Subject: Networking | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: smart speaker, router, mesh network, mesh, asus lyra, asus, 802.11ax
ASUS today announced new products in its Lyra brand of connected devices. The Lyra Voice is a multi-featured device that acts as both an 802.11ac mesh Wi-Fi hub as well as a voice assistant-enabled stereo speaker.
The networking side of the Lyra Voice integrates with ASUS's existing Lyra mesh networking system with a tri-band AC2200-class radio, while the personal assistant side relies on integration with Amazon Alexa, allowing users to play music, check the weather, control smart devices around the home, and all of the other Alexa-enabled capabilities.
For those looking for networking without the personal assistant features, the ASUS Lyra Trio is a dual-band, multi-hub mesh Wi-Fi system that features a design with unique antenna placement to increase wireless range and speed.
Both the Lyra Trio and Voice can be used together to form a home mesh network and are controlled and configured via the ASUS Lyra mobile app. Detailed technical specifications for both products are not yet available.
Finally, ASUS didn't forget about its traditional RT-series of wireless routers. The company also announced the RT-AX88U, an 802.11ax router with maximum throughput of up to 6000Mbps. The RT-AX88U also includes 8 Gigabit LAN ports for wired connections, and utilizes MU-MIMO technology to provide maximum performance to all connected devices.
Like the Lyra products, detailed technical specifications for the RT-AX88U are not yet available. All three products are expected to be available in the first half of the year, with pricing to be revealed closer to launch.
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2017 - 03:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DIR 850L wireless AC1200, ac1200, D-Link, router, security
If you have a D-Link DIR 850L wireless router or know anyone that does, you should unplug it without delay. The Register posted a link to the recently released findings of security researcher Pierre Kim, who originally contacted D-Link in February about the flaws only to see a single patch released since then. The vulnerabilities are rather severe, ranging from a lack of verification for firmware images, through stored default private keys to an actual buit in backdoor. The router is not compatible with DD-WRT so you cannot resolve the issue through that method; it should be treated as a brick until D-Link resolves these issues in an update.
"A security researcher has shamed D‑Link by publicly disclosing 10 serious, as-yet unpatched vulnerabilities in a line of consumer-grade routers without notifying the vendor first."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Apple's adoption of Qi signals the end of the wireless charging wars @ The Register
- TSMC starts equipment move-in at Nanjing plant @ DigiTimes
- It's September 2017, and .NET lets PDFs hijack your Windows PC @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | August 22, 2017 - 12:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: WRT32X, router, networking, linksys, Killer Prioritization Engine, Killer Networking, gaming, AC3200
Linksys has announced a router that they say is 'built purely for gaming' with the WRT32X, an AC3200 router with a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor and built-in Killer Prioritization Engine.
"The WRT32X takes gaming to the next level. The router built purely for gaming features AC3200 speed and the Killer Prioritization Engine. The Killer Prioritization Engine identifies, prioritizes and accelerates gaming network traffic above all other devices in your home to deliver a faster, superior gaming experience. The Killer-enabled WRT32X also synchronizes with Killer-enabled PCs to give gaming traffic the highest priority on your network. Turning the Killer Engine on protects from extreme lag spikes and reduces lag by 77%, delivering consistent and superior reaction time during intense gaming scenarios."
Linksys lists the features of the WRT32X as follows:
- 1.8 GHz CPU: Dual-Core promotes simultaneous high-speed data processing.
- Pro-grade Gigabit Ethernet Switch: Gigabit (10/100/1000) is 10X faster than Fast Ethernet.
- Dual-Band (2.4 + 5 GHz): N600 + AC2600 Mbps.
- Killer Prioritization Engine: The first router that prioritizes gaming.
- Advanced Security: WPA2 encryption and SPI rewall help keep your network safely connected.
- Customized Gaming Interface: Custom-built interface and firmware for gaming traffic control.
- 256MB Flash and 512MB of RAM Memory: Handle more without delay for optimal performance.
- 4 High-Performance Antennas: Engineered to enhance dual-band communication; four external, adjustable antennas ensure supreme Wi-Fi signal strength.
- eSATA, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 Ports: Share content via an external storage device with ultra-fast data transfer speeds. USB 3.0 delivers enhanced performance over USB 2.0; eSATA delivers optimal data transfer speeds from external SATA drives and accommodates USB 2.0.
The WRT32X carries an MSRP of $329.99, with availability TBA.
Subject: Networking | January 6, 2017 - 07:02 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: router, iot, internet of things, bitdefender, 802.11ac
A couple of years ago, Bitdefender released the Bitdefender BOX, which was a router designed for security that was aimed at home users. They are taking another shot at it for this year’s CES with the second-generation Bitdefender BOX. It is now running on a 1.2 GHz, dual-core ARM Cortex A9 SoC, backed with 1GB of RAM.
