Wi-Fi Product Watch: October 2005

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

October 26, 2005

BelAir pairs with cable; Canon to add Wi-Fi to Elph cameras; Slim Devices has 3rd gen SqueezeBox; Intel offers CCX 4.0 in Centrino; and much more.

When someone gives you money, you give something back. Well, it doesn't always work that way with venture capital, but BelAir Networks must be nicer than most. The company just received Series C funding from Comcast's capital investment arm, and at the same time announced upcoming Wi-Fi mesh products directly targeting Multiple System Operators (MSOs) and cable operators — like Comcast. The BelAir50s and BelAir100s can connect directly to cable, and support the DOCSIS 2.0 interface used in cable modems. The 50s is a single 802.11g radio for outdoors (like the existing 50c); the 100s is a two-radio unit that throws in 5GHz for backhaul. They won't be generally available until early 2006, but can cable company metro WLANs be far behind?

Aperto Networks of Milpitas, California, says its "indoor, self-install WiMax broadband wireless products for consumers" will be ready by early 2006. The CPEs, part of the PacketMAX product line, will support the 802.16-2004 standard.

October 25, 2005

Not to be outdone by Nokia and Kodak, Canon is bringing Wi-Fi to its digital cameras. The 5.0 megapixel PowerShot SD430 Digital ELPH Wireless (802.11b) will transmit images to a PC, and can send images to Canon printers supporting PictBridge. The printers need a Wireless Print Adapter, but one ships with each camera, so you don't have to configure it — plug it into the printer, and the camera knows where to send pictures.  The wireless will even allow remote operation of the camera up to about 100 feet, showing the user at the computer a live video feed from the camera so they know when to take a shot.  An auto-transfer mode puts all images on the camera on a computer monitor in seconds, displayed at full screen size, which Canon says is fun at parties. The camera will sell for $500 starting in January of 2006.

Aruba Networks is rebranding itself as the "Mobile Edge Company." Backed by $25 million in new funding, the company is betting the farm on mobile/remote workers or branch offices needing secure connections back to an enterprise network. New in the product line are the $495 AP-65 portable enterprise AP for creating "temporary corporate hotspots," the low-cost ($195) AP-41 for telecommuters, a new security protocol for Layer 2 wired connections using 802.1X authentication called xSec, site-to-site VPN for branch offices, and a few other new features built into the Aruba OS version 2.5 Mobility software.

The competition over at Trapeze Networks, meanwhile, is entering a partnership with AirDefense to integrate the AirDefense Enterprise IDS/IPS (intrusion detection/prevention system) into the Trapeze WLAN Mobility System. Network administrators can use a single console to view the network and everyone attacking it. The Trapeze Mobility Point APs will work as sensors to monitor the air.

Freescale Semiconductor, the Motorola spinoff known to us especially for its work with ultrawideband, is now in the Wi-Fi game. The company bought CommASIC last week, an expert in Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), which is used to get higher throughput in various flavors of Wi-Fi and WiMax. Freescale says it will offer Wi-Fi chips based on the tech to OEMs for use in everything: consumer electronics, PC peripherals, multimedia players and phone handsets.

A study by Infonetics Research says that 31 percent of all organizations in North America will deploy Voice over WLAN (VoWLAN) services by 2007 — a jump from the 10 percent doing it today. By 2009, they break it down: "57 percent of small, 62 percent of medium, and 72 percent of large organizations in North America" will use VoWLAN, they say. Infonetics also expects a decline in the separate deployment and management of access points, with centralized switching gaining more traction by 2007.

As promised earlier this year, AirCell has finished some demonstration tests of its in-flight Wi-Fi-based broadband and cellular phone service that will use terrestrial connections to towers for backhaul, not satellite connections. The company reports using everything from Skype for phone calls to a SlingBox for watching remote streaming video while on the plane. No word on any customers yet, but AirCell plans to have the system ready for commercial deployment by 2007.

Slim Devices has a SqueezeBox that it wears on a... shelf. Next to your stereo, actually. The company has upgraded this third generation product to be smaller and sleeker (redesigned by people who make the Mac). It now includes faster 802.11g with dual antennas for streaming music to your stereo from the PC or Mac storing all the digital tunes. It uses a Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to get true hi-fi sound. It also now supports WMA files, plus the usual MP3, AAC and others. It comes in either black or white to suit your decor.

