Wi-Fi We Can Be Thankful For

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

November 26, 2008

Black Friday is fast-approaching--and so is the end of Q4. If you’re looking to make a Wi-Fi-related purchase for business or personal use before the year ends, let our 2008 reviews help guide you. These are the Wi-Fi services, access points, client devices, accessories, and software we are most thankful for this year.

Black Friday is fast-approaching—and so is the end of Q4. If you’re looking to make a Wi-Fi-related purchase for business or personal use before the year ends, let our 2008 reviews help guide you. These are some of the Wi-Fi services, access points, client devices, accessories, and software we are most thankful for this year:

Services

T-Mobile Unlimited Hotspot Calling  [Reviewed: November 24, 2008] If you make most of your calls from home, or from an office with an open Wi-Fi connection, T-Mobile has introduced a service that will save you lots of counted talk time per month--and for not a lot of extra money.

Access Points

Review: D-Link DIR-825 Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router  [November 25, 2008] While pricier than many routers on the shelf, the Xtreme N is a perfect choice for video-enthusiast households, although not ideal for novices or Mac users.

ZyXEL NWA-3160 [Reviewed: November 19, 2008] The ZyXEL NWA-3160 is a business-class access point that offers all the usual enterprise features, in addition to being a hybrid wireless controller and a RADIUS server.

Actiontec GT724WGR [Review: November 5, 2008] This one-box integrated DSL modem/Wi-Fi router ($89.99) offers great range and is simple to set up.

CradlePoint CTR500 Cellular-Ready Travel Router [Reviewed: October 22, 2008] This Wi-Fi router's a bit pricey, especially considering the lack of accessories, but for your money, you get a powerful and versatile device that helps you get the most out of cellular data access while on the road.

Sputnik 720 Wi-Fi Hotspot Gateway [Reviewed: August 27, 2008] This pricey, high-performance hotspot gateway is customizable and easy to deploy.

Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex 7942 Access Point [Reviewed: May 14, 2008] Ruckus Wireless delivers an impressive new 11n access point that works with the company’s ZoneDirector central controllers.

Link Technologies' PoweRouter [Reviewed: May 12, 2008] Aiming to take on the Cisco 7200 series, Link Technologies has adapted MikroTik technology to high-end deployments.

Client Devices

T-Mobile BlackBerry Pearl 8120 [Reviewed: November 24, 2008] The BlackBerry Pearl 8120 from T-Mobile is one of the most Wi-Fi-friendly mobile phones currently available to consumers.

HP Compaq 2230s [Reviewed: November 17, 2008] This ultraportable four-pound laptop from HP features built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and impressive security features.

iPod touch 2nd Generation [Reviewed: October 21, 2008] The newest version of the Wi-Fi-enabled iPod touch is billed as "the funnest iPod ever." We can't disagree.08touch_hero.jpg

Palm Treo 800W [Reviewed: October 15, 2008] This business-minded phone offers Wi-Fi and GPS to a grateful user base. While this model wasn't the bold innovation that many Palm OS fans were waiting for, it's strong enough to keep Palm competitive.

iPhone 3G (AT&T) [Reviewed: October 14, 2008] It's not just hype that's made the iPhone the hottest smartphone around. If you're due for an upgrade, take a good look at the iPhone 3G.

iPhone 3G (Rogers) [September 23, 2008] Another expert weighs in on the iPhone 3G, this time the version from Canadian carrier, Rogers. His verdict? "What's not to like?"

iPhone 3G (Génial!) [Reviewed: July 24, 2008] Paris-based iPhone user and reviewer, Joe Kissell, goes in-depth to describe what's so great about--and what still needs improving on--the iPhone 3G.

HAVA Titanium HD Wi-Fi [Reviewed: October 13, 2008] The Hava Titanium HD Wi-Fi’s ability to stream high-quality, if not high-definition, video and audio to around-the-house or around the world--and do it completely wirelessly--provides great television-watching flexibility. Anyone that wants to keep up with shows while on the move should check it out.

Polycom SpectraLink 8002 Wireless Telephone [Reviewed: October 8, 2008] If you’re looking to put voice on a WLAN powered by low-cost wireless hardware, the Polycom SpectraLink 8002 ($349) can do the job.

