3Com's WLAN Workgroup Bridge

By Matthew Peretz

December 03, 2001

Used to connect Ethernet-enabled devices like printers to WLAN infrastructure

3Com Corporation today announced the 3Com 11 Mbps Wireless LAN Workgroup Bridge. The company stated that it is the only Wi-Fi (802.11b) certified workgroup bridge. It effectively creates a bridge between any Ethernet-enabled device and any Wi-Fi infrastructure.

The advantage of using such a bridge would be in enabling companies to set up temporary networks for situations like creating network access for visiting professionals or in flexible educational environments like classrooms.

The 3Com Wireless Workgroup Bridge can be connected to a hub, connecting up to four Ethernet-enabled devices like printers, PCs, and other Net appliances. 3Com pointed out that this offers potentially significant cost-savings compared to connecting each device with standard Wi-Fi adapters.

The Workgroup Bridge has an internal Web server for configuration, monitoring, and management either locally or from a remote location using a standard browser and other standard-based tools.

The Workgroup Bridge employs and supports both 40 and 128 bit WEP encryption. It is transparent to VPNs. The product also features what 3Com calls a Dynamic Security Link, which supports 'username/password' security and 128-bit encryption. Unlike WEP, it supplies each user with a unique key, and changes the key per session.

3Com stated that customers can order the product now with expected shipping in January, 2002. List price is set at $349. More information can be found at the 3Com Web site.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com

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