Sprint Nextel's Sprint North Supply supply chain integrator is going to be selling a Wi-Fi product for small offices. The Connection Central unit is designed for offices of 10 people or less, and will serve as a voice and data gateway — it includes a DSL modem with Internet router, Wi-Fi access point, and PBX for delivering VoIP  and voice mail services. It even has four 10/100 Ethernet ports. It will be sold exclusively by Lake Communications, a division of Inter-Tel.

Agilent Technologies is joining the ZigBee Alliance, becoming the first testing/measurement equipment maker to do so. The company says the Agilent N4010A Wireless Connectivity Test Set is the first box for testing ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4 products and chips for compliance with the specification set forth by the Alliance.  

LightPointe has a new Rapid Deployment Kit to get its free space optics (FSO) wireless equipment up and running fast in emergencies. Each includes a travel case (which you can check with your luggage) with wireless transceiver (either the 100Mbps FlightLite 100E or the 155Mbps FlightStrate 155), a battery and mounting stand to set up on a roof or in a window. Point two of them at each other, and you've got a high-speed link. Prices start at $6,000.

October 20, 2005

Option N.V. is buying out the wireless router business of Possio AB of Sweden. Possio made routers that not only provide 802.11b/g connections for clients, but use cellular connections for backhaul. The first product out will be the GlobeSurfer 3G, which Germany's mobile provider O2 will be selling it to its 25 million end-user customers. The device will use 3G (UMTS or GPRS) for backhaul, but Option says it will customize the unit for any network operator, just as it does for its extensive line of GlobeTrotter data cards for laptops. Possio will continue making mobile GSM fax machines.

Sony said today that its version 2.0 firmware for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) will allow a "user to take advantage of the unit's built-in Wi-Fi [802.11b] capability to wirelessly search and download content from the Internet from Internet Access Points or 'hot spots.'" What's weird is, the PSP firmware 2.5 came out last week (at least it did in Japan), which, for Wi-Fi users, included enhanced support for WPA-PSK. Anyway, the 2.0 firmware is part and parcel of the newly announced PSP Giga Pack, which includes the PSP unit, 1GB MemoryStick Pro Duo, battery pack and AC adapter, USB cable, and a new stand, all for $299. Note that moving beyond firmware 1.5 reportedly disables any homebrew functions you've installed on the unit, such as emulators for other game systems.

October 19, 2005

Intel is the first vendor to be certified for Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX) 4.0, specifically on the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection — the chip that will be part of the next generation Centrino-based laptops shipping in early 2006. The CCX program ensures that client equipment is ready to interoperate with Cisco WLAN infrastructure equipment, and since Intel and Cisco are both at the top of their respective markets (laptop chips and enterprise WLAN equipment), they had better play nice together. CCX 4.0 is a part of the Business Class Wireless Suite announced by Intel and Cisco in August, a partnership by the companies which is meant to improve WLAN "robustness in the enterprise."

PCTEL, maker of the Roaming Client software used by many carriers (such as T-Mobile Hotspots) to get client systems online, is working with Global IP Sound (GIPS) to add better voice quality to the PCTEL Roaming Client VE (Voice Enabled) version. The IMS-capable software works on dual-mode products that connect to Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Specifically, PCTEL is licensing the GIPS VoiceEngine Mobile for Symbian and Pocket PC platforms.

TRENDnet has new combo wireless/BPL (broadband over power line) units. The line includes a router that plugs into an outlet, using your home's existing wiring to extend the network where wireless and Cat 5 cable can't go; and an access point that can sit anywhere else in the building, on an outlet, providing a secondary wireless signal. The company also sells BPL USB adapters and an 10/100 Ethernet-to-BPL bridge.

Funk Software's Odyssey Client software for authenticating with 802.1X-based networks is now supporting Cisco Systems' Network Admission Control (NAC) program. NAC is part of the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy that includes agent software to enforce network security policies. Odyssey Client is available for Windows XP, 2000, 98, Me, Windows Mobile 2003 and Pocket PC 2002.

October 18, 2005

Microsoft's Networking Research Group has released a software tool called VirtualWiFi. It allows a laptop PC with a single 802.11 card to connect to multiple wireless LANs at once by creating "virtual cards." Each virtual card can connect to a different network — creating, say, an ad hoc connection with another PC for gaming, while still connecting to the infrastructure connection on the router or access point. It can thus serve as a bridge to the Internet for systems found only on an ad hoc (peer-to-peer) network, or can just turn a computer into a simple bridge from the router to out-of-range computers, ad hoc or not. You can read more about it online and download the software to try. (The group is also working on software for making mesh networking tools to connect neighborhood homes.)