The Netflix Player by Roku [Reviewed: September 12, 2008] Oh, Netflix Player ($99), how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. For those of us who have a deep and meaningful relationship with our Netflix queues, the opportunity to remove the wait—and the possibility of scratched, damaged, or lost DVDs—is something of a dream come true.

HP iPAQ 110 Classic – PDA [Reviewed: July 11, 2008] The iPAQ 110 may look like a museum relic from the days when everyone had a PDA in his or her pocket, but that's not a bad thing. And some modern upgrades--such as Wi-Fi--give this old school device a contemporary edge.

T-Mobile Shadow--A Smooth Operator [Reviewed: January 9, 2008] This new Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone from T-Mobile is both full-featured and surprisingly easy on the eyes.

ASUS AIR Internet Radio [Reviewed: January 30, 2008] The interface is awkward, but the sound quality, design, and easy set-up more than make up for it.

Accessories

BlueAnt Z9i Bluetooth Headset [Reviewed: September 26, 2008] BlueAnt's $99.99 Z9i, while relatively pricey, has features and performance that make it a well-above-average Bluetooth headset.

BlueAnt Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Handsfree Kit [Reviewed: August 20, 2008] Although the ease of setup and availability of voice dialing will vary depending on the capabilities of your specific phone, the BlueAnt Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Handsfree is a solid product that can make in-car phone use safer and more convenient.

TRITTON AX Micro Bluetooth Headset [Reviewed: July 24, 2008] This tiny, shiny earpiece is a worthy solution for users looking for a non-bulky, affordable Bluetooth headset.

Security Tools

Pure Networks Network Magic Pro 4.8 [Reviewed: September 10, 2008] Network Magic Pro 4.8 ($49.99) makes setting up, troubleshooting, securing, and managing home and small business Wi-Fi networks easier.

Review: Motorola RF Management Suite (Part 1) [Reviewd: July 30, 2008] This comprehensive four-in-one toolkit provides integrated end-to-end network management for large, distributed Motorola WLANs.

Review: Motorola LANPlanner (RF Management Suite, Part 2) [Reviewed: August 11, 2008] This 3D modeler, part of the Motorola RF Management Suite, uses "RF intelligent" WLAN design to cut cost, improve performance.

Software

Three Linux Wi-Fi Managers [Reviewed: October 23, 2008] An overview of three Linux programs that help users manage Wi-Fi connections: Network Manager, Wicd, and KWifiManager.

Motorola Mobility Services Platform (MSP) (RF Management Suite, Part 3 of 4) [Reviewed: September 24, 2008] In the third installment of this four-part review, Lisa Phifer takes an in-depth look at the Java-based network management console that enables unified configuration, maintenance, and monitoring for large, diverse Motorola WLANs.

LobsterTunes [Reviewed: August 19, 2008] Stream PC audio to your smartphone via Wi-Fi or EDGE, "Rock Lobster"-style.

Apple MobileMe [Reviewed: August 12, 2008] Now that the bugs are worked out, MobileMe delivers a smooth and seamless experience that makes using the service hassle-free for iPhone and iPod touch users.

iPhone 2.0 Software Upgrade [Reviewed: July 21, 2008] There's much to like about the 2.0 software upgrade, which adds a huge variety of features and programs to the iPhone and iPod touch.

Windows Live FolderShare 2008 Beta [Reviewed: June 24, 2008] Microsoft's Windows Live FolderShare 2008 software makes sharing (and synchronizing) files across multiple systems an exercise in simplicity even when working remotely.

Yugma: CoIP (Collaboriation over IP) [Reviewed: June 23, 2008] Yugma conference participants can share desktops and control of applications, mark up documents, and record the whole session.

Wi-Spy 2.4x Wireless Spectrum Analyzer [Reviewed: April 14, 2008] A perfect spectrum analyzer tool for most non-enterprise and small 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network users.

AirMagnet's OQO Analyzer/Survey Bundle [Reviewed: March 21, 2008] Popular Wi-Fi analyzer and survey tools go "ultra mobile" in this symbiotic package from AirMagnet and OQO.

Best Mac Tools: Five Indispensable Apps [Reviewed: March 19, 2008] Guest columnist Michael Hall offers up a handful of Internet applications that every Mac owner needs to know about. Some have their flaws, but they're certain to enhance your daily 'Net experience.

Propel's Personal Bandwidth Manager [Reviewed: March 7, 2008] Introducing the tool that shows the user when the problem's on the PC, not on your network.

 For more reviews, click here.

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