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All posts tagged "wireless"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Basics Of Home Networking Explained

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home Talk" @ 10:30 PM

"As the guy who reviews networking products, I generally receive a couple of e-mails from readers a day, and most of them, in one way or another, are asking about the basics of networking (as in computer to computer, I am not talking about social networks here.)"

This primer may not be new information for readers of this site but it could be a good way to get your relatives up to speed when they ask you to go over and help them set up their internet network. This article explains in an easy to understand manner the various types of networking, components, set up, security and all things home network.

It starts with wired networking and all of the components. Next up are wireless networking, wireless networking security and finally powerline networking. Within each section are concise explains of components, setup and a quick explanation of how each item works.

If you know of anyone who has a question regarding home networking, this is a good place to start.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Speakers So Good You Need Gloves To Set Them Up

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"To say the Klipsch G-17 Air exceeded our usual expectations of an Airplay-enabled speaker would simply be an understatement -- it's clear that the folks at the company put a great deal of work into what was merely a concept on the CES floor nearly eight month's ago. The speaker itself is built like a (glossy) rock, and the sound that comes through is as solid as the foundation."

As you probably know, AirplayAirPlay allows you to play media from your iOS device-such as an iPod, iPhone or iPad-and stream it wirelessly to another device, such as a set of speakers, TVs and audio/video receivers (assuming the are properly configured, of course). AirPlay speakers are starting to proliferate, and the promise of wireless connections seems enticing. Klipsch is a well-known and respected speaker manufacturer. I have a set of their desktop speakers myself, and I can attest that they are excellent. So, I was certainly curious when I saw this review by Engadget on the new Klipsch Gallery G-17 Air soundbar.

In a somewhat tantalizing move, when you open the box to take out your new speaker you are first presented with a set of white gloves to assist in your work. According to Engadget this is no gimmick as the glossy fit and finish of these stellar speakers lends itself to a respectful handling that results in a delightful listening experience. Engadget walks us through the setup, configuration, and sound tests that shaped their evaluation. Be careful though - only proceed to the Read link if you plan to spend $600 today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Considering Wireless Speakers For Your Home Or Office?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 12:00 PM

"iHome manufactures dozens of Apple-oriented audio devices, ranging from headphones to speaker docks. The AirPlay-capable iW1 wireless speaker is by far the company's most advanced product, but its $300 price tag pits it against some tough competition, including the Sonos Play:3. Most people will stream music to the iW1 over their Wi-Fi network using Apple's AirPlay technology, or by docking an iOS device using the provided USB cable. But you can connect any audio source to the speaker using a 1/8-inch cable."

Making decisions about speakers is never an easy proposition. There are just so many options, performance levels, designs, and price points. If you are interested at all in the pro's and con's of various speaker systems, you will know that there is a lot of reading that can be done to form an opinion, and reviewing audio is somewhat subjective. If you are in the market for a wireless sound solution then the iHome iW1 speaker would be worth investigating. MaximumPC has evaluated the unit, and provided some comparison points with other systems, like the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air. The rechargeable battery in the iHome unit provides a useful and somewhat unique feature, but you'll have to hit the Read link to "hear" the whole story.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How To Run Your Wireless Network Like a Coffee Shop Does

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 02:00 PM!5791208/run...e-a-coffee-shop

"Want to open up your Wi-Fi network to easier access for visitors, block the web's nasty stuff from young eyes, and maybe regain some bandwidth, too? Go ahead and unleash your inner coffee shop owner. With free software and no extra hardware, you can manage content and bandwidth on your home network, or even manage a semi-public "hotspot," without feeling like a despot."

If you have a WiFi network - or, really, a home network at all - that others use, be they family or friends, this is worth reading if you want to help keep your sanity. From the basics of using the free OpenDNS service to apply family-friendly Web filtering to using a Hotspot system to create a system whereby WiFi access is handed out on a controlled basis. The Hotspot system in particular is slick; I'd never heard of it before this article, and it's very clever!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cisco Releases New Linksys E-Series - Very Simple Design

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 PM

"If you dig the stylish look on the Linksys E4200 802.11n router but prefer something more wallet-friendly, then Cisco's latest range of home routers and switches will likely suit your taste. Gone are the curved grooves and blinking LEDs on the top, but these routers -- ranging from $59.99 to $159.99 -- still go about their usual wireless business at up to 300Mbps, with additional simultaneous dual-band support on the pricier E2500 and E3200. Like their predecessors, you'll also find a refreshed, feature-packed Cisco Connect software suite in the box, which promises to make installation and management a whole lot easier."

No more blinking lights? Just a nice sleek simple look? I guess I could get used to that. And the price isn't too shabby either. I think they're onto something here. These actually tempt me to replace my perfectly good router at home for no good reason. Now that's marketing! Follow the link for more detailed specs.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fujitsu Unveils Completely Wireless Display

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"Fujitsu has unveiled what the company is calling the “world’s first truly wireless display,” using a combination of cable-cutting wireless data and an inductive power system. Set to go on show at CeBIT 2011 this week, and expected to spawn commercial displays “within the next year,” the Wireless 22-inch Fujitsu screens use SUPA (Smart Universal Power Access) hotspots built into desks, countertops and office panels."