Cranite Systems is releasing a Layer 2 secure access product called SafeConnect which it says extends enterprise security out to endpoints at hotspots, home networks and "other high-threat remote environments" — both wireless and wired connections in the field. Clients are identified by MAC address on the enterprise server as it provides a VPN tunnel, which also allows access to the Internet. It will be deployed as part of the GUARD (Geospatially-Aware Urban Approaches for Responding to Disasters) project for first responders in New York City.

Q-Bridge from Connex Wireless is a wireless/Ethernet bridge which the company says can connect two networks that are up to four miles apart with line of sight, appearing as if two networks are hooked up by an Ethernet cable. It supports 128-bit WEP encryption on the connection between the two PoE 14 dBi directional antennas used on each end; each comes with a universal mounting system. All the cables and PoE adapters needed are included for the price of $450.

Enterasys has a new portfolio of products called RoamAbout Secure Wireless. It includes the RoamAbout wireless switch (model 8400, $11,995) with four Gigabit ports and support for 120 APs, a thin AP (AP1002, $449) with dual radios for 802.11a/b/g support,  and a unified AP (AP4102, $699) that works both as a standalone or with the RoamAbout switch products. Together, they'll all support 802.11i security and the Enterasys Secure Networks policy rules for both wired and wireless networks. The switch is out now, but the new APs will follow later this year.

AutoCell says it has filed more than 70 patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office on such things as automatic channel selection and secure wireless key distribution/automatic generation. The USPTO has issued a "notice of allowance" on the AutoCell VIEW system they have for watching the company's software do its thing in real-time.

Intermec Technologies' 761 mobile computer has been certified for operation on the Cingular Wireless network. The 761 is part of Intermec's 300,000-strong 700 series. And it also happens to support 802.11b. Read more about it at PocketPCcity.

Atheros says its single-chip silicon (in both dual-band 802.11a/b/g and single-band 802.11b/g versions) for the PCI Express interface — a faster bus connection from modules to the computer motherboard — is now shipping in laptop computers from Lenovo, specifically the new ThinkPad Z60.

Speaking of Atheros, TRENDnet is launching an entirely new line of products based on the latest Atheros chips with VLocity MIMO (plus lines for the Super G and Super AG technologies) for higher throughput and more coverage. The MIMO line, for example, includes router, AP, PC Card, and even a PCI adapter for desktops. The dual-band Super AG  and the Super G lines have the same equipment, plus each has a USB 2.0 adapter. The Super G also has a hotspot-specific AP, which is already selling for around $70 online. 

SMC Networks will expand its EZ Connect line of 802.11g products with the upcoming Wireless AP Storage product (model SMCWAPS-G). It puts two USB 2.0 connectors on an access point, so you can plug in a USB external hard disk drive (or even a just a small USB memory stick drive) for network attached storage (NAS). It has a button on board to hit for one-touch backup, and features Samba Server software to make any NAS a cross platform for all users on the network. It supports security up to WPA2, and will sell for $100 when it's out in December.

Earlier this month, Diamond Multimedia, owner of the Supra name made famous with modems back in the day, announced that it will be selling a SupraMax DSL642WLG DSL Modem. This unit is obviously a DSL modem, but the router is built in. It has 802.11g supporting WPA-PSK and WEP, along with a four-port 10/100 Ethernet switch. The unit will sell for around $120.

Connexion by Boeing is trying out phones on its in-flight wireless system on some test planes. The phone system isn't VoWi-Fi, however: it's GSM and CDMA, made possible by UTStarcom, using their MovingMedia 2000 equipment, which is still IP-based. Connexion plans to offer mobile phone support on flights in early 2006.

Seamless Peer 2 Peer, a subsidiary of Seamless Wi-Fi, is currently beta testing version 2.0 of its Phenom Encryption Software and expects to finalize it by the end of October. The software is a P2P VPN that includes chat, mail, file transfer and remote control applications for the PC, all using 128-bit AES encryption. The software is licensed as a subscription, for $18 a month or $150 per year. The new version will include white boarding and suspicious file quarantine.

Network Chemistry has announced a new software tool called BlueScanner. It will be part of the company's RFprotect Mobile wireless analysis suite, but also can be downloaded free at BlueScanner.org. The software will identify Bluetooth devices by type (such as phone, computer, etc.) and service, and will let IT know so they can shut them down before they cause interference with 802.11 networks. It only runs on Windows XP computers with a Bluetooth adapter running Microsoft's Bluetooth drivers.

