Buffalo's WPA, Security Upgrades Abound, and ViXs Offers a Reference Design

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

June 06, 2003

The latest news briefs from the world of Wi-Fi focus on wireless security, multimedia, maps, and more.

Buffalo Makes WPA Available

We've all been waiting to see actual Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) support for months. Finally, this subset of the 802.11i security standard (which won't be finalized for months itself) is now available in a real, live, honest-to-goodness download from at least one vendor: Buffalo Technology. The company announced support for WPA on its 802.11g products last month, but as of today you can download the driver updates the AirStation G54 wireless router and the G54 PCI card and CardBus adapters.

While the WPA is there, these Buffalo products are not yet Wi-Fi Certified for WPA (meaning, there's no guaranty they'll interoperate correctly with other WPA-capable products). The Broadcom AirForce chipsets they're based on, however, have been certified for WPA use by the Wi-Fi Alliance, so that's pretty close.

LeapPoint Points to PEAP

Network security appliance maker LeapPoint Technologies of Ann Arbor, Mich., announced this week that its AiroPoint 3600 release 3.0 servers now has built in WPA, wizards for easier installation, and support for all the major EAP-types for use with 802.1X authentication: MD5, TLS, LEAP, TTLS, and PEAP. The AiroPoint 3600 has complete authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) functions for ISPs and hotspots.

Ekahau Works with MapInfo

Ekahau, which provides location-awareness for various Wi-Fi solutions, has entered a marketing and development deal with MapInfo Corp. . MapInfo will be doing a range of products and services to help network planners with setting up Wi-Fi hotspots and enterprise networks. The two will work with Bridgewater Systems to create an end-to-end location management solution for Wi-Fi providers.

Navini's New Base Station

Wireless broadband/backhaul equipment maker Navini Networks of Richardson, Texas, announced this week a new base station for its wide-area wireless, high-speed broadband solution, Ripwave. The Navini Ripwave towertop base station is half the size of earlier rack-mounted solutions they had, lighter, and needs fewer cable connections and power. The product is targeted at providers creating high-speed neighborhood "hotzones" with wireless connectivity for customers using the proprietary Ripwave modem. Ripwave products are not Wi-Fi compatible but run in the unlicensed 2.4GHz radio frequency range, just like 802.11b/g, as well as the licensed areas of 2.3 and 2.5 to 2.6Ghz.

ViXs Delivers Reference Design

ViXs Systems of Toronto said this week that its first "fully manufacturable" reference design is now available. The design specifically targets the creation of Wireless Media Centers products that would do video distribution over 802.11 connections. The point of the reference design is for the hard theoretical work to be done with so the manufacturers can get down to the business of manufacturing quickly. The media centers would use the ViXs XCode video processor for transmitting full-screen, full-motion digital video on a wireless IP network (like 802.11) and can be combined with the ViXs Matrix 802.11a chipset.

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