While this would make setup and replacement a piece of cake, they are going to face a big chicken and egg problem. Businesses aren't going to buy these until inductive power is standard in workspaces and the lifecycle for most office furniture is measured in decades rather than years (at least at my work, my desk is older than I am).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Altec Lansing InMotion Air Wireless Bluetooth Speaker System Reviewed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

"Every year the gadget world is swamped by new buzz words, technological breakthroughs or product types that we simply must buy into. For music fans the must-have gadget is a dock and the buzz word it must now have is 'AirPlay' - Apple's wireless streaming connectivity capable of supporting lossless audio. So can we take a wireless speaker with none of this functionality seriously? Actually yes..."

Bluetooth-based speakers tend to be more on the "suck" side of the spectrum than the "awesome" side, but it seems Altec Lansing has pulled a rabbit out of their hat here and delivered a system that actually allows Bluetooth-transmitted audio to sound good. Go figure! If you've got a Bluetooth device and want to listen to music without having to connect it to a speaker dock, this looks like a good solution.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Best Ways to Share Files With a Nearby Computer

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 01:30 PM

"[W]hen you're trying to share files with someone in the same physical space as you, it hardly seems necessary to go through the slow process of uploading files to and downloading files from the internet, especially if they're rather large files. There's always the tried-and-true method of dumping your file(s) on a USB thumb drive, but if you don't have one handy (or you don't have a big enough drive), you've still got options...."

The article touches upon setting up file sharing under MAC and Windows 7, and then discusses transferring via Wifi (including using an Ad Hoc wireless connection), FireWire, and Ethernet (for which you may or may not need either a cross-over cable or adapter. The latter is pictured above, lower center). Of course, there are other alternatives available, including a USB Transfer Cable (upper left above), or via a "LapLink" transfer cable (upper center), although you might have trouble finding serial or parallel ports on many modern computers. Was amused at the thought that the "tried-and-true method" of local file transfers has become via a USB drive, whereas the "sneakernet" that many of us remember involved floppies (and 5 1/4" floppies, at that!). USB has the advantage of being nearly ubiquitous: does that make it the best choice? What is your favorite method of transferring files from one system to another (especially if away from your home or business network)?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wirelessly Stream Your PC To Your TV

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM

"If you want to watch Web-enabled video on your television, you could buy a number of gadgets that will hook up directly to your TV set. But most of these contraptions offer only a narrow hallway of content and don't allow full access to the Internet or a Web browser. Now Warpia offers a device that plugs directly into a laptop and lets you stream everything from the computer wirelessly to a television or computer monitor."

I'm not sure what to make of this streaming device from Warpia. Considering it does the same job as plugging a laptop in to the TV via a cable, I just can't see a need for it. If anything it just adds more complexity to a home setup that you could really do without. From a corporate view I can see this being used for presentations and demo's but not in the home. What do you think? Is this something you could use at home?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Get Your USB Devices Online With Iomega's iConnect

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:30 PM

"Iomega's iConnect... is designed to put your existing thumb drives, external hard drives and / or printers online. We've had less-than-awesome experiences in the past with devices that turn localized storage into network accessible storage, so we went into this overview with fairly low expectations. Much to our surprise, we came away duly impressed with the package that Iomega has assembled...."

Engadget reports favorably on the iConnect Wireless Data Station, which does indeed look like an attractive option for connecting a variety of USB devices to your network. It offers both Gigabit and Wireless connectivity to your router, and permits remote web access to connected storage devices. There are products which compete with parts of the iConnect's feature set, and while the Engadget article mentions the similarly priced (under $100), but less feature-rich Pogoplug, I think the Belkin F5L009 5-Port Network USB Hub looks like a closer competitor, or you could opt for a software solution, such as FabulaTech's "USB Over Network" application. But the iConnect seems to trump all of these with a broader feature set, 3 Year Warranty, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux compatibility, and a software package that includes Trend Micro's Internet Security, Iomega's Retrospect Express back-up utility, and the MozyHome Online Backup service. Is this a product category you have any interest in? Or do you already have some sort of device sharing solution in place?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MSI Release Small HTPC Keyboard

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:00 AM

"The upcoming MSI Air Keyboard is an HTPC keyboard/mouse combo that fits right in your hands much like a game controller. Because aside from the typical QWERTY layout, the back is ergonomic for dual-handed use, and it even includes LB and RB shoulder triggers."

This new, rebranded, wireless HTPC keyboard from MSI really appeals to me. It's not big like a full size keyboard, it's not too small like the Logitech diNovo Mini, but it's possibly just the right size for me. The wireless distance of 160 feet is nice too and while I like the idea of the moving the keyboard around to move the mouse, much like you do with a wii remote, I'm not sure how it good it will actually be. There is a video of the device on Gizmodo showing it in action and perhaps it's me, but it doesn't look as easy to use as it sounds like it should be. Does anyone have one that can give some feedback?