October 14, 2005

USB Adapters that double as Wi-Fi signal detectors couldn't be the territory of small companies like TRENDnet forever. Today Linksys announced their own, the Wireless-G USB Network Adapter and Wi-Fi Finder (model WUSBF54G), which detects 802.11g networks on the 2.4GHz radio band (they don't say 11b, but it's assumed), shows info about the network on a tiny LCD screen, and then you can plug it into a laptop to go online. Street price on the unit is $79.

Buffalo Technology has new antennas available to boost the signals of its latest high-power wireless routers and access points. The new AirStation Detachable High Gain antennas come in both omni-directional and directional versions, and both are available in black or white, depending on how you want to mix up the color with the two latest AirStation routers. The antennas work, however, with any router using an RP-TNC connector interface. The cost is $29 per antenna. Also brand new from Buffalo is the AirStation Turbo G High Power Wireless Ethernet Converter with a four-port switch (model WLI-TX4-G54HP), an Ethernet-to-wireless converter to turn hardware with just an Ethernet port into a WLAN product, without drivers. It supports Buffalo's AirStation One-Touch Secure System (AOSS) push-button security setup when coupled with a Buffalo router. It costs $79.

Pure Networks has upgraded its home networking setup software, Network Magic, to version 2.0. The Windows XP-specific utility manages various network setup tasks that make people rip out clumps of hair, such as setting up shared files and folders (even making them available from remote locations), locking down shares at public hotspots, and instantly recognizing new items on the network. It even has Power Toy plug-ins, including one that zaps wireless intruders. D-Link is bundling copies of Network Magic with its latest wireless routers, including the Xtreme G with MIMO 2XR Wireless Router (model DI-634M).  Purchased by itself, Network Magic costs $50 for up to 5 PCs (including one year of dynamic DNS service for remote access). There's a 30-day guarantee, or you can try the 14-day free trial download first.

Just as baby boomers grow old and home healthcare explodes, so do the opportunities for professional and personal services as the wireless LAN market grows. IDC's latest report says spending on services  will grow by 20 percent a year to double in 2009 from current levels. Government will see the most overall growth, since it's spending more ($100 million on WLAN equipment in 2004 alone). Look for big growth in helping mobile workers (naturally), and in "the need for temporary wireless LAN deployments," according to a statement. IDC has separate forecasts available for WLANs and VoIP equipment.

Remember the Zipit Wireless Messenger? It's an instant messaging unit that comes in many pretty colors and connects to any open Wi-Fi network so kids, tweens, and teens can do all their AOL, MSN, or Yahoo IMing without tying up the family computer. Well, just in case you couldn't find one, they're going on sale at Radio Shack stores. They'll have them in two-tone blue and silver. Also, the unit can now do streaming music from home PCs via a MyTunez feature. It's free for 45 days and costs a one-time fee of $25 after that. They can still IM while rocking out, no worries. Zipit retails for $100, though it's as low as $80 at Target.

Fluke Networks says it has added wireless analysis functions to its portable EtherScope Network Assistant, usually used for troubleshooting on Ethernet networks. The unit will scan 2.4 and 5 GHz bands to "identify, locate and disable rogue access points and unauthorized ad-hoc networks across all bands and channels," according to the company. The hardware costs $4,495 for wireless only, or $7,995 for wireless with Ethernet. Existing customers with the wired version can add wireless for $2,995.

October 12, 2005

The ink is barely dry on the Enhanced Wireless Consortium's (EWC) proposal for 802.11n, but Marvell says it already has the first silicon supporting the specification. The 88W8360 is meant for use in APs, PCs, gateways and other appliances - probably not a low-power chip for handsets (and that's one of the things the EWC is taking some knocks for — no support for units needing low-power 11n). The company calls the chip "key to proliferating 802.11n into mainstream consumer appliances." The chip will run in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands with a top data rate of 300Mbps.

Symbol has released a new access point, the AP-5131, meant for use by public access providers or enterprise branch offices. It comes with either one or two dual-band radios inside to support 802.11a or 11b/g, so it can either support both kinds of clients or use one radio for rogue AP detection. The 5131 has a ruggedized enclosure to bang around (though not necessarily outside) and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) support. It's also one of the first APs  that is RoHS-compliant (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), meaning it doesn't have any lead inside at all, not even on the solder holding the circuits. Symbol is partnering with Nomadix for the 5131 to be used with Nomadix controllers in hotspots and hotzones.