The goal is to have a security-conscious company stand between all of your internet-of-things devices, allowing your TVs, security cameras, and whatever else to function without being a foothold for malicious actors.
Pricing and availability has not yet been finalized, but PCWorld cites a spokesperson for the company that expects the device to sell for $199 USD with a $99/year subscription. If the service is the same as the first-generation device, and I understand the product page correctly, then this subscription also provides a license to their TotalSecurity antivirus as well.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech | January 6, 2017 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: symantec, router, iot, internet of things, CES 2017, CES, 802.11ac
Symantec has recently announced the Norton Core router and the Norton Core Security Plus subscription service. The Norton branding hints that these are targeted at their home and family customers, which is accurate. The combination is designed to connect your internet-of-things devices, keeping them (and the other things on the network) from being maliciously manipulated, even if those things weren’t really created with security at the forefront.
Symantec claims that the Norton Core router is both security- and performance-minded. The router is built around a dual-core, 1.7 GHz SoC, backed with 1GB of RAM. The AC2600-listed router is capable of 4x4 MU-MIMO, utilizing both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands simultaneously, for a maximum total bandwidth of 2.5 gigabit.
This brings us to the service. One of the main goals of Norton Core Security Plus is to scan packets as they are transmitted between devices for malware, and isolate affected ones into a quarantined area. They also have a few services to make it easy for users to set up guest access and otherwise manage their network.
The Norton Core is expected to ship in the summer for $279.99 USD MSRP. Early users can get it for $199.99 on pre-order, though, with a year of Norton Core Security Plus bundled in. After the year, this service will cost about $9.99 per month.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Networking | January 4, 2017 - 07:40 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: wifi, router, mesh, hivespot, hivedot, gigabit router, asus, 802.11ac
ASUS has just announced the HiveSpot and HiveDot Mesh WiFi systems, which both combine multiple access points into a single network. Any individual node could be configured as either a router or a repeater, but the system is designed around one acting as a router and the rest, repeaters. The main difference between the two models is the higher-end set, the HiveSpot, utilize an extra, 5 GHz band, running 867 megabit, that’s dedicated to communication between the access points.
Because of this, the HiveSpot is listed as AC2134 while the HiveDot is AC1300, but devices that connect to this network will see two, 650 megabit bands in either case. What the HiveSpot will get you is higher performance (and maybe stability) should multiple devices be communicating with different nodes at the same time. With the HiveDot, the routers will be sharing the same bandwidth as the devices connecting to them.
ASUS wasn’t too clear about pricing in their press release, but CNet is reporting that they will be sold in bundles of three, which is the minimum for the mesh network. Three HiveSpot devices will carry an MSRP of $399 USD, while three HiveDots, $299. In other words, it will cost you $100 if you want the high-bandwidth, dedicated link between the nodes.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech, Networking | September 16, 2016 - 12:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: router, DIY, homebrew, openwrt
Ars Technica took router modding to a new level this year; why just flash your router with OpenWRT when you can make one from a mini PC? The original was a dual gigabit NIC mini-PC with a 1037u Ivy Bridge Celeron from Alibaba, Homebrew 2.0 is sourced from Amazon, has four Intel gigabit LAN ports and runs on a J1900 Bay Trail Celeron. You simply install an inexpensive SSD is installed in the mini-PC, set up OpenWRT and configure your network settings. In this latest update Ars compares their homebrew routers to several retail routers to see how they fall in terms of performance. Check it out to see how they fare and possibly to learn a bit about network benchmarks.
"Famously around the Ars forums, this problem soon evolved into our homebrew router initiative. In January, I showed my math as a DIY-Linux router outpaced popular off-the-shelf options like the Netgear Nighthawk X6 and the Linksys N600 EA-2750. And in August, I shared the steps necessary to build one of your own."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft fiddles results to show Edge is 'better' than Opera and Chrome @ The Inquirer
- Xiaomi Can Silently Install Any App On Your Android Phone Using A Backdoor @ Slashdot
- Apple Japan Unit Ordered To Pay $118M Tax For Underreporting Income @ Slashdot
- 10 GNOME Shell Extensions You Should Be Using @ Linux.com
- Chrome and Firefox are blocking access to The Pirate Bay @ The InquirerE
- NikKTech & Alphacool AIO Global Giveaway
Subject: Networking | February 19, 2016 - 12:37 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: wireless router, wi-fi, router, mu-mimo, MAX-STREAM AC1900, linksys, EA8500, EA7500, 802.11ac, 4x4, 3x3
Linksys has announced availability of a new MU-MIMO wireless router, and the EA7500 features 3x3 802.11ac Wi-Fi along with 4x Gigabit LAN ports.