Thursday, December 31, 2009

WiGig Promises Really Fast Wireless

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

"Most likely you've never heard of the WiGig wireless standard created by the Wireless Gigabit Alliance. If you haven't, that's OK because today the group is announcing the WiGig version 1.0 specification, which they hope will become implemented in home networking gear as early as the first quarter of 2010. So why should you care? We've got dual-band 802.11n now, right? Well, because WiGig is 10 times faster than 802.11n, with transfer rates up to 7Gbps, and is backwards compatible with 802.11b/g/n."

Alexander Grundner at eHomeUpgrade picked up on a press release for the Wireless WiGig Alliance that promises products by...well, the press release does not actually say when WiGig products will be available, and neither does the WiGig website - only that they will operate in the 60 GHz band, at speeds of 1 Gbps to over 6 Gbps. Might sound a bit like vaporware, but with a Board of Directors that includes such leading technology companies as Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, NVIDIA and Samsung Electronics it seems reasonable to expect real world products eventually. A good question might be: "If you are planning an 802.11n implementation, will you wait for WiGig?"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Scotty, Warpia My A/V - or Perhaps Video Only?

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

"Source R&D, a premier technology provider, announced today the availability of the Warpia Wireless USB Audio/Video (A/V) Display Adapter based on Wireless USB technology from Wisair, a leading provider of single-chip based Wireless USB solutions. The A/V Set enables users to enjoy watching and sharing any PC and Internet content wirelessly on a Flat Screen TV, projector or monitor, including HD movies and streaming Internet video."

This is a computer-to-display wireless kit that uses an USB adapter / transmitter at the computer, and a receiver / adapter at your display. It seems like primarily a business presentation product, but most computers have DVD, or even Blu-ray players, so home use is also possible. Note that Warpia sells two similar products, available either direct or from select resellers: one is video only, while the other provides both audio and video. User feedback, on Amazon, is very good for the A/V version, but mixed for the video only version, albeit with only a handful of users for either. In any event, be certain to select the model that fits your needs should you decide to purchase! Would this, or a similar product, have any appeal to you for home use?

Monday, September 14, 2009

802.11n is FINALLY Official

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Software" @ 03:00 PM

"After six years, almost a dozen drafts, and two years of products available under Wi-Fi Alliance certification, IEEE approved the 802.11n wireless standard. 802.1n is also more energy efficient and can make for speedier WiFi on handheld devices without burning through as much battery power."

Got a nice chuckle out of this. I can recall teaching a class on wireless back in 2003 and having a slide that said "n" was coming soon. Given how long the pre "n" products were being sold, I expect we will be seeing pre "m" or whatever the next letter is in the series sometime soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

600 mbps Promised by 802.11n Chipset Maker

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 07:31 AM

"Nearly one year ago, a Sunnyvale company called Quantenna announced that it had secured approximately $25 million to begin its development of various "next-gen" wireless technologies. Today, the company is ready to break a big barrier. Quantenna's QHS 802.11n chipsets have a 4x4 MIMO antenna system with Transmit Beamforming, with the stated goal of being used in the streaming of high-definition multimedia content or in HD IPTV setups. The company says its chips use the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands simultaneously, along with adaptive vector mesh routing to reduce communication latency. The three chips announced today are the QHS450 (450 Mbps max link speed, 200 Mbps max throughput), QHS600 (600 Mbps/400 Mbps), and QHS1000 (1 Gbps/600 Mbps)."

I'm all for more speed, but never at the expense of reliability - and right now I don't think 802.11n is reliable, largely because compatibility is theoretical without a finalized standard. 600 mbps sounds great - even if if means real-world speeds of half that - but until that spec is finalized, whether or not you'd actually see if working is anyone's guess.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Logitech Squeezebox Duet

Posted by Suhit Gupta in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM

"The good: Network digital audio system includes excellent wireless remote with color screen and scroll wheel control; supports Wi-Fi and Ethernet home networks; compatible with virtually all non-DRM audio file formats, provides access to PC-based music files (on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines) as well as PC-free Internet radio, podcasts, and premium online music services including Rhapsody, Slacker, and Pandora; excellent online account integration; expandable to multiple rooms. The bad: Minor improvements could make the already good interface even better; scroll wheel isn't quite as responsive as the iPod's; no compatibility with DRM music files such as those purchased from iTunes or Zune online stores; setup process could frustrate those who aren't tech-savvy."

Cute setup and will give the guys at Sonos a run for their money, in fact given it costs under $400, it is significantly cheaper than the Sonos. The iPod-like remote gives you access to the music on your computer and also plugs in to Rhapsody (among other music services). The base station plugs into the music system and the rest is all easy. Very cool system.

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