Palm has released a new handheld with Wi-Fi, designed to draw users because it is relatively inexpensive. The TX (don't call it Tungsten) costs $299 and has 128MB of RAM, a 320-by-480 resolution screen, and runs an XScale 312MHz processor. In addition to Wi-Fi — limited to 802.11b with WPA-Personal (not WPA-Enterprise) — it supports Bluetooth 1.1.

picoChip says it has complete reference designs available now for base stations and customer equipment for not just 802.16-2004 (fixed wireless WiMax) but also 802.16e (Mobile WiMax and WiBro). They include a new base station for 16e (PC6530) and a mobile station for 16e (PC6630), plus a standard subscriber unit for 16-2004 (PC6620). All four have software running on the picoChip PC102 processor. Fifteen companies are already using the design for the PC6520 fixed WiMax base station, including Airspan, Intel, and Nortel. The mobile base station is the same as the fixed but with a software upgrade.

October 11, 2005

AirWave has upgraded its AirWave Management Platform (AMP) to version 4.0. The latest version includes a helpdesk view so the IT guy who set up the network doesn't have to be the only person bugged for assistance. Also new is VisualRF, which provides a vector graphics-based view of what's happening in the air, such as user connections to APs, in real time. The software's rogue AP detection has been improved to find the top 100 SOHO-grade APs that a user might innocently connect to the wired network in hopes of going mobile. 4.0 also has an updated list of third-party enterprise-class APs it will control, including those from LANCOM, Nomadix and Cisco — even some from Cisco's Airespace acquisition. AMP has been the management system of choice for HP's ProCurve line for a year now, and today the two companies also re-committed to that partnership.

Nintendo has released its USB-based Wi-Fi Connection hardware for the Nintendo DS handheld game system. This is for those who don't have Wi-Fi, but do have broadband. They can use this USB dongle to connect directly to the cable or DSL modem. It costs extra, and the network is not going to work for those with dial-up Internet access (DS has Wi-Fi built in for the rest of us with Wi-Fi in our homes, offices, and favorite cafes, though hotspots will probably have to be Nintendo partners.) The DS Wi-Fi service will launch in the U.S. on November 14, with games coming that day or later in December and in early 2006. The first four DS games with Wi-Fi support are Mario Kart DS, Animal Crossing: Wild World, Metroid Prime Hunters, and Tony Hawk's American Sk8land. Service is free for Nintendo's own games (the first three listed), but there could be charges from third party publishers to get online access to others (such as American Sk8land).

Remember when AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy seemed to be the only way to go online? (If you do, you're old. Welcome to the club.) SBC owns the name of the former Prodigy online service now, and will be using it to brand its own version of the Always On Wireless WiFlyer, the travel router targeting dial-up users. Use it to dial-in to the Internet — specifically SBC connections in this case — and wireless clients can take advantage of the connection, even though it's not at broadband speeds. The hardware is on sale now for $130.

McAfee has two new security suites available, and both include wireless protection. The first is McAfee Internet Security Suite -- Wireless Network Edition 2006 ($150 covers three users for a year), the second is McAfee Wireless Home Network Security Suite ($100 for three users for a year). The former has anti-spam and privacy tools, but both suites include VirusScan, Personal Firewall and the Wireless Home Network Security 2006. That software is based on WSC Guard (announced back in August), which McAfee bought earlier this year. It works with popular routers and APs for easily setting up encryption keys.  Wireless Home Network Security sells by itself for $50.

Xirrus is partnering with site survey and WLAN manager software maker Wireless Valley. The latter's LANPlanner and RF Manager products will be shipping in a version specific to the Xirrus WLAN Array products; it will integrate with the Xirrus Centralized Management Platform. The software should be available for sale by the fourth quarter. Before committing to buying a lot of products from Xirrus (which offers a 30-day money back guarantee trial of its Array products), users can also try a bundled trial of LANPlanner that will come with each Array sold.

Bluesocket is enhancing guest services features on its BlueSecure Controllers on corporate networks. A "Reception Console" will let greeters do one-click setup of a username and password that a visitor can use to authenticate -- or you can preset a batch of usernames for greeters to pass out. Such accounts can be set to terminate at a specific time. Administrators can easily set up security policies for controlling behaviors of guests on the network, as well.

Foundry Networks is working with Fortress Technologies. The two will combine their expertise to deliver an "integrated network security solution for converged environments" (converged in this case being Ethernet/Wi-Fi). They've  tested their systems for compatibility, and say this led to both getting Department of Defense (DoD) Information Technology Security Certification and Accreditation Process (DITSCAP) certification, meaning any U.S. Army post can use it.

