latter for PDAs), and ports for HomePNA, and 10/1000 Ethernet. It even has a parallel port to be a print server. It is also a wireless access point for up to 254 users (3eTI recommends no more than 30 simultaneous users, however.) According to a company spokes person, the philosophy of the company is to support as many technologies as possible.
The 3e-520 has a modular design for adding new technologies (802.11a or g for example). There’s even an option for adding a hard drive so the 3e-520 can serve as network attached storage. It runs a version of the Linux OS in the box.
The unit reportedly sustains a 4.8Mbps throughput over 802.11b networks even with 128-bit WEP encryption turned on.
For security it includes an Advanced Encryption Standard support with 802.1X security, NAT firewall, port filtering, demilitarized zone (DMZ) PCs, and VPN pass-thru.
The current 3e-520 will be priced at $899 but 3eTI plans to introduce more models in this various price ranges (as low as $169) over the next few months.