“The Linksys MAX-STREAM AC1900 features MU-MIMO, the latest advance toward uninterrupted, simultaneous Wi-Fi connections. Devices such as HD streaming media players, 4K TVs, tablets, and game consoles use a lot of bandwidth. But with MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology, the MAX-STREAM AC1900 sends advanced Wi-Fi to multiple devices at the same time and same speed. Your whole family can play, stream, and work at once, without experiencing lag or buffering - at up to 2x the speed of a non-MU-MIMO router.”
The specs include:
- Wi-Fi Technology: AC1900 MU-MIMO Dual-band Gigabit, 600+1300 Mbps
- Wi-Fi Speed: AC1900 (N600 + AC1300)
- Wi-Fi Bands: 2.4 and 5 GHz (simultaneous dual band)
- Power Antennas: 3x external, dual-band, detachable antennas
- Operation Modes: Wireless Router, Access Point, Wired Bridge, Wireless Bridge
- Processor: 1.4 GHz dual-core
- Number of Ethernet Ports: 4x Gigabit LAN ports, 1x Gigabit WAN port
- Other Ports: 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port
- Storage File System Support: FAT, NTFS, HFS+
Retail pricing is $199.99, placing it $50 below the larger 4x4 MU-MIMO EA8500 router ($249.99). If you’re looking to upgrade your router to take advantage of MU-MIMO technology (the benefits of which we covered in our review of the Killer Wireless-AC 1535), this EA7500 provides a new, more affordable option.
Full press release after the break.
Subject: Networking | February 9, 2016 - 11:24 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: wireless repeater, wi-fi, signal repeater, RP-AC68U, router, dual-band, asus, ac1900
ASUS has announced a new high-end wireless repeater, and the RP-AC68U boasts dual-band wireless AC1900 speeds, and features 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports to add wired devices to the network.
"ASUS RP-AC68U works by connecting wirelessly to an existing router and extending the Wi-Fi signal to areas of poor coverage, which are often a problem in large or multi-floor homes. With its blindingly-fast up to 1900Mbps combined speeds (600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band), RP-AC68U is the perfect companion for extending the coverage of the latest 802.11ac routers, but it can also be used with routers supporting any older Wi-Fi standards."
The boxy shape is a big contrast from the giant spider-like designs we've seen from recent high-end routers, and inside the enclosure there are a total of 3 transmit and 4 receive antennas to extend the range of your dual-band 802.11ac network.
The RP-AC68U has five Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back, which ASUS says "allow users to convert any wired network devices to wireless operation", and there's a USB 3.0 port to allow additional devices to be added to the network.
- I/O ports:
- 5 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN RJ45
- 1 x USB 3.0 port
- Antennas: 4 x Internal antennas (3 transmit, 4 receive)
- Memory: 128MB Flash / 256MB RAM
- Operating Frequency: Dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
- Wi-Fi Data Rate*:
- 802.11ac: up to 1300Mbps
- 802.11n: Up to 600Mbps
- 802.11a/g: Up to 54Mbps
- 802.11b: Up to 11Mbps
- *Quoted network speeds and bandwidth based on current IEEE specifications. Actual performance may be affected by network and service provider factors, interface type, and other conditions. Connected devices must be compatible for best results.
- 802.11ac Specification:
- MIMO: 3 x 4
- 20/40/80MHz bandwidth
- WPS button
- Power button
- Reset button
- WPS support
- Access Point
- Media Bridge
- Dimensions & weight: 178 x 106 x 106 mm; Weight: 870g
Pricing and availabilty were not announced. Full press release after the break.
It's like Legos for the working man
Way back in January of 2015 at CES we were shown a new line of accessories from Lenovo called ThinkPad Stack. The company is targeting the professional user on the go with a collection of four devices that can be used together in a stackable form that offers up some impressive capability and function in a small package, though it does come with a business-user markup.
Last week Lenovo sent us a full set of the ThinkPad Stack devices including a portable router, external USB 3.0 hard drive, Bluetooth speaker and external battery. With a price tag totaling nearly $400 for the entire set, there is a pretty high expectation for functionality, build quality and usability that Lenovo needs to hit, and they do a better job than I expected (honestly) to hit it. You don't have to buy all of the available Stack accessories, and that is part of the charm of the new product line - you can customize them to your own needs.
Though it's not for everyone, I do find myself enjoying the idea of Lenovo's ThinkPad Stack products and how it enables the mobile professional. Let's take a look at what it is, how it works and if it's something you need.