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May 23, 2002—In this issue:
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
- Wireless Networking: Specialized Wi-Fi Options
- Attend Our Free Windows Security Solutions Webinar!
3. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Essential Pocket PC 2002 Features
- New Instant Poll: Specialized Wi-Fi Solutions
- Tip: How Do I Protect My Wireless Connection Against Intrusion?
- Event Highlight: Bluetooth Congress 2002
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Monitor Your Wireless LAN Infrastructure
- Access Your Information Management Systems
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by Steve Milroy, [email protected])
In the May 9 edition of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I looked at connection options for Wi-Fi, the 802.11b wireless standard, and Bluetooth wireless networks. This time, I continue my discussion of wireless networking options by looking at some specialized solutions that you might find useful after you set up your Wi-Fi network.
Various vendors have developed Voice over IP (VoIP) phones that use Wi-Fi to operate. For example, Symbol Technologies' NetVision VoIP phones offer functionality that's similar to that of cordless phones; however, the NetVision VoIP phone offers a variety of features that let you make the most of your wireless solution. For example, the phone supports the H.323 VoIP protocol, which lets you connect to the traditional telephony system through the Wi-Fi network. The H.323 support also means that the solution doesn't lock you into one vendor; the system supports various VoIP gateways, such as those that Cisco and Ericsson offer. You aren't limited by a typical cordless phone's range, but in an enterprise environment, you can roam with the phone as far as your Wi-Fi network reaches, including your office, warehouse, and campus environment. Much like a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) phone, the NetVision solution supports simultaneous voice input, text input, scanned input, and Web browsing. For more information about the Symbol NetVision solution, see the following URL.
Linksys is releasing a new Wi-Fi device called the Instant Wireless Presentation Gateway. You use the Instant Wireless Presentation Gateway to present Microsoft PowerPoint presentations (and other data) from any PC that has Wi-Fi connectivity onto any VGA device (e.g., a projector). Linksys is aiming this solution at the enterprise sector. As far as my needs are concerned, the product's usefulness remains to be seen. When I present or work on documents with a team, I typically use one laptop. However, the product might prove useful because it permits team members to present at different times from any laptop in the room. For more information about the Instant Wireless Presentation Gateway, see the following URL.
Another specialized Wi-Fi solution is the wireless Internet camera, which you can use for a variety of security applications. D-Link Systems offers such a solution in its Wi-Fi-enabled Wireless Internet Camera. Over your Wi-Fi wireless network and existing Internet connection, you can view streaming video and photo stills. This solution has potential at home and at the office; I'm planning to use a similar solution to monitor my house. The Wireless Internet Camera has a built-in Web server that lets you access video and photographs directly over HTTP through a Web site address (e.g., http://mydomain.com/home). The device also supports SMTP; with the use of an add-on motion-detection device, you can configure the Wireless Internet Camera to send you an email message, complete with attached photo, when the product detects movement. For more information about the Wireless Internet Camera, see the following URL.
Another type of Wi-Fi device that deserves mention is the wireless bridge. Various vendors are beginning to offer this device, which lets you use a Wi-Fi connection to connect two wired LANs. For example, suppose your company has an office on one floor and you're expanding to occupy space above or below the existing space. Instead of physically wiring the floors together, you could use a Wi-Fi connection to bridge the two LANs. If bandwidth is a concern, 802.11a (at 54Mbps) might be a better option for higher-bandwidth wireless bridging.
Recently, both John Ruley and I have received constructive feedback and ideas from readers about the Mobile & Wireless UPDATE. We're always happy to address any questions or evaluate solutions, so please send along any comments you have about this UPDATE. You can contact me directly or use the contact information at the end of this newsletter.
In the next regular edition of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I'll take a final look at wireless networking considerations. See you then.
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3. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Which Pocket PC 2002 feature is most important in your environment?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 47 votes:
36% More memory/faster CPU 13% Enhanced security 17% Server ActiveSync 13% Application-development enhancements 21% Telephone integration
The next Instant Poll question is, "Which specialized Wi-Fi solution promises to be most beneficial in your environment?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions channel home page and submit your vote for a) The Voice over IP (VoIP) phone, b) The Instant Wireless Presentation Gateway, c) The wireless Internet camera, or d) The wireless bridge.
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
If you decide to go with wireless for your home networking needs, make sure you secure your home network against intrusion. Many wireless networks are automatically set up so that someone with a wireless card could come by your house—or live next door—and use your connection to access your home network and the Internet. To ensure that your data is safe and your network bandwidth isn't compromised from the outside, you can do a couple of simple things.
First, make sure your wireless access point (AP) isn't broadcasting its service set identifier (SSID); doing so will prevent most cards from even finding your network. Second, harden your network from the outside by hard-coding the Media Access Control (MAC) addresses of your wireless cards into the management software for your AP, so that only your machines can use the network. Be sure to use 128-bit encryption, if possible, and if you're using a bridged network, with wireless and wired components, consider keeping them separate so that machines on the wireless network can't access resources on the wired network. Also, be sure that you've got the latest firmware update for your wireless AP. Many companies, such as Apple, Linksys, and others, have shipped crucial security updates for their hardware.
For more tips about using mobile and wireless devices, visit Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions FAQ section.
June 12 through 14, 2002
At Bluetooth Congress, an annual meeting place for the Bluetooth community, you'll learn about the worldwide development of Bluetooth and gain insight about successes and challenges, real-world implementations, and customer reports. The event will place special emphasis on vertical-market applications. Bluetooth Congress will feature 160 speakers.
For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mascarenas, [email protected])
Agere Systems announced the Wireless LAN Manager, a network-management product that lets you monitor and manage an entire wireless LAN infrastructure that consists of as many as 1000 Access Points (APs). You can control, update, and configure the entire wireless network from one UI. The Wireless LAN Manager package starts at $999. Contact Agere Systems at 610-712-4323 or 800-372-2447.
Nokia announced plans to provide Lotus messaging and collaboration solutions to Nokia 9210 Communicator users. Mobile users can use their mobile device to access data—including mail, calendars, and address books—from their information management systems. For pricing, contact Nokia at 888-665-4228.
6. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- ABOUT MOBILE AND WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES — [email protected]
- ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — [email protected]
(please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
- PRODUCT NEWS — [email protected]
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MOBILE & WIRELESS UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
Customer Support — mobile_&[email protected]
- WANT TO SPONSOR MOBILE & WIRELESS UPDATE?
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