Lenovo has released its first wireless projector, the ThinkVision C400. It has integrated 802.11b/g, as well as a USB port that can take a memory thumb-drive. The 7.5-pound unit projects up to 2,640 lumens, and will sell for $2,500.

October 6, 2005

Amid all the talk of hosted VPN services, we frequently point out that only Google is offering such a service for free (and as a stealth beta, at that). But it's not true. Germany-based iOpus Software is offering a hosted VPN service called iPIG (the iOpus Private Internet Gateway) to use on any connection, wired or wireless, when you're away from home. And it's freeware. The iPIG connection software (running on Windows 2000/XP/2003 only) grabs all the outgoing traffic and encrypts it. Even more interestingly, the company offers an iPig server that you can set up on your own system with permanent Internet access (that is, a PC with a static IP address), so all the VPN traffic feeds back to you, not to the hosted servers. Up to five users can connect, and a Pro edition for more users is being tested.

Bountiful WiFi out of Utah says its first wireless router — the $625 Bountiful Router — is now generally available. The company launched in July. The company calls the router a "first-of-its-kind" because it operates at just under 1,000 milliwatts to get a 30dBm gain, to expand coverage of the 802.11b/g wireless signal by two to four times. It supports security up to WPA-PSK, and has the usual router/gateway functions (port forwarding, NAT, four 10/100 Ethernet ports, etc.)

Didn't Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS) just release the Caterpillar frequency and power analyzer? Well, it apparently upgraded it already, adding USB connectivity. Data gathered with the handheld can now quickly port to a Windows PC, where users can watch the playback of data like they're watching Desperate Housewives on the TiVo. The Caterpillar can stay connected to a laptop for real-time analysis. BVS says it can be used to measure not just 802.11, but also WiMax, Bluetooth, ZigBee and other wireless signals. The Caterpillar sells for $750; the new PC software costs an extra $250.

October 4, 2005

The CWNP Program has an new certification: Wireless# (pronounced "wireless sharp") makes sure technicians are proficient with not just Wi-Fi but also technologies such as Bluetooth, WiMax, ZigBee and even Infrared (IrDA). It breaks down to cover technologies and standards, hardware installation, and applications & security in relatively equal parts, with a bit left over for radio frequency (RF) fundamentals. They call it an "entry level IT certification that tests knowledge of a broader range," compared to the CWNA certification, which is specific to medium/large scale enterprise WLAN installations. Like other CWNP exams, you can take them with Pearson VUE or Prometric test centers. The cost will be $85. A beta version of the exam will be available starting late this month.

Funk Software has a new Odyssey Client for connecting to its 802.1X/RADIUS authentication servers. The difference is, this new supplicant software is FIPS 140-2 Level 1 Compliant, giving it the go-ahead for use by government agencies that require the advanced security certification. The security comes from a new Odyssey Security Component cryptographic module that passed muster with NIST and the Canada Communications Security Establishment to get the FIPS certification. Funk's FIPS-compliant version of the Steel-Belted Radius server won't be out until 2006. The Odyssey Client/FIPS Edition is limited to running on Windows XP and 2000; it supports WPA2, EAP-TTLS, EAP-PEAP, EAP-TLS, EAP-FAST, EAP-SIM, and LEAP.

In case you don't know what Wi-Fi means, and you don't have access to a search engine, you'll be happy to know that in the future you can look up the term in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. The definition is one that will make the Wi-Fi Alliance happy: "Wi-Fi (certification mark): used to certify the interoperability of wireless computer networking devices."

Aperto says to get ready for products bearing the legend "WiMax Forum Certified." Aperto, along with Airspan Networks, Proxim, Sequans and Wavesat, all submitted products to the CETECOM Labs in Malaga, Spain back in August to be among the first tested for full IEEE 802.16-2004 (AKA WiMax) interoperability. Now they're teaming up to trumpet that fact, as all are counting on the early certification to deliver the advantage of being first to market with product ready for "risk-free" deployment.

WildPackets' new Omni Wireless Sensor is out for use in North America. It monitors 802.11a/b/g WLAN traffic in real time on the network edge, but as a self-contained appliance. It has the full suite of alerts and filters triggered by anything it senses isn't fitting policy, such as rogue APs or attacks. It integrates with the Omni v3.0 architecture, reporting data back to a console running the OmniPeek software.

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